I am back!! Last Sunday I completed the Prospect Park Duathlon in Brooklyn NY. This duathlon has several distances to choose from, but I went with the Classic Distance. Due to construction they had to lengthen the course so the race ended up being a 3.8 mile run, 14.2 mile bike, and then a 3.9 mile run.
What do you get your family for Christmas? Last Christmas I gave my brother-in-law Mike entry into this event as his gift. Not a conventional gift but he was happy as an early season race of this length forces you to get motivated. After a long winter of training I wanted to see the results of our training.
This was my first multi-sport race since I completed the Ironman in September 2012. I have not written many blog posts this winter but I have been training hard for the last 3 months. Due to the terrible winter we have had and my schedule, all of my rides and many of my runs have been indoors. Training indoors has definitely reduced my training volume but I hoped that an increase in intensity could compensate for some of that reduced mileage.
The entire course is held on a traffic free 3.75 mile loop inside Prospect Park. The race starts and finishes by running this loop (with a short additional run to transition) and then the bike covers 4 laps of the same loop. Half of the loop is flat to downhill and the other half is rolling with one tough hill that gets progressively harder with each loop. I would have taken video but by the end of the race there were so many walkers/runners/cyclists going around the circle it would have been impossible to film. This loop is very popular with local residents. This creates some minor issues as you are racing alongside people that are not racing. Several times I had to slow down to avoid packs of runners or walkers. Not a huge problem but something to be aware of when competing in this event.
The race started with a 3.8 mile run. I ran a controlled pace keeping in mind this was not a road race and I needed to keep my pace in check. I ran a solid 6:38 pace for the loop and then headed out on the bike.
Now it is always interesting when you haven't ridden outdoors since Labor Day and your first ride is a race. I didn't even get a chance to warm-up on the bike. My first loop was tentative but I got progressively faster with each loop. I ended up with an 18.6 MPH average. Not that fast but the hill on each loop did knock down my average speed. I should have done better but I am not unhappy with my first race performance.
I have been training with my brother-in-law Mike all winter and he ended up beating me by 45 seconds on the bike leg. I will get him next time. We are not competitive for the run portions but are usually close on the bike splits. I always joke and say he sandbags his first run just to beat my bike split. Either way this is added motivation to make sure I hammer my next ride.
The second run was 3.9 miles and I was pleasantly surprised my legs did not blow up. I really haven't done any brick workouts so I was interested to see how my legs would respond. I ended up with 7:38 pace for the second loop. One minute difference per mile first run compared with the second run. Not terrible but again plenty of room for improvement.
I ended up finishing in 1:44:33 25th overall and 6th in my age group. Very happy with my first race of the season! My brother in law finished in just under two hours and also had a good race. Definitely gives some validation to all of our hard work this winter.
One of the great things about racing in NYC is that there is plenty to do after the race. We had a great time at several of the fine establishments in the city. There seems to be a bar or restaurant everywhere you look. We did a little sightseeing and relaxing.
On Sunday I woke up and felt fine with minimal soreness. I actually ran a nice and smooth 6 miles in Central Park to complete my trip. Overall a nice weekend and a great way to start my racing season! Next race in two weeks.