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2 Du’s in Woodstock

Race:  Woodstock Duathlons (Sprint & Regular)

Date:  Saturday June 5 & Sunday June 6, 2009.

  Pittock Lake Conservation Area – Woodstock, Ontario

Description:  Sprint Duathlon (3 km run, 20 km bike, 3 km run) // Duathlon (8 km, 32 km, 4 km)

Sport:  Duathlon


I had a most enjoyable weekend of racing – heck, isn’t any weekend of racing enjoyable – and it turns out that the number 7 was mine for the weekend, as I placed 7th overall in both races that I did.

It was a new venue for the MultiSport Canada Series, and I can safely say that they have a winner. It was definitely the place to be this past weekend, and it is sure to become one of their most popular events in the future. The setting is great. The run course is fun with varied terrain, the bike course provides an honest test (thanks to the ever present winds), and the water is clean and weed free (I got this info from other racers). There is plenty of parking close to transition, and there is a water play area for the kids – or yourself if you feel inclined to cool off after the race. For Markham based athletes, the race is only about 1 hr 40 minutes away.

Since my main focus is a few Ironman events, and a 50 km run I have later this year, I use these shorter races as a way of doing speedwork (something I rarely do on the run since it really chews me up and it basically means a guaranteed injury), gauging how certain elements of my training is going, and simply because I love racing.

So the plan for the two races was to run aerobically, bike hard to catch and pass as much people as I could, and use whatever lead I had to stay away from the faster runners. I really did not want to push hard on that final run at all.

Saturday June 6, 2009: Sprint Duathlon – Run 3 km, Bike 18 Km, Run 3 Km

7th overall in 1:04:52. 2nd in the men 40-44 category.

1st run – 12:50

Bike – 37:07 (4th best)

2nd run – 13:36

I prepare all of my stuff diligently the night before a race, but with it being my first race this season, at the race site I realized that I somehow forgot my race belt. Luckily, I had 2 spare shoelaces in my bag, grabbed one, looped it into the race number, tied it around my torso (surprised it fit) and presto, instant race belt. Worked like a charm.

Overall, I was very happy with this race. I ran faster than I expected without working too hard, and I had a good bike despite a heavy bike training week (very windy today), making up a lot of ground – too bad a needed a longer bike ride to create a bigger lead heading into the final run. For the most part, the 3 guys that passed me on the run, I would not be able to stay away from anyway. But at the turnaround I noticed some dudes fairly close so I ran harder for the last 1.5 km and made sure to secure my 7th place position, and second among men 40-44 – the winner of the race (Harold Walker) was first in my category.

Sunday June 7, 2009: Lakeside Duathlon – Run 8 km, Bike 32 Km, Run 4 Km

7th overall in 2:03:49. 4th in men 40-44.

1st run – 40:19

Bike – 1:01:36 (4th best)

2nd run – 20:52

Due to an unannounced 401 shutdown near Woodstock, and subsequent ridiculous detour, I was delayed in getting to the race site. One can say I had a race prior to my race. With less than 10 minutes to work with, I parked (miraculously found a spot a few feet from the site), made a washroom visit, registered, got my equipment ready, dressed, racked my bike in transition, got my chip, and got to the race start in time.

I did not accomplish anything special in this race. I simply ran the first 8km relatively (although it didn’t feel that way) easy to warm-up, attempt to catch people on the bike – which was so windy I thought I was going to get blown off my bike a few times, and basically run the last 4 km faster than I did during the first run. All accomplished. I possibly could have moved up a few spots if my legs did not feel like blocks of cement for the first 20 minutes of the bike – I was looking for go sub 1 hr, or by running harder but destroying my body this early in the season is not an option.

I strongly recommend this race. I really enjoyed the run course, especially the crushed limestone path and brief boarded section. And I thoroughly appreciated the asphalt section over the dam – the only time I think I ran at any resemblance of speed. In itself, the bike course is not tough; it just has some small rollers. However, what makes this course tough is the wind, and the openness of the course will mean that it will always be an element to affect your speed.

Plus, the organization by MSC was excellent as always, I appreciated Infinit being on the course, there was lots of retailer support, and I loved the treats (coffee, fruit, yogurt & berries) provided by the local McDonalds – very cool.

Regardless of not pushing super hard on the run, I still managed to aggravate my left soleus – the same side as my repaired Achilles. I will keep a close eye on this for sure as I head into my next race at the Binbrook Duathlon. Just one race for me, I’ve decided to put a halt to slipping in a GT 12.9 race right after doing one already. I will do a run cooldown instead. Hope to catch you at Binbrook.

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