Beloit Biathlon

It's officially race season. The Beloit Biathlon (it's really a duathlon - run/bike/run) is probably my favorite race of the year. Two years ago, it was my first multisport event ever. So far the weather has been good every year, and it has become the beginning of spring/race season for me. The grass is green, the trees have leaves, the weather is consistently warm....

...it's race season.

I have a few goals for the year, and goal number one was to win the Beloit Biathlon. Being my first ever multisport event, I wanted to win it. I thought it would be perfect too, because I've never won the overall so I figured it could be my first win as well.

Goal #1. Check.

Race Report

I was in the first heat, and I started out at the front. About a minute into the race, I checked my watch and realized (like the April Du) I was running a 5:45 pace. Oops. I backed off and quickly dropped back to 7th. I've raced enough duathlons now not to get bothered by that. Everyone goes out way too fast so patience is the key. Run your own race and it will all work out in the end. On the turnaround onto Huebbe Road, we got our first blast of the nasty winds that day (25 mph). We had a full on headwind, and it was rough. I checked my watch and realized I slowed down too much. My first mile was 6:20 and I was now running 6:35. I stepped it up, and moved into 2nd by the end of the run.

Run 1 = 11:44 - 6:23 pace

T1 was fast. I came out about one second in the lead, hopped on my bike and started hamering the bike right away.

T1 = 55 seconds

About a quarter mile into the bike, I looked back to see where second was and I could hardly see him. How long did it take him to get on his bike? I had a gap already...so I dropped the hammer. After Huebbe we had a nasty crosswind, and I kept my watts at about 320 and got tucked down as much as possible. I wanted to get out of sight so second place wouldn't have a rabbit to chase. After the crosswind, things got fun for a while - a tailwind. I kept my speed consistently above 30 mph and let my watts drop a bit so I wouldn't burn out.

The way back was tough with a strong headwind and crosswind and gusts that were blowing me all over the road. I had a hard time keeping my power consistent, and I started tucking down really low....really low. It helped me keep my speed up, but I think it hurt my power a bit since I was uncomfortable. I checked back a few times and couldn't see second place.

Bike = 26:21 23.6 mph 275 watts

T2 was pretty fast. I didn't hit the lap button in time so I think it was about 45 seconds.

As I came out on the second run, the race director yelled, "you have a gigantic lead" and gave me a high five. I was now running down Huebbe Road and I still couldn't see second place. I was feeling pretty good about being able to hold the lead. I struggled a bit on the run, partly because I had no one to chase, and wasn't able to run as fast as I had hoped. I had a comfortable lead, but I wanted to keep pushing hard to try to beat last year's time and make sure no one in heats 2, 3, or 4 beats my time because I let up thinking I had it in the bag. About the mile mark I settled in a bit and dropped my pace from a 7 minute mile to 6:40. I finished the second run with a 6:51 average.

Total time = 53:03 (only 3 seconds faster than last year)

I got the overall win and a trophy. But most importantly, I had lots of fun, met one of my goals and got to see some friends I haven't seen in a while - the Wimmers and Steve Knox. Everyone did really well. The Wimmers took tons of time of last year's time and Steve took a couple of minutes of his time as well. Jenny got a third place age group medal and Steve got a second. A good day for all.

I'm looking forward to next year already. Maybe it won't be so windy. [be careful what you wish for - I wanted wind so the bike would be tough...I didn't want 25 mph winds though]


abby said...

that's awesome!! well done mike!
start building that trophy wall...

Icarus Steve said...

The teen winner who finished about 20 seconds ahead of me ended up with a time 4 minutes better than I did. I finally figured it out ... he went out with the wrong heat. Congrats Mike. Well deserved. I'll take your T1 time...mine? 1:42. Enough said. Are you doing the Lake Mills sprint?

Unknown said...

Great job you TOTALLY dominated the bike.

My transition was not great(1:06) and that was likely due to my shoes not being clipped in, nor was my bike vertical.

I was shocked to be in the lead entering T1. The run pace was pedestrian and talking with the 1st place female she was also shocked that there we no fast runners.

I looked for you when I finished to congratulate you, but I could not find you and had to leave due to a prior commitment.


Mike said...

Hey Marc-

Great race. I should've waited at the finish line to congratulate you, but I ran back to my car to grab a sweatshirt and then got sidetracked when someone asked about my bike. Congrats on a great race.

Mike said...


Yep, I'm doing Lake Mills. Capital View also. I don't think I'll be able to do Verona, though. I think I have to be in Utah for work that weekend.

Mike said...

Thanks, Abby.