Despite the fact that swimming was actually now one of my strongest areas, I opted to do the duathlon this year. I was still concerned with my fragmented trapezium and a mass start in a swim was a sure way to get hit or hit someone else with the hand. So, I found myself lined up with a small field for the start of the duathlon.
Unlike most duathlons, the Show Me State Games starts out with the bike and ends with the run. So there we were all straddling our bikes waiting for the start. We hear the triathletes starting the swim, but nobody tells us to start. Finally after a little confusion we’re told that we were supposed to go when the first wave of triathletes started, but now they were going to start us 5 minutes late with the second wave of triathletes. Finally, the second wave started and this time they actually relayed the start to us and we were off… The bike is a 21 mile course with lots of hills, the first one coming at us right upon the exit of the park. Right off the bat several people sprint up the hill and I begin to wonder if I’ll see them again. However, I’ve got my disc wheel on so I figure the hills will be a little slower but I’ll hopefully catch everyone on the flats. Sure enough, once past the first few hills there were some nice long flat stretches and soon I was with the front three.
Most of the ride ended up being the front 4 of us staying together. Not exactly drafting, but none of us were able to separate from the others. I made several attempts to surge away, but I’m pretty sure they would jump into my draft during those surges. I decided I was better off riding controlled. We all ended up coming into the transition basically together. I was a little behind and was only the third person out on the run. I felt pretty good though and despite the fact that I had only run 7:30’s after the bike at Rec-Plex, for some reason I thought I would be able to outrun everyone.
Within the first mile or so, I had caught the second place guy and was closing in on the front runner. However, once we reached the turn around he seemed to pick up the pace and I couldn’t go any faster. To make matters worse, the third placed guy I had passed earlier now came back and passed me. I was fading fast and I started worrying about the fourth place guy. Fortunately I had enough of a gap on him to hold him off. I ended up 3rd overall with a 22mph average on the bike and a 7 minute pace on the run. Not the greatest, but I’ll take it…