Archive for the ‘Bronx Biathlon 4/25/10’ Category

Bronx Biathlon 4/25/10 Race Report

April 26, 2010 5 comments

Haven’t blogged in a while….but I will be adding more soon 🙂

Completed the Bronx Biathlon, the longest running Biathlon in the country apparently. 26th annual.  (and no, there was no skiing or target shooting:)  not sure why they call it biathlon vs duathlon)

REALLY tough race. Starting with waking up at 4:45 AM after going to bed at 1:15 AM after a late night at work…

Took my bike on the subway for the first time ever. Thankfully the subway wasn’t very crowded at 5AM, but surprisingly there were a good number of people on it. (where are they going!?)
The other tough part is it was 45 degrees and forecast to rain all day. Of all the times for the weather forecast to be correct, today was the day. It rained all morning and was cold. The race was in Pelham Bay, right near the water, great scenery, but colder than it was inland.  I seriously considered not going when my alarm went off after my 3hr “nap”, but I paid for the race already, I love to race, and I wanted to test my skills in rain.  Besides I thrive in races where conditions are less than ideal.

The subway ride was unusually easy.  Once I arrived at the stop, I needed to bike 3 miles to the race start.  I found it fairly easily which is also unusual for me, being that I am a bit directionally challenged 🙂  Needless to say I was soaked by the time I arrived from my short ride over.  I brought dry clothes in a garbage bag inside my backpack for after, but I was hoping my warmup pants would be wearable for after…no luck.

There were puddles around the bike corral 4 inches deep, so there was no point in even trying to stay dry, just splash around and enjoy it.

I decided to do the whole race in my NYC Marathon jacket to maintain some warmth.  I realized that it would probably be too warm during the run, but would really help me stay warm on the bike, plus it was water repellent.  Great move.


I did a quick mile warmup jog out the the waterfront of Pelham Bay and then went back to my bike to make final preparations to my area.  I got my bike shoes, hat, gel, and gloves out and put them under a garbage bag and headed to the start line.

They made the announcement that 109 people had showed up.  Pretty impressive.  Some people actually registered that day.  Even more impressive.  We waited at the start line for about 10 minutes while the police secured the course.  I stepped up the the front of the group (because no one else was).  Finally the starter counted us down and we were off and running.  I actually led for about 400 meters, there was a lead vehicle (a guy on a bike) showing us where to go, so that was good, but I didn’t really want to lead solo, a couple guys joined me at about 800 meters and then passed me.  I felt pretty good running.  I felt I could push a little harder than my last duathlon since I knew the bike leg would not be any more difficult if I did run hard.  The run was a little short of a 5k, I think they measured it at 2.8 miles.  I ended up coming into the T1 in 4th place, close to the leaders.  I was pleased with that.  17:08 was the leader, 2nd 17:12, 3rd 17:14, and me at 17:21.

Start line

First Leg Run

My run to bike transition was faster than last time, although I didn’t practice it at all.  I did however buy some bungee laces for my running shoes and I ran in my bike shorts, so that saved some time.  Last race I had to tie my shoes and pull my bike shorts on over my running tights.  I pulled my bike gloves on over my running gloves, grabbed my gel, put my skull cap and helmet on and I was off for the 20 mile bike.  T1 time 1:00 flat.

Bungee laces!

side note:  the bike leg was 20 miles.  I rode 20 miles for the first time the Monday before my race just to make sure I could do it.

Knowing the forecast was for rain, I was a tad bit concerned about riding on wet pavement since I never have.  I mean, I’ve rode in rain before on my mountain bike, but the road bike is a very different animal, and I’m racing.  It turned out to be easier than I thought.  There was no slippage and the bike handled very well.  Another part of the race also had me worried…here is what the race director put in the race notes…

“CAUTION/SLOW DOWN! Hold handlebars with BOTH hands and use extreme caution when cycling across the draw bridge near the Orchard Beach exit. The metal grating becomes very slippery on wet or rainy days. You may elect to walk across the grating part of the bridge if weather conditions make the grating too slippery to ride. Under no circumstances may you pass another competitor on any part of the bridge!”

OK, ummmm, a little scary for a newbie to biking.  Anyway, they changed it on race day to “everyone MUST dismount their bike on the bridge”  this brought some grumbles from the veteran racers, but I was happy.  When I actually got the the bridge the first time and dismounted, it was actually difficult to even walk over with cycling shoes on.  It did end up being a good way to shake the legs out and warm up the feet a bit.  We had to go over the bridge 4 times.  Stopping and getting off the bike for a 30 meter jog didn’t help the Average MPH very much 🙂  I ended up with a 18.07 mph ave.  Max was 26.9 on a downhill after the bridge.

Bike Leg, cold and wet!

There were a lot of turn-around points on the bike, so I was able to see the leaders and count what place I was in.  I guess I lost count because I was getting passed by so many people, I thought I was in 40th or 50th.  But I actually finished the bike leg in 28th.  I passed no one.  I’m doing a cycling technique clinic this Sunday to learn some tips on how to get better.  Hope it helps.  I figure it can’t hurt.  Bike time was 1:06:24

Coming into T2 I stretched out on my bike to prepare for the run.  Stretched my calves, hamstrings and back as much as I could and tried to warm up my fingers to get them ready for grabbing shoes, etc.  I got off, got out of my shoes, slipped on my running shoes, pulled my bike gloves off, got my helmet off and pulled on a cap.  BOOM, 40 seconds flat.  Impressive for no practice.  Bungee laces were key.

My feet were like ice blocks!  My legs felt better than the last race’s 2nd run though.  The giant puddles actually felt good to splash in!  They were warming my feet up!  I caught 2 guys in the first 800 meters and that got me fired up.  I ended up catching 4 more and was closing in on a couple more but ran out of real estate.  I knew I was running decent, but wasn’t sure how fast my 2nd leg was since I didn’t press LAP on my watch.  So when the results were posted and I saw I ran a 17:44 for the 2nd leg I was shocked and pleased.  I didn’t feel that fast.  I posted the 5th fastest 2nd leg, with the top 4 finishing in the top 6 overall.  I finished in 22nd overall.  Gotta work on that bike leg 🙂



Run 1–17:21




Run 2–17:44

Final Time—1:43:11

22nd/103 finishers, 3rd in age group

I wasn’t looking forward to my trek home, but I made it.  I changed into a couple dry shirts before I left, but had to put the wet jacket back on.  My teeth were chattering uncontrollably by the time I reached home.  A hot shower never felt so good.  Later that day I went to the Brooklyn Tri Club Member meeting.  Fun.  Met some cool people, and even won a prize in the raffle.

Mother Day Duathlon is May 9th in Prospect Park.  We will see if I improved from the last one.

PS  I won my first age group award for a multi-sport, but alas, I didn’t actually receive it since you had to be present to get it.  3rd 35-39 Male.  Oh well, it was either award or hypothermia….

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