Part of my pre-race ritual includes scoping out the other competitors to try and determine who the primary players will be in the competition. For unknown athletes, this generally involves observing bikes, physical build, and form. Then there are also the “known” athletes, those athletes I’ve competed against in the past whose athletic abilities I already know. Prior to the start of the Sedalia Duathlon I had narrowed the race down in my mind to 4 other athletes. Jeff Mittelhauser an unknown who appeared to be the race director, Mark Keys an unknown who appeared to be a strong competitor, Jason Selong who I knew was a strong cyclist and was peaking for the Chicago Marathon in a week, and finally Mark Wilson who I knew would be strong in all areas and who had recently placed 2nd overall in the NEMO Triathlon. My plan was to go out conservative on the first run but try and limit my losses to the lead athletes to around a minute thirty or so. Then on the bike to go hard, and then see where things fell on the final run.
The gun sounds and we’re off. Surging out to the lead and setting a fast pace was Justin Adams who I had noticed warming up and had thought that he looked like a fast runner. Mark Wilson followed closely behind him and Jason Selong followed in third place. I settled into a comfortable pace behind Jeff. At the first mile marker, I check my split and was at 5:45. The course was an out and back course which went straight down a road and around a slight bend, turned around and went right back. However, just before the bend there is an incline which is deceptively hard. Mile two goes past and my mile split is 6:12. At this point I’ve left Jeff and have been passed by George Robinson. We’re running into a slight headwind so I do everything I can to stick behind George and let him cut into the wind. We cover the final mile in 7:00 for a first run time of 19:00 and run into transition together.
After a fairly fast transition, I leave the transition area anywhere from 1 to 2 minutes behind the two race leaders, Mark Wilson and Justin Adams. I’m right behind George and Jason. I’m riding for the first time with a new hydration system “podium quest” and waste 10 or 15 seconds with some minor adjustments. After this brief distraction I settle into the task of trying to hunt some duathletes down. I can see Jason and George ahead of me. I watch as Jason overtakes George only to be passed back several miles later. About 4 miles into the ride the three of us cruise by the early race leader, Justin Adams who is apparently not real comfortable on the bike. At this point on the road I know I’m in 4th place.
The bike is also an out and back course. Mark Wilson cruises past so I know we are just about to the turn around. From the time it takes for me to reach the turn around, I figure I’m about 2 minutes back of Mark. However, George is only about 40 seconds ahead of me and Jason about 20 so I figure a top three spot is still possible. The ride back was much more difficult as we were now riding into a slight headwind. Finally, after chasing Jason for the duration of the ride, as we rode back into town I passed him about a mile from the bike finish. I was still about 20 or so seconds back of George so I concentrated on a fast transition and was out quickly trying to chase him down.
At this point I made a very big blunder. Rather than pace myself and run my own race, I quickly over took George and passed him, doing a 5:56 first mile in the process. Almost as soon as I passed him I realized I had messed up, especially when I could feel the lactic acid accumulating. Sure enough, my pace dropped off and George passed me back. I had pushed myself over the limit and was now suffering the consequences. I crossed the second mile marker with a 6:40 second mile. I knew I wasn’t going to speed up any and so I knew I wouldn’t catch back up to George, but I also knew I was several minutes ahead of my next competitor and with one mile to go my lead was safe. My final mile was a slow 7:32.
All in all I was very happy with my performance. My primary concern was that I would have lost some of my speed in these shorter events. I was a little slower than at the beginning of the season, but I’m sure part of that was the result of the previous weekend’s Ironman and from a lack of any speed training throughout the season. Third place is a good way to end my 2004 multisport season. There are plenty of fall runs to compete in still…
October 2, 2004
Clear, 42 degrees, NE breeze
1. Mark Wilson, 42 17:51 48:17 19:22 1:25:30 2. George Robinson, 37 19:00 48:40 20:22 1:28:02 3. Tony Rigdon, 31 19:00 49:09 20:43 1:28:52 4. Mark Keys, 45 19:18 50:40 20:57 1:30:55 5. Jason Selong, 34 18:43 49:33 23:58 1:32:14 6. Mike Hollis, 50 20:48 53:12 22:54 1:36:54 7. Jeff Mittelhauser, 47 19:26 56:04 21:47 1:37:17 8. Justin Adams, 32 17:04 62:01 20:27 1:39:32 9. Chris Revoir, 51 20:40 60:37 23:27 1:44:44 10. Jonathan Kincaid, 22 23:49 59:19 22:38 1:45:46 11. Dennis Meinking, 56 23:32 24:55 (Team) John Pruett, 41 58:18 1:46:40 12. Daryl Simon, 56 22:28 61:38 23:10 1:47:16 13. Ben Coffey, 24 21:52 59:57 26:33 1:48:22 14. Matt Hurd, 21 23:49 62:31 25:23 1:51:43 15. Todd Laytham, 37 23:49 59:31 28:40 1:52:00 16. Bob Frederickson, 51 25:06 60:35 28:17 1:53:58 17. Robin Blount, 46F 24:07 64:23 26:08 1:54:40 18. Matthew Patterson, 22 24:08 67:17 25:36 1:57:01 19. Kevin Kenny, 46 25:23 61:27 30:37 1:57:27 20. Jennifer Thompson, 29F 25:39 62:58 28:53 1:57:30 21. Dalton Luper, 14 25:59 58:16 33:42 1:57:58 22. Donald Luper, 37 25:36 60:50 32:15 1:58:41 23. Jim Ellis, 59 26:20 64:12 28:38 1:59:10 24. Jennifer Thompson, 31F 26:10 67:51 26:08 2:00:09 25. Bill Wright, 63 (5k time not recorded) 27:28 2:01:14 26. Leslie Huston, 34F (5k time not recorded) 26:51 2:01:38 27. Mark Ellis, 52 27:52 30:09 (Team) Doug Kiburz, 50 65:26 2:03:27 28. Jim Shoemaker, 51 25:56 78:34 29:05 2:13:35 29. Tracy Thompson, 34F 27:03 75:48 32:15 2:15:06 30. Christopher Storms, 38 28:40 70:28 36:20 2:15:28 31. Christopher Wade, 36 28:40 70:39 36:10 2:15:29 32. Rachel Miles, 31F 27:03 81:31 28:47 2:17:21 33. Nathan Ahern, 34 29:08 85:04 35:34 2:30:06 34. Chris Steger, 34 26:10 28:08 (Team) Otis Brock, 61 95:59 2:30:17 *This split includes run-to-ride transition. **This split includes ride-to-run transition.