2015 Heel and Crank Duathlon Race Report

I SURVIVED MY FIRST MULTI SPORT RACE! 🙂

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I woke up the morning of the race with pretty bad stomach pain. I started to get really nervous 1. about the fact that this race was more than just running and 2. that I would suffer through pain the whole time. I arrived to the race venue an hour ahead of race start– I’m one of those people that shows up freakishly early to everything, and generally an hour before the race it’s pretty deserted… Not the case for this one! Those tri people don’t mess around with getting good parking spaces, I felt like I was the last one to arrive and had to park like two miles away.

As I mentioned before, my friend Heather and I were doing this race together. We are both registered for the challenge that includes the duathlon and the half marathon the next day, and we were BOTH crazy nervous for this race. I kept telling everyone around us how scared I was and eventually Heather said, “CHELSEA STOP, YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE MY ROCK!” Ha… AHH! I couldn’t help it. I was scared. I was extremely nauseous and was 100% convinced this race was going to be a total bust.

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(Photo taken by Gregg Gelmis of We Run Huntsville)

We stowed our bikes in the transition area and headed over to the race start. The race went in two waves, one for faster folks and one for slower folks. We put ourselves in the slow wave, obviously 🙂 All too soon it was time too begin, and we took off on the race course. The run portion was on a nature preserve that had a wide path with a soft dirt surface. My favorite thing to run on! It felt almost like running trails, and as we wound through the trees I gradually started to feel better. My stomach pain and nausea cleared up, and my run actually felt pretty strong. I was ready to take on this challenge!

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(Photo taken by Gregg Gelmis of We Run Huntsville)

We followed the dirt path 1.5 miles out, and 1.5 miles in. At the turn-around point there was an aid station with water and Gatorade. I grabbed a cup of water and stopped at the station to drink it. Normally I would drink on the run and toss my cup to a volunteer when finished but this aid station only had a few people and I wanted to make sure my cup made it into the trash can. After two quick cups, we were back on our way. My legs were starting to warm up and I started to wish I could run a little longer, but eventually we were going to have to tackle the bike portion of the race…

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(Photo taken by Gregg Gelmis of We Run Huntsville)

We finished up the fast three miles and trotted into the transition area and quickly put our helmets on. Luckily I am not a very savvy biker so that was all I had to do to go from running to biking 😉 We rolled our bikes to the mount line, and then hit the road. The bike course was through rural Mooresville; sprawling green fields stretched out in every direction, it was a perfect morning with gorgeous scenery. I am fairly used to biking by myself, so I didn’t realize just how laughably BAD I am at biking until this race, ha! I was getting passed over and over again, despite the fact that I felt like I was keeping a pretty good pace. Oh well! I still had Heather by my side and I knew that I at least wasn’t in last place, because the sag wagon was nowhere in sight.

We kept pedaling away, but it seemed like the bike ride was stretching on forever. At one point we were pushing up a hill and I was just ahead of Heather. I heard her bike just behind me though, so I knew she was still near. I pedaled up and over the hill, and flew down the other side. I rounded what I knew was one of the last turns and looked back to tell Heather we were almost done, but she was no where in sight!! Turns out that bike I was hearing was someone else that had approached while on the hill. Crud. I just kept pedaling and hoped that she could catch up soon, because I was feeling seriously lonely. The other girl passed me and soon she was out of sight too, I started to feel like I was the only person on the whole stinking course.

(Photo taken by my awesome running friend, Maureen)

Thankfully I wasn’t REALLY the only person on the bike course, and I soon pulled back up to the transition area. Time for the final 3 miles! I awkwardly walked back towards the run course and knew this was going to be interesting– my legs sure felt weird! Thankfully after about a half mile they felt totally fine, and I realized I was a lot less tired than I thought I would be. Maybe because I was so slow on the bike 🙂 The second 3 miles followed the same course and the first 3 miles, and I slowly trucked along. One thing that made me feel better about being passed on the bike so much was that I was passing lots of other people while running. Many were taking long walk breaks, but I felt pretty good and only took a short break while walking through the aid station to drink some Gatorade. Before I knew it, I was stepping off the dirt path and on to the road. I shuffled up the last hill and heard my friends calling my name in the distance– one more turn to go to the finish line! YAY!

I rounded the corner and a huge smile came to my face– I may have been a bit slower than I expected to be on the bike, but I felt GOOD and I had fun! I crossed over the finish line and did a little happy dance. First multi-sport: CONQUERED.

(Photo taken by Gregg Gelmis of We Run Huntsville)

Still waiting on official results, I know already that I was slow as molasses, still proud though 🙂

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