10 September

Babler Beast Triathlon/Duathlon - Aug 13th

I only decided to do this race about 2 weeks prior to it. Normally a pool swim, St. Louis suffered from an extended power outage resulting in damaged pool pumps and the triathlon becoming a duathlon. That's fine with me, even though my swim has improved substantially, I still like duathlons better; at least I think I do...

One of the few race organizations in the St. Louis area to get a duathlon right, the race started with a 1.9 mile run, followed by a 12.5 mile bike, and then a 2.8 mile run. I lucked out and was put in the first wave, along with Shawn O’neal and Mike Barro, two competitors that I knew would be some of my toughest competition.

I started out controlled on the run figuring I should keep Shawn in my sights on the first run, hopefully not lose too much on him on the bike, and then maybe pull him back on the final run. Turns out I wasn’t moving quite as fast on the run as I should have been and Shawn slowly pulled away from me. However, we came into the transition area and I was only about 15 seconds back. Mike Barro was running really fast and was not in view leaving the first transition. I didn’t really know much about him so I wasn’t sure if I would pull him back on the bike or not…

The bike course was three laps of a 4 mile course, starting out with a relatively steep section, changing into something a little less steep and then turning and heading back with some nice downhill. Very little of the course was flat, either up or down…

The really nice part about being in the first wave is the course was empty in front of me; later competitors would have to deal with congestion issues. Compared to two weeks earlier, the bike felt great, I was a lot more comfortable on the new aero bars than I had been. However, I was still missing some of the power I used to have on the hills. It was doubtful that I would catch Shawn, but I was hoping that I might at least see Mike. Unfortunately, I pulled into T2 still stuck in third place.

It is always the responsibility of the athlete to know the layout of the course and the transition. I never have a lot of sympathy for athletes who run out of transition wrong, even when it is me… I assumed the run course went back out the same way the first run went, but I was wrong and after wasting 15 or 20 seconds I was finally on course with a little extra adrenaline pumping.

Eventually I arrived at “the beast”, a long up hill slog. Somewhere around this point Shawn passed me heading the opposite way and then several minutes later Mike Barro ran past. I realized I wouldn’t be catching either of them that day. Eventually I finished in 1:01:31, 8th overall and 2nd in my age group. Turns out there were quite a few of St Louis’ top triathletes there, some of them starting in later waves.
Full Results

A big disappointment for me was that Eric Buckley who had beaten me at Show Me State Games duathlon also beat me here. Only by 25 seconds though, maybe things would be different at Alligator Creek in a week…
posted at 20:24:35 on 09/10/06 by Tony Rigdon - Category: Race Reports


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