Chilly Cheeks Duathlon

Bike staged

Bike Staged and ready

Saturday January 21, 2012 I completed my FIRST Duathlon – The Chilly Cheeks Duathlon #2 at the Cherry Creek Reservoir. It was a cool sunny and overcast day and clear of snow. I arrived an hour before the start, picked up my race packet and got my bike racked and transition pack ready. Boyer’s coffee had a tent with free coffee, so I headed there for a warm up.

This Duathlon was a Run (1.5 miles), Bike (3.5 miles), Run (2.5 miles), Bike (7 miles) and then 50 yard run to the finish. There were 3 different waves, A, B, and C, all were mixed with all levels of athletes. I was in the B wave. I started off with my bike shorts, bike leg warmers (no not the kind from the 80’s), short sleeved tech shirt, long sleeved tech shirt and gloves. There were some pretty serious racers there with top notch triathlon bikes. They were the ones that had their bike shoes clipped into their pedals – that would just be a crashing disaster for me. They also wore their bike helmets for the runs – really does it take that much time to put on your helmet? Then there were the semi-serious like me, down to the super casual like those in cotton everything with coats and a borrowed bicycle. It was a HUGE mix of athletes and abilities. That is what I love about racing, it is for EVERYONE! Of course I made friends, and found some people that live near my Life Time Fitness so I recruited them to join and do our Cycle and Run Clubs – I can’t help it its my passion!

1st Run Leg

First Run Leg

The A Wave took off, so those of us in the B Wave lined up for the first run. The woman next to me was debating on whether she should wear her stocking cap or not. Five, Four, Three, Two, One… and we’re off! Wahooooooooo! Run number 1 started on the road, then made it’s way to the trail. I felt great, but was still warming up. We made a 1.5 mile loop back to the bikes.

I switched my visor for my helmet, running gloves for cycling gloves, and running shoes for cycling shoes. Ran my bike to the mounting area and took off. This is FUN! Well, until the hill came… but I took that hill and shoved it in my back pocket. It was a fun 3.5 mile loop with a sweet downhill to make up for the uphill. I clocked 29 mph down that hill – wahoo that was fun! Made it back to the transition area and dismounted – oh, ok, my legs are like rubber now… Racked my bike, took off my helmet, shoes and long sleeved shirt. Put on my running shoes & visor and took off running for the second leg.

1st Bike Leg

First Bike Leg

Man I could really feel my legs, and they felt like slugs! So, this run was a bit slower than the first and part of it was thru some sand, so that didn’t help my sluggishness… It was another loop, but different from the first leg. The more elite athletes in Wave C were now starting to pass us in Wave B, but I don’t worry about that, I compete against myself. Since this was my very first duathlon, I was happy where I was at. When I made it back to the transition area, it was a lot harder to change into my bike shoes that it was the first time.

Strapped on my helmet and ran my bike to the mounting area and took off. As I headed up the first hill, of the loop we would do twice this time, the wind started kicking in. The rest of the ride was either in a head wind or side wind. As if my legs were not already hating me, the wind had to help them hate me more. I just put my head down and pedaled through the best I could and had fun with it. As I was nearing the end of the second loop, I was trying to decide if I would run the 50 yards from the transition area to the finish in my socks, or actually put on my running shoes. I had seen a lot of people running in their socks to save time, but with my luck, I thought I may get hurt. So as I dismounted and ran my bike into the rack, I switched shoes.

As I ran through the aisles of bikes to the finish line, people stopped and cheered for me. It made me feel like I was about to win a gold medal! They announced my name as I crossed the finish line and a race official came up to me with a Rudy bicycle helmet and said, here you win this! WAHOOO!!! I was beat, hungry, thirsty and couldn’t stop coughing (I had forgot my inhaler), but I thought to myself, wow that was awesome, I am going to sign up for the next Chilly Cheeks Duathlon being held on February 25th!

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Bike to Work Day

Bike Denver June 22, 2011 was Denver’s Bike to Work Day. I coordinated a small group at my work, some of which had NEVER biked to work. The work day, for me, normally starts at 5:30am, but I arranged to come in later in order to take in the full benefits of biking to work.

Left my apartment at 6am and headed to the Cherry Creek Trail. My start is at the South end of the Cherry Creek Country Club. There were already several bikers on the trail heading in both directions. North I went, and about 5 miles in I came to my first “breakfast station”. It was Whole Foods, where I received a banana and free water bottle from Kaiser Permanente. Coffee was also available, but I decided to wait on that.

Bike 2 Work Day

Denver Bike to Work Day

At about mile 9 was the 9 News breakfast station. I asked if Susie Wargin had made it in yet. She had left Highlands Ranch about a half hour before I left my place – I beat her.  Primal Wear Cycling had a tent and was giving out free socks! Drank some OJ and went on my way.

Finally got to Cherokee where I would exit from the Cherry Creek bike path and head downtown. Took a right on 14th and ended up in the Civic Center Bike to Work Day Extravaganza! Finally got my coffee, a bagel and many give-a-ways! WOW what a party that was! Could of stayed there all morning, but off to work had to go.

Got to my building, at 1999 Broadway, took the outside elevator down to P1 and locked up my bike on the rack. Headed back up the elevator to the lobby and heard my name called. The building management was there handing out a little gift pack to those of us that rode to work. “Kristen I have a present for you”, said Wendi. It was a bottle of Gatorade, a small Nalgene bottle and a packet of cherry Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews. COOL!!!

Work seemed to FLY by and I felt fantastic all day! Couldn’t wait to ride home. Noodles & Company handed out coupons at the Civic Center for a free bowl of noodles, so I headed there for lunch. Only cost me the price of a milk. It does a body good ya know…

It sure was hard staying until 4pm when I am usually off at 2:30pm, but I made it. Finally get to ride home! WHAT A FANTASTIC DAY FOR A RIDE!!!! Racing along the trail I went, passing other riders left and right (all on the left of course). At one point I heard someone coming along side me, then I heard them slam on their breaks and say “Hey, where did you get your rear bike light?” I said, “REI, in Seattle, years ago.” I had passed this guy a while back and he raced to catch up to me to ask about my light – too funny!

About a mile from home, Primal Wear Cycling had a tent set up and they were handing out Popsicles! SWEEEEEEEEEEET!!! Felt great on that hot afternoon. They also warned us of a flooded underpass up ahead – which was not flooded in the morning. Darn mountain snow runoff.

It is a little over 11 miles one way to work, and mostly on the Cherry Creek Bike Path, so it was overall a very nice ride. Now that the weather is nicer, I will ride to work more often. Gotta love a ride on a beautiful Colorado day!

Ride Strong!




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