Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Race Results: Iron Mountain Triathlon/Duathlon Stage Event - Arkadelphia, Arkansas

DeGray Lake, site of the swim.

The Iron Mountain Multisport Stage Race is a unique new concept in racing and grabbed my attention and interest. On Saturday (4/24) evening there was a Sprint Triathlon event. A little over 12-hours later on Sunday (4/25) was the duathlon. Together they became the Iron Mountain stage race.

Iron Mountain Sprint Triathlon consisted of a 400 Yard Swim/13.5 mile Bike/2.9 mile Run.

Overall Results
AG Results

The Iron Mountain Sprint Duathlon consisted of a 2.5 mile Run/13.5 mile Bike/2.5 mile Run.

Overall Results
AG Results

Day One - Triathlon; 5PM start

Swim - 400-yds
Time - 6:44.6
Overall Rank - 10th (78 total)
AG (45-49) Rank - 1st (3 total)

This was the first time I was able to swim in the De Soto T1 Water Rover Triathlon Wetsuit. And I loved it. I can't rave enough about it. To be simply could not drown in this suit if you wanted to.

During warmups the suit felt weird at first, as if the top wanted to ride up. But De Soto warns you of that feeling and states the top simply cannot ride up. And they are right. Next, I tried to drown myself. Seriously, I purposely tried to sink. And each time I just bobbed back to the surface like a fishing bobber. 10mm rubber simply is a wonderful thing.

The winds were cooking. stated the winds were 20 MPH gusting to 30 MPH but I would put them more at having been in the 18-20 MPH range. Trust me, I've been riding in those winds all spring here in the Tundra. But the waves were moderately bad enough that the course was changed from one of the lakes bays to another bay just next door. The race director, Fred Phillips, simply did not want people battered on the rocks as they came out of the water such was the strength of the white caps.

So, we swam cross-wind. It was fine for me. I never felt any anxiety as I did last year. And if I can swim in those white caps I can certainly have confidence for the rest of the season. I did experience something new, however. One of the safety boats had a diesel engine. So I got to taste and smell diesel as I swam along. A few people mentioned afterwards that the diesel made them somewhat sick.

T1 Time - 2:19.4

It was nearly 400-yds to the transition area once leaving the swim. But my T1 time was bad. I had trouble with the zipper on the upper of the Water Rover. The cord is pulled upward and is too short for me to grab and then contort my arm to keep a grip and pull up AND over.

So, I will either need to rig up a longer cord or practice. Yes, I broke cardinal rule #78...never use race day to try out new equipment.

Bike - 13.54 miles
Time - 38:43.5 (20.9 MPH)
Overall Rank - 8th (78 total)
AG (45-49) Rank - 1st (3 total)

If you know me, you already know I hate to climb. And that's something I have challenged myself to improve on during the 2010 season. I'm riding the big hills out at Baker Park almost every day this spring....and it helped in this event. As there were two climbs that had each rider downshifting like a mad man.

The first hit you right out of T1. No problem. I was out of the saddle and handled and kept the RPMs up. The other was at the end of the turn-around on the out-and-back course. I was able to stay seated for that one.

I really didn't know how I would fair on this hilly of a course, but I'll take the result. I had a slight right calf cramp with less than a mile to go and had to back off a bit and work that out.

The wind wasn't that bad as the road is lined on both sides by deep forest. The only open areas were going over the spillway....nasty crosswind...and at the turn-around due to a clear cut of trees. Many people mentioned here that the wind was bad enough to get out of the aero's and onto the cow horns. Lot's of, "Man, I almost bit it when a gust of wind hit," comments post race.

I wanted 22 MPH average, but after seeing the course I was very happy with my result.

T2 Time - 1:17.7

My only problem here was that when I slipped into one of the Nike LunaRacer flats and the insole curled up on me. So I removed and tried again...still curled. So I said, 'what the hell' and ran off. Thanks to Adam Beston for suggesting double sided tape to prevent this from happening again.

Run - 2.9 miles
Time - 19:21.2 (6:40 per mile)
Overall Rank - 8th (78 total)
AG (45-49) Rank - 1st (3 total)

This was suppose to be a 2.5 mile run but the race director admitted the measurement was off so we all suffered for a wee bit more. The right calf nagged for just a few hundred yards and then went away. The run was out-and-back and was uphill going out. I actually enjoyed it. You can see the start of the climb here:

I have to say, the smell of a pine forest while running was very nice. That's not something you get to experience every day in the Tundra.

Time - 1:08.26.5
Overall Rank - 8th (78 total)
AG (45-49) Rank - 1st (3 total)

If there was one thing I forgot to pack on the trip it was the Original Body Stick. I really could have used it Saturday night to work out some soreness and knots.

Day Two - Duathlon; 9AM start

Run One - 2.5 miles
Time - 16:16.9 (6:30 per mile)
Overall Rank - 7th (46 total)
AG (45-49) Rank - 1st (2 total)

Yes, I was stiff from the previous evening's triathlon but it wasn't too bad once underway. You could tell the competitors who were doing both from those who had fresh legs. We 'doubles' were all just a wee bit slower to get going.

My split at one mile was 6:16 so I was on pace for the 6:19 per mile I wanted. But the legs were just a bit gassed and I knew I had another run left, so I eased a bit and let one person pass me with a friendly wave.

T1 Time - 0:50.6

This year, I'm choosing to put my bike shoes on in transition and not locked into the bike. I felt like I gained no advantage while experimenting with this last year. And with the steep climb immediately out of T1, it just made no sense.

Bike - 13.54 miles
Time - 40:10.6 (20.2 MPH)
Overall Rank - 6th (46 total)
AG (45-49) Rank - 1st (2 total)

OK. This hurt. I never really got going. I went in wanting to improve on the previous days time. But it just never materialized.

T2 Time - 0:48.4

Loved it when I came in and the race director was yelling, "C'mon Minnesota! Get it going!"

Run Two - 2.5 miles
Time - 17:22.0 (6:57 per mile)
Overall Rank - 7th (46 total)
AG (45-49) Rank - 1st (2 total)

Here's where I was most happy. My legs were dead and I still was able to go under 7 minutes per mile on the second day of a very long weekend. Last year with my Achilles injury and very low mileage I was not able to pop under 7 minutes until August. I know I should be going under 7 minutes in any tri-du and to have done this now in three runs over the past weekend (6:40, 6:30, 6:57) I will now turn my attention to getting the runs consistently into the low 6's.

Time - 1:15.28.6
Overall Rank - 7th (46 total)
AG (45-49) Rank - 1st (2 total)

There has yet to be official results for the combined events. I believe there were at least eight to twelve total die-hards that did both events. I finished fourth and won the overall Masters title.

Myself and Grand Masters champion Coak Matthews.

I loved the concept of this challenge and would love to see a race director here in the Tundra give it a go....a 2-day combined stage event with a tri the first day and a du the second. Or the other way around. One had to use strategy while racing. And have a little luck and guts to survive knowing that at the end of the first day, you still had to show up again the next day.

I recommend this event to anyone wanting to get in two USAT sanctioned events in one weekend!


Adam Beston said...

The Triple T sounds like an event on your future (you can team it too, but the half section is slow). The course looks awesome. Glad you mentioned the pine smell, I thought that before I saw the comment. Good picture. Great results. Those run times come down so slow after the 6:30 mark don't they, balancing the bike and that speed gets tougher and tougher.

MHarks said...

Nice dude, those hills can be a beast, you oughta come back down for the end of the year oly/sprint combo

Brian said...

@ Adam - I know what you mean about the run. I tend to think I was still gassed from the tri the day before. I should have been 6:20 or faster on the first du run and still 6:40ish on the 2nd. But I'll take it and look at it as positive outcome compared to last year at this time. Something to work on!

@Matt - Yeah, I wasn't sure what to expect. Two of the climbs were bad, but more due to their position (right out of T1 and at the turnaround) than the actual grade. I doubt I return this year as I want to hit some other late season stuff possibly in OK or KA as I will be looking for a USAT du.