Duathlon National Championships 2012

This race was seriously top-notch. Despite not getting much more than 500 participants, while the Triathlon National Championship attracts over 1600, this event still is phenomenal. From the swag – tech t-shirts and hats NOT covered in sponsor logos – to the race numbers (see picture below), to the TriTats, to the amazing race facility… you get the point!

On race day, I finally met Kim! I know her from a mentor group over on Beginner Triathlete, and she’s a Tucson Tri Girl! …but I didn’t get a picture, oh well!

After a warm-up jog to and from the port-a-potties – which were plentiful! – I was ready to race. I lined up with Kim near the back, and we were off!


All I wanted to do was average 8:XX pace. I started running, and my wave, women under 50, took off! There were some FAST ladies here. Kim was ahead of me. I looked at my watch and saw 7:20. I backed off, and looked behind me. There were maybe 10 runners behind me. Crazy fast! I made it to the first turnaround pretty quickly, ran back past the start line, and headed to the second turn-around. It seemed pretty long, but before I knew it, I was climbing the infamous hill up into transition. It clmbs 100 ft in the last half mile. It isn’t huge, but it feels like it.

T1 was decent, but I really need to do a few B/R/B/R/B/R/B type workouts. I just don’t function that well in race mode yet. Anyone want to volunteer to guard gear in a parking lot for me? I ran out with my shoes on because of the sharp turn at the Bike Out.

Got out of transition, and started pedaling hard. Soon, I checked my GPS. I was going 15 miles per hour, and I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere despite trying very hard. Eventually, the road flattened and I realized that I was climbing the whole time… that was why I was going slow!  So, I pushed. I passed Kim, I hit the turnaround and I got tired. Kim passed me. I reminded myself that my plan was to hammer as hard as I could. I thoroughly enjoyed the long downhill back to transition! I almost wiped out at the second turnaround back by transition. I told myself that the race was half over and I needed to get moving!

I pushed the up-hills and I pushed the downhills. I realized that I was doing those well, but I subconsciously slacked on the flats. So, I made the effort to try even harder on the flats. I passed Kim again, and came into transition a little ahead of her.

My average on the bike was 18.5mph. I’m impressed. I really think that in the short amount of time I’ve been living in Tucson, I’ve had a biking breakthrough.

T2 was quick, but I did sit down to put my shoes on. When I try to put shoes on when my legs are already fatigued, I tend to cramp up in my calves. Sitting down solved this problem!

My plan for the second run was just to give it everything I had left… and it wasn’t much. I ran extra hard on the downhills, knowing that the uphills would slow me down. I did have to remind myself that it was just a 5k left! I didn’t walk up the hill, even though I really wanted to. I could barely breathe coming up to the finish line. My throat felt closed up.

For the first time, I was asked if I needed medical help at the end. I promised I was ok and just needed to catch my breath. I walked around a bit, and then headed home.

I went back for awards and claimed my spot at Worlds!

The awards ceremony was worth attending. It was informative, fun, and inspiring! There were standing ovations for the para-triathletes as well as the 88 year old finisher! There were awards for fastest transition and slowest! For the slowest, they gave out pies and a lawn chair 🙂

All around, it was a great event, and I’m happy with my performance:


4 responses to “Duathlon National Championships 2012

  1. Congrats on qualifying!!

  2. Awesome job! I always get cramps in T2, maybe I should sit down as well!

  3. No joke about the swag. The goodie bag at Collegiate Nats was arguably the best part of the whole weekend! Congrats on the race!!

  4. That second run was awesome after pushing the bike so hard. Good job!

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