Today I participated in my first duathlon, consisting of running and biking.  My hats go off to Team Ortho Foundation, who does a fabulous job coordinating their events.  This one had about 3,000 + runners/bikers and it seemed to go off without a hitch.

The race consisted of a 3.1 run, 18 mile bike and 3.1 run  – 24.2 miles.  Not quite a full marathon, but much easier on the body!  I was not sure what to expect and other than taking what seemed like forever to actually get started, it was a fun morning.  I did not expect a fast race – I had a very stressful and emotional week in Nebraska dealing with my dad.  But given all that I went through just getting there this morning, I am pleased with my time.

I arrived home last night around 5 to a crew finishing up painting the house.  It was hard to come home to a houseful of people and have a race to get ready for.  Most everything seemed to go wrong last night – couldn’t get my bike tires pumped up, couldn’t find my helmet, couldn’t find the clothes I wanted and on and on it went.  Finally I was very close to pulling out of the race, when one of Courtney’s friends decided to just pray that things would turn around – and they did.  She also prayed that I would sleep well – which hardly ever happens the night before a race!  I slept very well and was ready to roll at  5:30 AM!

Caleb and I left the house around 6:15 – Gary drove us in, we got our bikes on the rack in the right places and hung out for about an hour waiting for the race to start.  Runners were sent out on the course in waves and Caleb was in Wave 1 – the elite runners and relay runners.  We have no idea how the decision was made on who was in each wave and he was a bit nervous.  I was in wave 7 and it seemed like it took forever to get started.  Caleb was already done with the 3.1 run and on his bike before I even got on the course!

My biggest surprise was how many people look at feet!  This was my first race with my barefoot running shoes and I got asked by several people how I liked them and how long it took to transition, etc..  I didn’t mind answering those questions while waiting to start the race – but on the course while running was a different story.

The first section of the race, the 3.1 run went by rather quickly and the transition from running to biking was smooth.  The temps were fairly mild and the bike ride was challenging, but fun.  The bike route for the most part was similar to the Minneapolis Marathon course.  The hills were much easier on the bike today than on foot a few months ago. The transition from biking to running also went well and after getting a sports gel down with some water, I was good to go.  Caleb ran part of the last 3.1 mile run with me – it was good to have him there (he was done and had been patiently waiting for me to finish.  The last 2 miles were the hardest to me as the emotions of the week caught up with me on the course.  I didn’t expect to have any “kick” left at the end and was able to finish strong.

My times were as follows;

3.1 run – 29.50
Transition 1 – 1;50
Bike – 1:18
Transition 2 – 2:16
3.1 run – 35 minutes
Total Time;  2:22

Caleb however had a phenomenal  race.  He finished in 1:50 and won his age division.

All in all – a great morning spent with a large group of athletes on a beautiful course and finishing well.  Thankful to have it behind me and not on to the  next race in October!

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