July 13, 2014

Race Report: 2Xrip Olympic Duathlon (2014)

Another year racing the Rip-It Olympic Duathlon, the race that started me in multisport events back in 2012. The 2014 version turned out to be another warm, humid day over the rolling hills of Maryland. I once again drew a bike rack far from the entry/exit chute.

The Course

Using the same course as past years, the first run was one lap on a 2-mile loop with some decent hills; the second run was two laps of the same 2-mile loop, for a total of 4 miles with each loop culminating in a significant uphill stretch. The bike course was two laps of a 13-mile loop on country roads, and it was described as "moderate to aggressive" hills, and they weren't kidding.

Race Day

On the first run, I maintained an easy pace and just worked on pacing off some other age groupers and tucking in to conserve some energy. I was just over 6:30 pace through the hills and made my way into T1 for a smooth transition.

On the bike course I just followed my usual tactics of picking off riders on the hills and watching them fly by me on their aero bikes on the descents. I was maintaining about 80-90 cadence through the hills and screaming on the descents. I kept taking in water and food on the shorter flat sections. Throughout the course, I was leap-frogging a couple racers in my age group and maintained contact with who I thought was my main competition.

Coming out of T2 I settled into an aggressive run and started picking people off. There are some significant hills on the four-mile course, and I used them to my advantage by maintaining a consistent effort and accelerating over the top. After the first mile’s turnaround, I noticed one of my age group competitors pretty far back, so I must’ve put some time into him during transition. I quickly caught up to and gapped another age grouper in the second mile. I spent the final two miles putting more pavement between myself and any pursuit, crossing the line in 2:07:02 overall for a nice improvement and a 3rd place in my age group.

The Results

Run 1 (2 mi) :   13:12  |  6:36/mile
T1 (run to bike) :  1:13 
Bike (26 mi) :   1:20:50  |  19.3 mph
T2 (bike to run) : 0:58
Run 2 (4 mi) :   30:49  |  7:42/mile

Final:   2:07:02  |  Age Group 3rd place

I defended my podium step from last year, cut a bit of time overall, and was pretty happy considering my main competitors had obvious advantages with triathlon and TT bikes. I'm still trying to develop a better kick in the final miles and lower my second run time, especially coming off the bike and hitting the hills.