Race Report: Sanford and Sun (rain) sprint duathlon

I was way more sore than I would like to admit after a duathlon on Saturday.

On Aug. 8, I competed in my third duathlon–5K run, 20K bike and 5K run–the Sanford and Sun race in the lovely Sanford, Mich. It was raining, so that was fun (not really. On the bike).

Sanford and Sun 1

In 2013, I won the race, and returned this year as a much stronger cyclist hoping to get my title back. However, in 2013 I was focusing on shorter distances so the 5Ks were quite a bit easier.

Back to this year. Spoiler alert: the whole race was slower than in 2013.

We lined up and set off on the first 5K, which went pretty well. I had good competition with Lynn Sauve and Cindy Fink. My watch said 22:35 for the first 5K, but the official time was 23:08.

Post-race with  Cindy and Lynn.
Post-race with Cindy and Lynn.

My transitions were a bit sloppy. It started raining during the bike, just enough to slow me down. The bike was tough. I aimed to ride 20 miles per hour the whole way, but my average was 18 miles per hour. Regardless of the speed, it hurt. Many competitors had tough days out there, too, so I was in good company.

The second run was so horrible that I was proud. Running off the bike is hard on a good day. For the first mile, I felt like I was going to pass out. I pushed through, had a cup of water and felt a little better. The whole way, I had my eye on Cindy’s back and slowly chased her down. I caught her in the last mile to get second place.

The fun thing about small races is that I really get to race. Even though my runs and bike were slower than two years ago, it was a blast to really race.

The race was also a reminder of how far I’ve come in a decade. When I was in high school, I didn’t often push as hard as I could. My mental toughness wasn’t where it is today. But on Saturday, possibly passing out? I guess I’ll wake up in the med tent.

After the race, I hung out with some buddies from the Saginaw-Bay-Midland area. It was really nice to see them! I may live in southeast Michigan now, but mid- and Northern Michigan is home to me. Where the heart is and all that.

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