Spirit of Jasper Duathlon. A.K.A. Plan B

This past Saturday I rolled out of bed early and headed down to Jasper Indiana for the Spirit of Jasper Duathlon.  This was the weekend I had planned to race the Rev3 Knoxville Triathlon, but the North High School Senior Prom sort of got in the way.  Jared is a senior this year and so his plans for the prom preempted my travel plans for the weekend.  Well after a losing argument with Sherrie!  Thankfully Rev3 rolled my entry to next year, so very appreciative of that.

My last trip to Jasper was probably as a college student, so needless to say it has been a long-time.  I arrived in Jasper by 7 am, just as the transition area was opened.  This was a first-time event, with a 5k and a duathlon which consisted of a 5k run, 15 mile bike, and another 5k run.  The first three bikes in transition were all serious aero machines so I knew from the start the competition would be good.  As soon as I got in line to register Nick Waninger, a friend and pro-triathlete showed, so the competition just got way tougher.  A good friend Matt Bartsch who is a serious speedster was also racing which just goes to show this sport is never easy.  The depth of talent in this sport never ceases to amaze me.

We started the race with the 5k runners and duathletes all together.  The race turned out about a 50/50 split with about 66 in the 5k, and 70 in the duathlon.  The initial 5k was rolling smooth pavement into town and back.  Probably ran about a 7 minute pace or so, but didn’t wear a watch to check.  Just a rough guess I would say among the duathletes I was in 14th place or so.  All things considered it was a good start and I didn’t push too hard.  Years ago I would have run much faster, but when you hit 50, the run speed for me is without a doubt dropping. 

Once out on the bike and a real quick transition I moved up steadily.  Nice smooth roads, but a bit on the hilly side.  Nothing wrong with that though, a nice fair course for everyone in compete in.  They had a turnaround in the bike course, and it came right after a small downhill so I didn’t see it till I was going way to fast to make the turn.  I locked up the brakes, slide around and headed back.  I didn’t like losing the time, but no big deal really, just a nice adrenaline rush.  The way back to transition was fairly uneventful with no one else to catch in site.  Only excitement came on the last turn before transition when a minivan didn’t leave me any room to come by on the right.  So riding like a kamikaze like I always do I squeezed in anyway so as not to lose any time.  Minivans …

The second transition was really quick and I was out to repeat the last 5k.  Legs felt fairly good, and I had enough lead from the guys behind to not worry too much about them passing me back on the run.  Came in to the finish feeling good, and got 8th overall.  Nick and Matt had a good dual for first, but Nick is just way too fast for anyone to get to close to.  Fun watching them both at the front.

Well it was hard missing an A race at Rev3, but Jared an Bailey did make a sharp couple for the pictures.  Good looking kid, wonder where he gets it …

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