Race Report: Two White Dogs duathlon (relay), Dallas, Texas, USA

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Brian Baresch, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. My sweetie Nora has gotten interested in bicycling lately, so I
    suggested we enter a duathlon relay as a way for us to participate in
    a race together. The Two White Dogs is 2 miles-9.3 miles-2 miles, one
    of several that an organizer puts on at White Rock Lake in Dallas. I
    haven't done a multisport event in years and never did a relay. This
    was Nora's first race ever.

    We got there in plenty of time and got Nora's bike situated in the
    transition area. She was a bit self-conscious at having an inexpensive
    trail bike among the high-dollar machines the experienced athletes
    were wheeling in, but I think I managed to reassure her. Our only goal
    was to finish with a reasonable result. We weren't sure how many mixed
    (M-F) teams would be there. The weather was perfect for early August
    -- low 70s, overcast, no wind, tolerable humidity.

    The runners lined up in a considerable crowd (they had a 5K at the
    same time), the director reiterated the rules, and we were off. I was
    shooting for 12:15-12:30 for my first leg. Passed the helpfully marked
    half-mile in 3:00 flat, a bit fast but not too bad. Then I started
    passing people. At the turnaround the 5K runners continued on and we
    headed back. I didn't think to count how many were ahead of me, since
    it didn't make a lot of difference anyway. Hit the mile in 6:08. I was
    starting to feel the effect of the opening sprint, but I still managed
    to pass some folks, and got back in 12:24. Tagged Nora, and off she
    went. She later told me that I was about the 5th runner to come in.

    I figured the loop around the lake would take Nora about 40 minutes,
    so I did a short cooldown jog, got some water, and hit the porta-john
    again. After about 20 minutes the lead duathletes came in from the
    bike leg, three all bunched together. At 32 minutes I started watching
    up the road (you never know how someone will do their first time out),
    and the other relay runners gathered near the transition entrance. I
    stepped out on the road to do some strides, and got to see the leaders
    come in to the finish. It was pretty close!

    I tried to keep track of which of the runners were on coed teams but
    missed several of the handoffs. I did see a man ride in and tag a
    woman, and about a minute later Nora rode in, looking beat after 41
    minutes and change of hard riding -- pretty good! I was pretty sure I
    could catch the woman in front of me, and in fact she was mostly
    jogging so there was no contest. I was slower on this leg, hitting the
    half in 3:15 or so; it was hard to know how much to put out. I was
    passing people right and left who had done the first run plus the bike
    leg. As the turnaround approached I saw a woman coming back who'd been
    in the relay area. I thought it'd be good to try to reel her in
    because she might be in my division. OK, around the turnaround (6:30
    -- ugh) and back. Charrrge! The third half-mile was 3:15 again, but
    then I put on a bit of a sprint, came around a corner and saw the
    finish line and my target runner within striking distance. I imagined
    I was doing a speed interval on the track and really put it out there
    -- caught her and another guy with about 75 meters to go, and they
    nicely stayed caught. Second leg 12:46, overall watch time 1:07:03.
    Woo hoo!

    Turned out that woman *was* on a mixed relay team, and we were second
    out of 6 teams by 2 seconds. Nora's pretty excited about her first
    race and her first medal. I told her, not many people have hardware
    from every race they've been in!

    Nora said she went out pretty fast and encountered a bunch of
    unexpected hills in the first couple of miles, and she was breathing
    hard and felt burning in her legs, but after a couple more miles she
    knew she'd be able to maintain a good pace to the end. Thanks to her
    relative inexperience and getting started with a bunch of fast folks
    behind her, she saw a *lot* of people pass her, and that was kind of
    dispiriting, but she realizes she did come in ahead of a lot of folks,
    too. And she's even going to think about getting a faster bike and
    working out more. :)

    Post-race food was bananas, apples, sport drink and cans of soda and
    lemonade. Traffic control for the parts I saw was so-so (parts of the
    roads were open to traffic, though there's never much in that area).
    The course was reasonably well marked, though Nora said that at one
    point she wasn't sure she was on the course.

    Three stars. Brian Bob says check it out.

    --
    Brian P. Baresch
    Fort Worth, Texas, USA
    Professional editing and proofreading

    If you're going through hell, keep going. --Winston Churchill
     
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  2. M1ahearn

    M1ahearn Guest

    >> Nora said she went out pretty fast and encountered a bunch of unexpected
    hills in the first couple of miles, and she was breathing hard and felt burning
    in her legs, but after a couple more miles she knew she'd be able to maintain a
    good pace to the end. <<

    Were they on the trail or on the road, and did they start to the north or
    the south? I'm thinking the road along the eastern shore of the lake is flat
    but the trail - especially around the Bath House - is hilly. If they were on
    the road and heading north, though, then I'm guessing the hill was heading up
    to Mockingbird.
    In any case, congratulations on a great race.

    Mike
     
  3. > Were they on the trail or on the road, and did they start to the north or
    >the south? I'm thinking the road along the eastern shore of the lake is flat
    >but the trail - especially around the Bath House - is hilly. If they were on
    >the road and heading north, though, then I'm guessing the hill was heading up
    >to Mockingbird.
    > In any case, congratulations on a great race.


    Thanks, Mike!

    I'm pretty sure the course was on the road, not the trail, but I
    didn't ask. It went south from the Bath House. Nora's usual biking
    route starts out with steep downhills and is flat for a while
    thereafter, so some gentle hills may have seemed bigger than they
    might have otherwise. Dunno. At any rate, for a first race she did
    fine, IMHO.

    --
    Brian P. Baresch
    Fort Worth, Texas, USA
    Professional editing and proofreading

    If you're going through hell, keep going. --Winston Churchill
     
  4. M1ahearn

    M1ahearn Guest

    >> I'm pretty sure the course was on the road, not the trail, but I didn't
    ask. It went south from the Bath House. Nora's usual biking route starts out
    with steep downhills and is flat for a while thereafter, so some gentle hills
    may have seemed bigger than they might have otherwise. Dunno. At any rate, for
    a first race she did fine, IMHO. <<

    That's pretty flat initially, I think - there's kind of an incline near
    the ranger station north of Winfrey Point but that's all I can think of real
    early. Garland Road has a noticeable incline, though, and if they sent them up
    the newer concrete trail (I doubt they sent them over the dam - it's too narrow
    - but that would be real tough) that starts off steep and then goes on for a
    while after getting less steep. Then, of course, the west side is kind of
    rolling but once you hit Mockingbird it gets a lot of easier.
    I may have been confused by the difference between biking and running.
    Running, even though it's flat, it's gonna take you some time to get down to
    Garland Road. On a bike I could see that section being virtually unnoticeable.

    Mike
     
  5. Dot

    Dot Guest

    Brian Baresch wrote:
    >
    > We got there in plenty of time and got Nora's bike situated in the
    > transition area. She was a bit self-conscious at having an inexpensive
    > trail bike among the high-dollar machines the experienced athletes
    > were wheeling in


    There's an easy solution to that: do a trail duathlon!

    >
    > Nora said she went out pretty fast and encountered a bunch of
    > unexpected hills in the first couple of miles,


    and each can look like Everest if you've never been on the course before
    and don't know where the hills are


    >Thanks to her
    > relative inexperience and getting started with a bunch of fast folks
    > behind her, she saw a *lot* of people pass her, and that was kind of
    > dispiriting,


    another thing with duathlons, at least trail duathlons here, is that
    some people are substantially better bikers than runners or vice versa
    so the part right after transition may have a lot of passing


    >but she realizes she did come in ahead of a lot of folks,
    > too. And she's even going to think about getting a faster bike and
    > working out more. :)


    Good for her!

    Sounds like a fun time was had by all. Congratulations!

    Dot
     
  6. >> She was a bit self-conscious at having an inexpensive
    >> trail bike among the high-dollar machines the experienced athletes
    >> were wheeling in

    >
    >There's an easy solution to that: do a trail duathlon!


    Same problem! All those high-dollar trail bikes ... but it's a decent
    idea. I'll poke around.

    >and each can look like Everest if you've never been on the course before
    >and don't know where the hills are


    We'd been on the course before -- she rode, I ran, a week or so
    before, but we weren't sure which way the course would circle the lake
    so we ended up doing it backwards. Looks a lot different that way!

    >another thing with duathlons, at least trail duathlons here, is that
    >some people are substantially better bikers than runners or vice versa
    >so the part right after transition may have a lot of passing


    Yep, that's what was happening. Nora wasn't so discouraged as not to
    want to do another one sometime soon.

    >Sounds like a fun time was had by all. Congratulations!


    Thanks, Dot! We had a blast.

    --
    Brian P. Baresch
    Fort Worth, Texas, USA
    Professional editing and proofreading

    If you're going through hell, keep going. --Winston Churchill
     
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