Minneapolis Duathlon – Relay with Chris!

About two months ago Chris and I signed up for the Minneapolis Duathlon Relay. It was set up so that I would run 3.1 miles then pass off the timing chip to Chris. Chris would bike an 18 mile out and back course and pass the timing chip off to me. I finished up with a 3.1 mile run.

Before I talk about the timing or anything I need to preface this post with a quick fact: We were not properly trained for a speedy race. My running has been slacking and we just put skinny tires onto my mountain bike last Wednesday. I guess the positive to this is that we can definitely PR next year! : )

Also keep in mind that Team Ortho (they put on the race) is having some issues with getting all of the race results posted. Some people say their times seem off, so the times I’ve posted may change. Or times seem pretty spot-on, so I think its all correct, but we will see! Hopefully Team Ortho gets this figured out – its pretty understandable, they had a lot going on. A grand total of about 6 variations of the race with about 15 start times. Of course this understanding is coming from someone who has relatively accurate times posted online right now!

Since the race was in Minneapolis and we had a wedding to go to Saturday night it was another insanely early Sunday morning. The alarm went off at 4:07am. I got my butt out of bed at 4:17am. It was an early, not so fun morning. After some Kix and Cheerios we were out the door and on our way by 5am. I drove so Chris napped most of the drive there. He woke up when we got into Minneapolis and I was verbally abusing Gina the GPS because she lied to me! We made though!

We pre-paid for parking because the information on the race website said “Hennepin Parking LOT“. I wanted a parking lot because of the bike rack. Turns out it was a parking ramp. This worked out alright, but at the end of the race we found we were locked out of the parking ramp. There was some definite miscommunication going on there!

Anywho, we got our packets picked up and our bike checked into the transition area. We headed back to the car for last minute snacks and to ditch our sweats. Everything actually timed out very well, by the time we got back to the race area it was just about race time.

Chris and I before the race...in the parking garage! My camera is strategically propped up on my car!

Leg 1: Heidi’s 3.1 Mile Run – 28:54
I hooked up with Wave 2 got ready to run! My first leg of the race started at about 8:04am. And I just want to say…I started out my first race ever with the Elite Women Wave! My first and probably my last! The Elite Women are best described as the people racing for money – the hardcore, super fast runners! No, I wasn’t in the wrong Wave – the Relay runners started with the Elite runners. Wave 1 was Elite Men & Relay, Wave 2 was Elite Women & Relay, and Wave 3 was the “Fast Wave”. The waves were exactly 2 minutes apart. Once the “Fast Wave” started it only took the fast men about 3 minutes to pass the “average” relay runners. They were flying! I was just happy to stick ahead (or at least with) of the other relay runners!

Transition 1: Heidi’s Run to Chris’s Bike – 1:06
I finished my first 5K/3.1 mile run with a time of 28:54 which put me at an average pace of 9:19. That is pretty darn awesome considering my past “training” runs! My first mile was at 9:12 and I got scared! That seemed fast since I was prepared for closer to a pace of 10:00, but I was feeling good so I stuck with it!

I got into the transition area and started searching for Chris. We traded off the camera and he was headed out. I jumped over a mini fence to get to the start of the race course. The bikers were flying by so I only got on photo and its blurry, but we can pretend Chris is super fast!

Supah fast Chris...!

Leg 2: Chris’s 18 Mile Bike – 1:07:04
Prior to this race Chris’s longest distance on a bike was about 16 miles and that was on knobby mountain bike tires. For that ride the pace was about 13mph. Based on that the 18 mile ride would take about 75-90 minutes. Well, we put skinny tires on my bike last Wednesday and that, combined with race adrenaline, made a big difference! He finished his bike leg in 1:07 which was an average pace of just over 16mph! Whoo hoo! I was pumped! Chris said it was the extra mud on the bike that slowed him down…

Oxymoron-eske: Muddy mountain bike & skinny road tires!

I did get some photos of Chris coming into the transition area. I was standing by the dismount area with my camera and got some fun shots. Then I realized that I needed to be in the transition area when he got there to trade off the timing chip! I jumped the same fence I climbed over earlier and was ready to go!

Chris bringing the bike into transition!

He said his legs felt like solid bricks here! ; )

Transition 2: Chris’s Bike to Heidi’s Run – 2:19
I climbed the fence and handed off the camera to Chris. I strapped the ankle bracelet onto my leg and was off. This transition was extra long because I got to run the full length of the parking lot. And because I was all excited and wanted to talk to Chris about his leg of the race!

Leg 3: Heidi’s 3.1 Mile Run – 30:08
I stopped for some water before I got out of the transition area – it was getting hot out! Then I was off again. I don’t know what it was (maybe the standing around for an hour without any good stretching?) but I was feeling slow. Oh, and I’m pretty sure the temperature went up 10 degrees while Chris was biking! It was hot out and everything that was shady during my first leg was now in full sun – ew! My pace was slower, but still under 10:00 minute miles! Go me! My second leg clocked in at 30:08, an average pace of 9:43. My fist mile was right at 9:37, so I think I did pretty darn good!

I got crossed the finish line and Chris was right there – he actually slipped through some barricades to walk through the finish corral with me! He did get one photo of me coming into the finish though!

Here I come! See...it was crazy sunny, and hot!

We grabbed some treats and got a few more “whoo hoo, we are finishers!” photos before heading to the car!

Right after I finished up my leg! More proof of the scorching sun!

After the race, with the bike!

It was when we got back to the parking ramp that we realized we were essentially locked out. Not fun. We had to take our bike up an elevator to get to our car. That wasn’t the biggest issue, or at least not my biggest issue. I was upset that there was no mention of this – oh well, we made it to our car and back home without much trouble!

We are each officially 1/2 duathlete! How cool is that! Chris got his first medal and yes, he wore it all the way home!

Our medals and timing chip!

Our First Duathlon Relay Results:
Heidi’s 3.1 Mile Run – 28:54, pace of 9:19 MPM
Transition 1 – 1:06
Chris’s 19 Mile Bike – 1:07:04, pace of 16.01 MPH
Transition 2 – 2:19
Heidi’s 3.1 Mile Run – 30:08, pace of 9:43 MPM

Obviously we did not put a lot of focus on our transitions – some people were transitioning in under 1 minute. Insane. We had a lot of fun but as soon as we finished eating lunch we took a nice long afternoon nap! It is about 9:30pm and I’m ready for bed again!


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