Saturday, March 29, 2008

Black Locust Race Report

I was on the fence about going down to Springfield for the Black Locust Off-Road Duathlon. I could stay here and race the 3/6 hour (which could have been postponed again) or stick to my original plan I laid out in January and head down for my first multi-sport event of 2008. It came down to who do you support. The promoter who has worked his tail off to create an event that is sorely needed in the Midwest(i.e. an off-road multi-sport event) or the event that moved their event on top of his? Well I made a great decision and headed down South. I had a blast racing and riding some new trails. I did miss racing with my Cow Town teammates (who by the way kicked butt today at Spoke Pony), but I just love racing off-road multi-sport events.

Today's race went very well for me. First up was a 4 mile off-road run. When I say off-road run I mean it. We had to navigate 3 knee deep stream crossings (one was near waist deep) and had to cross this cool wooden swing bridge. There was a good size field of about 45 racers and I didn't want to get stuck behind too many of them so I tried my best to stay up front. I actually did really well despite the recent running setbacks that I have encountered. During the run we came up on the first really muddy section of trail that the race director warned us about. It was some really nasty stuff about ankle deep due to all the recent rains that this area of the country had received. Funny thing is I tip toed through the stuff not wanting to have my shoes get sucked off my feet when not 50 yards later the first water crossing comes up and I take a outside line trying to pass someone. That was a mistake because I went off the main rocky ledge and was waist deep thinking I might just need my swimming goggles. I pushed hard to keep up, but after about 2 miles the leaders were out of sight. I kept telling my self to push it and did end up bringing two runners back and ended up in 7th place after the run. I was however about 6 minutes out of the lead.

After a quick transition, where I actually made up two spots, I hit the bike leg hoping to have a good bike leg. For the first two miles I didn't see anyone and at one point thought I had gone off-course. Finally I saw someone and this gave me some more motivation to hurt some and picked up the pace. One good thing about multi-sport events is the racers are really nice and will let you by without too much trouble. I was soon up to 2nd place overall, but still about 3 min out of the lead. Carolynn was out on the course and gave me a lot of encouragement to try to bridge up. I put the hammer down the last last and got to within 45 seconds of the lead. I needed about another 2 more miles of the slick rocky sections to have won this event. Jim chose to use mainly easy trails, which I understand since this is a multi-sport event. On the day I won my age-group, set the fastest bike split and got second place overall winning enough money to pay back my entry, fill up my gas tank (at $3.05 a gallon) and buy Carolynn and I lunch. I am happy with my results and I am looking forward to next weekend's 60 mile event.

Here are some more pics of at http://www.flickr.com/photos/clocke/

Jim said he will have the complete results and pictures posted first of next week.

3 comments:

wunnspeed said...

Nice work Chris!

Oh... send some folks over here to do some events. You think that the midwest sorely needs it... There's many more events there.

Ben aka "Good Ben" said...

Kick ASS!!! SO has this whetted your appetite for doing an AR anytime soon? Fun stuff ain't it?
Great job!

Shane"CRASH"Jones said...

Sorry, You've been tagged. Refer to my blog post "tagged" for details.

Shane