On Sunday, March 22 I competed in my third duathlon of the 2009 race season. Duathlons are a new addition to my schedule for 2009, so this was also only the 3rd duathlon I've ever competed in. The race, which could be done as either a sprint triathlon or duathlon, took place at Tradition Town Center, in Port St. Lucie. That was a 140 mile round trip from my house. That's a lot of driving, I must be a total race addict.
Bike Diva Places in Female Masters Division
I placed in the Female Masters division of the race. I was the 3rd fastest of all women over 40 years old - SWEET! I was a bit worried when I was first checking the race results. I was looking at the Female 45-49 age group, and didn't see my name listed - WHAT!?!
My first thought was to check the penalty list, there are race officials placed throughout the course. They hand out 2 minute penalties to anyone violating the USAT racing rules. 3 strikes and you get DQ - disqualified - for the entire race.
Nope, I wasn't listed on the penalty list. So I went back to the duathlon results page, and just for shits and giggles, checked the Female Masters category. 1 - 2 - 3 = Lynn Smythe - AWESOME! After getting a 2nd and 1st place, in my age group at the first 2 duathlons I've done, a future goal was to start placing in Female Masters. Didn't think it would be at my 3rd race.
Penalties and Race Officials
I got stuck in with a big clump of riders during the cycling portion of the race. Per USAT rules, you must ride on the right hand side unless you are passing somebody. You must maintain 3 bike lengths between you and the cyclist in front of you, unless you are attempting to pass. You have 15 seconds to pass another cyclist, on the left hand side. There is no passing of cyclists on the right hand side. If you get passed by another cyclist, you must drop back, to allow 3 bike lengths between you and the cyclist that just passed you. Blah-Blah-Blah - PHEW, that's a lot of stuff to pay attention to.
It can be a bit impossible to follow those rules to the letter, when the course is packed full of riders. After getting stuck in a clump of 8 other riders, for the second time, I decided to back off. I wasn't gaining anything by staying with the group and every time I would pass a few riders, they would pass me a couple of seconds later. Yo-Yo cycling. It wasn't worth a possible 2 minute penalty if we were caught drafting by race officials.
I wasn't trying to draft off the other cyclists, but I couldn't break through - if I only had a time trial bike, well I can dream can't I? Approximately 1 minute after I dropped off that group, I got passed by two officials on a motorcycle. They passed me, then slowed down and stayed behind that clump of cyclists I had been riding with. I saw the race official take out a mini notebook and start writing down race numbers.
When I was checking the final race results, I noticed a pink sheet listing all the penalties that were handed out. A total of 19 penalties were handed out to various triathletes and duathletes during the race, one person was even DQ - disqualified. Dang, now I need to do more riding, so I can get smoking fast, so I can blow everyone out of the water that is trying to draft off me. And what's up with the newbies riding on the left hand side the entire time - get the freak out my way beyatches! Where's the race officials when you need one?
Details of My Race Results
- Total Time: 1:14:32.454
- Run Time: 9:58
- T1 Time: 0:54
- Bike Time: 31:43
- T2 Time: 0:50
- Run Time: 31:7
- Overall Place: 62 out of 86
- Overall Percentile: 28
- Gender Place: 15 out of 29
- Gender Percentile: 50
- Category Place: 3 out of 3
- Category Percentile: 0
- Series Points Earned: 95.06972
Bike Diva's Analysis
- My run 1 pace was 9.3 minutes per mile
- My bike pace was 18.92 MPH
- My run 2 pace was 10.22 minutes per mile
I'm pretty happy with those numbers. My running speed is getting much faster, and my bike wasn't quite as slow as it felt like. Dead legs getting off the bike, the just over 3 mile run killed me. Felt good on the just over 1 mile run on the first run leg. Also happy to see both transitions were under 1 minute. Still lots of room for improvement, but overall, very pleased with how I did.
I saw two 8 year olds at the beginning of the duathlon, they were part of a relay team. At the Chilly Willy Duathlon, there was a 10 year old girl racing that was only 50 seconds slower than me. When I saw the 8 year olds, I'm like "dang, gonna get my ass beat by a couple of midgets - BAH!!!" Well, I smoked their ass, although I did get passed by a 62 year old dude during the 3 mile run at the end of the race. So I suck, alright, I'll admit it. Alert the press: BIKE DIVA BEATEN BY GRANDPA.
Come Join the Fun
So who wants to join me on these fun events? You can do them as either a triathlon or duathlon. They're a heck of a lot of fun, and it sure beats staying home with your butt on the couch eating donuts. Well, okay, I would probably pick cram my face with pastries over getting up at 4:15 AM, but what the heck. Pictures of the race should be up in a few days, I'll post a few up when they become available.
Lynn Smythe AKA the Bike Diva