With a September heat wave and post-Ironman angst, I signed up for the Dousman Duathlon, a 2 mile run, 20.5 mile bike, and another 2 mile run. I toyed with the idea of signing up in the Athena division (meaning weight of 165+) but after looking at results from last year I decided against it and went with age group. The 35-39 age group is FAST, and I’m like, world’s okay-est multisport athlete who tries to place in small events.
We started off in age group waves, so when the gun went off I was well aware of the four girls sprinting in front of me. I sprinted behind, then we hit an uneven rocky patch of path where I lost two placements. Dang. At mile marker one I felt myself fall apart and surrender to my post-Ironman fatigued legs. With no Garmin to give me my pace, I just ran strong.
The bike course was a delight. Flat course, mini rollers, wheeeeeee!! I had so much fun riding at 20+ mph! A few false flats got me, but it was my strongest ride in weeks. And those smooth, buttery roads were such a treat. I wished we could move the Ironman WI bike course to Dousman, maybe just do this course 5 times? Ha. No, but really.
On the second run my legs were just done, plus it was 86 degrees at this point. Ouch. It was rough. I even had to stop and walk twice. Running towards the final stretch my friend Christina ran alongside me and whispered “Go get that girl ahead of you!” to which I responded with a giant LOL. We later learned that the girl ahead of me was in the 25-29 age group, so whew!
I finished, I guzzled some ice cold water, got a sweaty hug from my friend Natasha who placed first in her age group! I knew it wasn’t my day for an award but stuck around to cheer for those who did place. They even got to stand on boxes, which is becoming rarer in events. One of my silly goals is to stand on a box. Had I signed up as an Athena I would have placed second!
Is there an etiquette in signing up in the Athena or Clydesdale division? I thought I was doing the right thing by not racing Athena, I don’t want a competitive advantage. I want to race fair and square. I certainly did have a fair and competitive race in the 35-39 division, no doubt about that!
I’d like to hear other opinions on this topic!