Prairie Punisher Duathlon Race Report – July 28th, 2007

This race was high on my list of races at the beginning of the year as it was a qualifier for the ITU Long Course Duathlon World Championships that Nikki and I both hoped to qualify for. But as the race approached I was disappointed with my level of fitness going in, serious training had been lacking in the months leading up to this important race. I was still hopeful of qualifying, but I also realized it wasn’t going to be easy and in no way was it a sure thing.

Early morning found me racking my bike in the transition on the racks labeled 30-34. Both guys and girls were racked together and before long our rack was full of bikes. This had me worried as I knew only three people from each age group would qualify for Long Course Worlds. I noticed dozens of guys racking their bikes in my section so I knew there would be plenty of competition in my age group, what I didn’t know at the time is that a lot of them would be in the sprint race so I really wasn’t going to be competing against all of them…

At 7am the race started and I headed out for the 9.3 mile opening run. I started out two or three rows deep and after running around 6:00 pace for a while, I settled into a comfortable pace I figured was around 6:45. Unfortunately, I hadn’t thought this through very well, so while I checked the calves of any runners who passed me to verify they weren’t in my age group, I couldn’t be sure of the ages of the runners ahead of me. I realized I should have started out in front and then I would know exactly how many guys 30-34 had gone ahead of me after the start…

Since the run was an out and back, once runners started passing me heading back, I kept track of where I was at overall and when I finished the run I figured I was around 27th overall. After a quick transition, I headed out on the bike. Things felt good on the bike and I started passing people right away. I continued to pass people throughout the ride, but things started to feel a little rough. Throughout the second half of the ride my calves and thighs started cramping, I was beginning to realize how painful it can be to run 9.3 miles and then hop on a bike and pedal hard for two hours. Finally, after passing 19 competitors, I pulled into transition. I quickly surveyed the rest of my section and saw three other bikes, was I in 4th place in my age group? I started my second run and quickly realized I wouldn’t be chasing anyone down, both my Achilles were hurting and I was doing everything I could to ignore the pain and run/hobble. Since I knew I wouldn’t catch anyone, I could only hope that one of the bikes in transition was a short course duathlon participant that hadn’t cleared their bike out yet.

I had intentionally taken the first run easy knowing I had to face this second run, but I hadn’t counted on my Achilles hurting like they did. So while I had hoped to run faster for my second run, I ended up running considerably slower. I had figured I was somewhere in the top 10 going into the second run, turns out I was in exactly 10th and in the final mile of the run I was passed and dropped down to 11th. Finally I reached the finish in a time of 3:15:26 and once the results were posted I saw I had finished 3rd in my age group and had qualified for the 2007 ITU Long Course Duathlon World Championships. My race hadn’t gone as well as hoped, but my goal had been accomplished so it was all good in the end…

                     Run1 Pace  T1   Bike   MPH   T2  Run2  Pace  Total Time
Ernest Rigdon III 1:06:16 7:07 0:44 1:43:21 22.0 0:35 24:31 7:54 3:15:26
posted at 14:15:13 on 08/07/07 by Tony Rigdon – Category: Race Reports


Brad Earnest wrote:

Great Job Tony – at times hanging in there sucks! I felt horrible the last 5 miles at Steelhead but I didnt want Kim beating me so I sucked it up (:


08/07/07 18:09:46

Andy wrote:

Congrats on qualifying!
08/10/07 00:54:48

Headed to the Long Course Duathlon World Championships!

Nikki and I both qualified this past weekend for the 2007 McDonald’s ITU Duathlon Long Course World Championships. It is a 15k run, 76k bike, and a 7.5k run and will be held on October 21st in Richmond VA. We both qualified by racing in the Prairie Punisher Duathlon this past weekend, a 15k/60k/5k torture fest. Nikki placed 2nd in her age group and I was 3rd in mine and with the top three in each age group earning a spot we are both in! This was a major goal for both of us this year, I’ll post my race recap in the next few days.
00:49:27 – Tony Rigdon