The Cedar Creek Triathlon turned into my first ever duathlon. With a heavy downpour the night before the race, and swimming in a small lake (really it’s a pond that flows to a small lake), water quality became the main topic race morning. The race directors decided shortly before the race that the swim was going to be held, but anyone signed up for the triathlon that did not want to swim in the water could switch to the duathlon. With Kona just 6 weeks away and on the verge of getting rid of an intestinal parasite I’ve been battling for 2 years, I decided to play it safe and avoid the water by doing the duathlon.
The first run (1 mile) was interesting. I didn’t really have much time to think about strategy or pacing. I started strong but reserved and ran 5:24 (big downhill helped make pace fast). Out on the bike, I pushed it hard and felt really good early on. It’s only a 10.5 mile bike ride, so pacing isn’t as important and I tried to get in a groove with the rolling terrain. I surprisingly felt good the entire time and felt stronger as the ride went on. I had a lead starting the 5k run and kept the first part conservative. There’s a big hill we do shortly after leaving transition, so I wanted to run it conservative then pick up the pace after that. I felt good on the run and negative split the 2 loop course to take the overall win in my first ever duathlon.
Cedar Creek triathlon/duathlon was another great event this year. The organizers did a fantastic job putting on the event and making sure everything ran smoothly despite a hectic morning trying to figure out what to do with all the rain the night before. I love racing this every year and will definitely be back next year. Besides, look at all the goodies they give away! What other race gives away a signed Cannondale jersey from the 2015 Tour de France team, helmets, water bottles, gift cards and many other fantastic prizes in a random drawing?
Also have to give a major shout out to Matt Dixon and the rest of the Purplepatch Fitness crew for allowing me to participate in this local event. Kona was exactly 6 weeks out on race day, and Purplepatch graciously allowed me to have this sprint race in my schedule and encouraged me to race it despite it not exactly being ideal Kona prep. At the beginning of the year, Purplepatch and I agreed to take a slightly different approach to Kona preparation and including this race was part of that approach. The Kona plan is certainly in place and I know it’ll pay off come race day in Hawaii.