This morning we headed out to Bennett Colorado (BFE-Colorado) to race in the Big Sky Duathlon. The race sold out this year at around 300 competitors, which I guess is like 100 more than last year! The race was a run/bike/run format with 4K’s on the Run and a 25K Bike. The run course was a two-loop run through a delightfully popular Bennett neighborhood (insert sarcasm). The ladies went out fast! At around 6:20 for the first mile I was in 9th. The Elite women had started in a separate heat (#1) and in the final heat (#4) was all the rest of us ladies. So yea, they went out fast, but it didn’t hold for most of them. By the second loop I was in 4th/5th...somewhere in there. As we headed into transition I was ready to get on the bike. We had all run a fast first run and the bike always makes me recover from the run. I had a really quick transition and came out of transition in 3rd.
The bike was a long out and back course with rolling hills. I passed a lady and was into 2nd. Then I got passed...twice, so back in 4th. This all happened by mile 4 on the bike. After that I settled into the bike and just tried to focus on keeping the ladies ahead in sight. By the turn-around point they had one minute on me. The bike back was like a bad stint in solitary confinement. The ladies ahead were out of sight. I wanted to catch them but they were clearly faster than I. So I just tried to stay mentally tough, stay in my zone, spin the legs hard, and think “go-go-go” “faster, faster, faster”. I took a glance behind me and didn’t see anyone back there either, so I was truly ALONE!
I came into transition...Troy was cheering, telling me I was in 4th. He was excited...I felt lonely! I had another quick transition and was off on the run. I didn’t have too much trouble this time getting the running legs going again, the first mile was around 6:40. BUT the girls ahead were out of sight. I didn’t see a single one of them, not even on the open stretches. I asked Troy where they were when I ran by him...he said about a minute, but it was actually about 2. There was just no way. Apparently the picture was the same behind me...no one!
The finish was uneventful as I was all by myself and since I was in wave #4 all the men were done and snacking, no cheering, just sort of boring. All in all I was happy with my performance, this race was a real mental test for me. To try to stay in the game when you are all alone is tough, but I know this will happen again in the future. A funny note...If I had been in the elite race I would have been 3rd, and I would have won a whopping $10.
Final Time: 1:19:02 Overall Place: 57 Female Place (non-elite): 4th Female Place (with the elites added in): 6th Age Group Place (25-29): 2nd 1st Run (4K): 15:45 (6:20 pace) Transition #1: 0:48 Bike (25K): 44:45 (20.8 mph pace) Transition #2: 0:46 2nd Run: 17:10 (6:54 pace)