Sunday, October 28, 2012

Victory Velo Holloween Duathlon–Troy

October 28, 2012 – Auburn, CA
5.8 mi R - 9 mi B
1:40 (43:30-56:30)
Dan/Dawn/Devon Tebbs, Jesse Warda, Melissa Johnson, Troy Soares
This is my 3rd year joining this fun, grass-roots event.  The first year was just weeks after the Lord healed my chronic foot pain.  I'm thankful for 3 years running without pain.
After dropping off our mtn bikes 1000 ft. below at the American River Confluence, we gather at the Victory Velo Bike Shop in Auburn.  Many are in costume.  Robin & I are a Nurse & Doctor.  The youngest participant today is 8 yr old Devon Tebbs dressed as a Star Wars Clone Trooper.
Quickly, shop owner, Dan Tebbs, describes the course and says, "Well, get going!" and we're off!  (things I didn't remember before race start:  turn on my Garmin, pray for our race, tie my shoes, go to the bathroom).
We start off somewhat casual.  Up the steep Cherry Ave it's Abe (Charlie Brown), myself, Jesse Warda, Devon Tebbs (clonetrooper), Robin, Melissa, etc.  Devon moves up to 2nd!  Down onto the tracks and Devon is leading.  He's already breathing hard and I'm hoping he'll slow down a little to conserve.  It's actually a tough 6mi run to the river below.  We're all encouraging Devon, amazed by his running abilities.  He recently ran over 4mi during a 30 min jog-a-thon at Skyridge School.
It's a small group, about 20 runners, and I realize the "race" is going to be between Jesse & I.  Jesse has been running lately and I already know he's a tough cyclist, especially on the hills.  I'm thinking I've got to get ahead of him on the run to stay ahead on the bike.  Jesse & I pull away, carefully negotiating the deep rocks along the train tracks.  We shoot down the Western States trail.  Devon is 100yds back but still going fast.  He'll be ok as Robin and the other runners catch up to him  (Robin actually ran the rest of the way with him until he sprinted away the final 400yds!).
Jesse & I are chatting and he is letting me lead the way because I know the trail.  Although someone marked the course this year.  I'm breathing hard and the temp is heating up.  Still, my doctor's scrubs is a good running costume.  My dental hygienist (and Western States Finisher) let me borrow them.  Jesse is hardly breathing.  He's quite a runner!  He even slows up for me when I have to tie my shoes.  After pulling ahead, he has to slow again to wait for horses to clear the trail.  But along the fire-road by the river he gets a huge lead on me.
On Hwy 49 near the confluence I can see Jesse a couple minutes ahead.  I'm pushing but I feel taxed, hot and out-of-breath.  I really want to get on the bike to get some temporary relief.
43:30. Transitioning, I'm offered a beer.  That's how easy-going and fun this event is.  But I'm going for a best effort.  I've been practicing on the course leading up to this and I have to know I gave it my best.. so, no, I'm not going to drink a beer.  But Jesse is.  He's also emptying his camelback pack of the rocks that his friends filled it with before he got there.
I take off before Jesse and he opts to not finish his beer and catch me instead. We're riding together and talking which makes it fun.  He couldn't get all the rocks out in time so he's carrying quite a bit of extra weight but, as usual, Jesse always has a good attitude and laughs it off.  I'd like to ride the whole hill together and chat but if I don't put a couple minutes between us, he'll blow me away on the treacherous decent with his full suspension bike.  He knows the trail well, too, as he helped construct some of it.
Climbing, I focus on my new technique of pulling up more and pushing down less.  I'm climbing well.  I never let up.  1/2 way and I've pulled ahead.  At the top I think I've got the couple minutes I need. I switch mental focus from strength to agility as I hold onto the brakes for dear life.  If you're a downhiller, this is a super cool trail.. berms, drop-offs, a tunnel, and huge jumps!  I avoid the jumps.  I also slow down a little on the rocks and bumps.  My front fork is old and a little damaged.. I don't want to push it.  But it's still a lot of fun, when it's not too bumpy.
1:24:00. I make it to the bottom without Jesse catching me.  There's a 2mi climb left to the finish so I feel confident I'll hold him off.  I'd love to take it easy, but I have to give my best.  I think about Robin. I pray that God keeps her safe on the descent. She doesn't get much practice on technical trails and this one can be dangerous. 1/2 way up I see a random mtn biker way ahead up ahead and challenge myself to catch him.  Many hikers are out and give me some double-takes in my Doctor costume.  I catch the rider and sprint to the finish first.  Whew, that was a tough workout!  1:40:00
Robin was kept safe and did very well.  We're both exhausted and kick back at the post event BBQ while the kids chase each other around playing hide-and-seek.  Thanks, Lord, for a good day!