Continuation of race recap, click here if you missed Part 1.
Duathlon Part 3: 2.5mi run (click image to enlarge)
All I have to say is that practicing the bike to run transitions REALLY paid off! Previously I had difficulty with that, but flushing my legs out during the last 1/4mi of the ride and walking through the transition zone gave my legs enough recovery before I started the run. Then I was off, down the small hill to the first water station, around another turn and then up the hill I started with.
This second leg went along the same course, just farther down before the turnaround which had another water station and ladies handing out mini Luna bars. I felt slower than my during first run, but still faster than my half marathon race pace…until I hit the sand for a second time. Overall I still felt great, so I just kept trying to push myself since I was close to my ‘dream finish time’ of 1:35. When I got to the finishers chute, they called out everyone’s full name and location! It was pretty cool having your name announced like the elite athletes when they finish!
Time: 1:36:15! Only 1min 15 sec away!!! Victory for me and Electra (my cruiser)!
Post Race Fun
After I crossed the finish line, I was tired and needed water, but a lady stopped me so the volunteers could take the chip from my ankle (totally forgot about that, its $30 if you don’t return it!). I grabbed water and headed to some shade to stretch. Lo and behold Santa Cruz CORE was giving free 5min massages! I only had to wait 5min for someone ahead of me to finish, so I killed time by getting food.
Whole Foods sponsored the post-race food tent and they had a nice spread! Freshly made pancakes with syrup, slices of blueberry muffins, pumpkin bread (which I regret getting since it had a very bitter aftertaste, too much allspice I think), orange juice, bananas, and make-your-own trail mix! Mine consisted of choco chips, almond chunks, cashews and pretzels! My stomach didn’t feel like pancakes.
Time to get my massage! The lady went over 5 min, so I tipped her what little cash I had (couple bucks). After the massage, I stretched a bit more and then checked the posted results.
The printout ranking system was confusing since I ended up thinking I did WAY better overall (out of 110 participants) than in reality when they were finally posted online. But I DID place 4th in my age group! Had I been 5 minutes faster, I would have placed third and won a box of Luna bars! But hey, I still finished before lots of other competitors WITH MY BEACH CRUISER! My Electra 7speed is now a certified bada$$ bike.
It was getting hotter and I was feeling icky in my sweaty, sandy race attire, so I headed back to the transition zone (~5 min walk from finish area) to grab my stuff. I still wanted to look around, so I went back to the finish line, changed, and wiped myself down with face wipes and stretched again on my towel. Have I mentioned how much I love bringing a towel to sit on after events to stretch? Its a must! Before I donned my compression socks (another post race must) I used the handy beach showers to douse my legs (I was now in short shorts) in cold water for a mock ice bath. It felt SO NICE in the heat!
Oh, and check out the bling! They give out little pendant necklaces instead of large medals, how cute is that? Plus I LOVE the shirt material, its a polyester/spandex blend, because its so soft/yummy feeling to wear. So I decided to get another shirt from the official Mermaid Apparel store (good prices and super cute designs).
Overall I’m VERY glad I decided to participate in this duathlon since it is a smaller event, efficiently run, has nice bling/shirts, offers a decent post-race food spread, and has lots of people to cheer you (a mermaid athlete) along the runs and through the finish. This is a wonderful race for new duathloners (like me) and I highly recommend it!!! I would love the opportunity to do this race again, but on a road bike (when I can afford one post grad school) to crush my cruiser PR 🙂 My goal for that future race would be to place within my age group! Generally speaking, I really want to do more duathlons in the future 🙂
P.S. Even though I don’t have a proper road bike or bike shoes, I wanted to do this race on my junky old cruiser just to prove that if you really want to get out there and try something new using what you already own, YOU CAN! And you can still do well! Who knew I’d place 4th in my age group? Don’t get me wrong, I was TOTALLY at a disadvantage being on a cruiser and having to work harder just to keep up (hills especially), but I had so much fun!! One lady (jokingly) asked to ride in my basket (how fun would it have been to carry a stuffed dog in there?). Note: This race allowed road, mountain, hybrids and cruisers (bikes with gears essentially, just not tandem or recliners), but its always good to check race rules before pulling a cruiser stunt like me 🙂
Thank you Mermaid Series for a wonderful experience! Thank you volunteers/police officers for giving us bikers the right of way and for also supporting us athletes! And thank you sponsors, especially Whole Foods, for all the goodies you provided!
Would you ever do a ‘du’ on a cruiser?