so this was my official 1st race of the season (2010). for me it was a training race. i was just coming off of a 3 week build in my training program, so i only had 1 reason 2 do this race: to get sharp. and thats it. nothing else. dont care bout results, i wanna make sure my transitions were lighting fast as they have been in the past and get my race sharpness together….. this mountain bike duathlon consists of 2 mile trail run, 12 mile, 2lap bike course, 2 mile run.

so after working at the club (i’m a club DJ at night in case you were wondering or didnt know) till 2am, and going to bed at 3am….when it came to wake up at 715am, i as i always feel, just did not want to get up. i mean who would right??!! so i finally get out of bed at 730, jump in the shower and heat up my breakfast and head out the door by 8am. race start is at 9am. i’m sure glad i packed up all my gear the night before, which gave me more time to sleep in.

so i’m eating while i’m driving and i get to the race site by 810. i park and grab my VENTANA EL PADRINO 29er hardtail bike, and my tri bag and head strait to transition for set up, hoping i get a good spot on the racks. lucky i got a spot located right where bike in/out and run out was. perfect. after setting up real quick i head over to registration, get that taken care of and head back to transition and get my number plate on my bike and on my race belt. then i throw on my bike gear and head out for a 30 min spin on my bike. i do this before every triathlon race, spin for 30 minutes with couple pick ups. (5-10 second short sprints) then by 855 i rack my bike, put on my BROOKS DEFYANCE 3 shoes & BROOKS RUNNING HAT and head to the start line. i’m ready to go….

9am the gun goes off and off i go. i immediately get behind a faster guy and basically draft off of him cuz we were running bout 200 yards into a headwind. i’ll just let this guy pull while i settle in. which was smart cuz i ended up passing him once we got into the woods/single track. during the run i felt pretty good. i wasnt sprinting by any means but i was moving. bout 6 1/2 min mile min pace, which is not my fastest.

i came into transition in 10th place. all 9 guys in front of me were with in like 15-20 seconds, so we were all in transition together. now this is were the race starts for me. my transitions are lighting fast and i’m proud of that. i’ve really worked hard on getting them all under 60 seconds. by time i got on my bike and headed out on the course i was sitting in 4th place.

granite bay, folsom lake is were i grew up so these trails i know like back of my hand. i’ve prolly riden them all bout a 1000 or more times. well this time the course was ran in reverse direction that it normally is in. well there are 2 parts to the course. the 1st part i’ve riding in reverse bout a 100 times but the 2nd part…..never not once. and after this race i know why…it SUCKS!!

so back to the race….. sitting in 4th the 3rd place guy…. i was right on his wheel and the 5th place was on my wheel. the 5th place guy asked if i wanted him to pull for a while after the first 5-6 min on the bike, i said sure if you can get by. well he almost ate shit trying to pass me, but had the best save EVER. total 1 leg out, bike handle bar almost touching the ground, i have no idea how he popped back up and kept going. i was like, wow that was amazing…. we def had some laughs…. anyway, so the 3 of us were pretty much stayed together till we caught up with the 2nd place guy. he got in the middle of us and ended up right in front of me. i kept thinking, i gotta get this guy behind me. he’s slowing me down and he’s not technically advanced as i am. i can tell. plus i know this course. well the 2nd part in reverse i dont….. so this course in reverse has 2 sections that were muddy/wet rocks and step up type sections. so it was slippery and sketchy. the guy in front of me stops in these sections which causes me to stop. i was like SHIT!! i look up and off go the other 2 guys in front of him… by time i got back on my bike was prolly like 20 seconds. i mean it really slowed me down…and top it off i was still behind this dood. then we came to bad section #2 and same thing happened….at this point i have lost all my momentum to catch the other 2 guys which really chapped my hide. i eventually passed the guy who slowed me down and i just kept going. i knew i was going slower then i prolly could but i started to think its gonna take one hell of a long effort to maybe catch the other guys. so i just backed off and just keep a moderate pace. since it was a training race and i had to tell myself i’m not racing to get fit. i’m racing for sharpness right now.

so the guy i passed eventually caught and passed me again right before coming into T2. then i started to see behind me that couple other guys were now in site and i thought, oh crap i’m not gonna just let everybody pass me now. so i picked up my pace. remember to ALWAYS check your 6 (behind you) during a race. people will try to sneek up on you and if you dont see them those are spots you give up. so remember to always keep looking back! now comes T2 and my T2′s are even faster then T1′s. so i was outta there in prolly 30 seconds or less. when i came out of T2 i was now in 4th place. and the guy whos been giving me trouble all race passes me on the 1st part of the run. i was like no way. but i kept him in site and just keep going. since i’ve been doing bricks as apart of my training, my legs transitioned very well. so while out on the run after looking back i could see other racers, but there were a ways behind. so i just said, keep this pace and i’ll be fine. then after mile 1 after the turn around spot i noticed the guy in front of me was with in reach. i was like, ok i’ll pick up my pace a bit and see what happens. well he got closer to me….so he was slowing down and i was speeding up. well thats the 4th place overall spot right there so why not go and get it dammit….riaaaaght??!!! so i did… by the time we hit the 300 or 400 yard stretch to the finish i was sprint at 100% so fast i passed him like he was standing still…it was almost kinda funny….he was like holy crap go man as i passed him. i cracked a smile and said to myself, see ya sucka!! and i just kept going. in fact i didnt even look back until i saw the finish line in site then i look back which you should ALWAYS do cuz i didnt know if he was right behind me. well he wasnt. he was way the hell back there so i started to slow down a bit, heard the announcer say my name and i cruised across the finish line. DONE!

at the finish line where the 1st 3 finishers…we all exchanged sum stories and handshakes then i went strait to my bike in transition, put on my bike shoes and head out on the bike for a 1/2 hour spin down. for training races i always do this. if its not a training race i never do it.

results: 4th overall, 3rd in AG.

Run 1 – 13.35 – 10th fastest
Bike – 56.47 – 4th fastest
Run 2 – 14.24 – 5th fastest

when i saw the times i was pretty stoked to see run2 was only a min slower then run 1 and that i got the 4th fastest bike. cuz if i had gotten that guy behind me and stayed with the other 2 i was with i prolly would have had the 2nd or 3rd fastest and prolly could have finished 2nd or 3rd overall.

so my overall thoughts for the race. good 1st race. i got sharp, and got woken up on some petty things that i need to really look for and take immediate action on next time. and for coming off of a 3 week build and 4 1/2 hours sleep night before……hey not bad. especially since the other guys prolly had rest days that same week and werent coming off of a 3 week build.

below are some pics from the race. sorry they are small. all pics were taken by James Pratt Photography. you can tell i wasnt happy to go through the mud bogs… hehehe

Chanoko Du Pics - 3.6.10


the author

ROCK THIS!!!

4 Readers Commented

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  1. Sedrik on March 16, 2010
    Mark is an animal! If you know what this guy has planned for his 2010 race season, you would tear up and begin shaking as you slumped out of your chair and crawled into the corner with your blanket and a bottle of Jack.
  2. Jlund on March 17, 2010
    Nice start to the season. Good luck out there!
  3. Mark T. Racer Author on March 17, 2010
    thanks everybody....keeping brining the rukus!! represent this year!!
  4. Darren on March 23, 2010
    your a monster, keep it up for the season.

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