The first Freal DIY event of this DIY year was officially completed yesterday. And let it be known that the First Annual DIY Mother’s Day Duathon was a huge, unprecedented, mind-blowing success. (Okay it probably won’t be an “Annual” event, but everything else in that sentence is true.)
As you may recall from a previous episode, our hero and Freal Fitness Freak, Rachel proclaimed 2012 as her year to go Do It Yourself (DIY) as much as possible when it came to her beloved active events. Along with her trusty sidekick, Shauna, the duo had come up with some preliminary ideas, playful plans, as it were, for the year. On the list was a duathlon, a race combining the two disciplines of running and cycling.
Sure they could have simply registered and paid to be a part of the Goleta Duathlon, which the website originally said would take place on May 20th of this year. But why??? For some people, the answers are obvious:
- · I won’t do it if I don’t pay money.
- · I won’t do it unless I’m part of a big, crazy, enthusiastic group.
- · I can’t live without another event t-shirt.
Lucky for our girls, those thoughts aren’t in their heads. Extremely lucky, because for some unknown, mostly likely sinister, reason, the Goleta Duathlon isn’t going to happen this year. Suddenly their website says the event will happen in 2013 instead. Had our heroes hearts been set on doing the “official” event for this year, they would have been sorely disappointed. One might say the decision to go DIY was fortuitous, providential, or even . . . . [insert ominous music here] . . . . their destiny.
They started training, doing run/cycle workouts once a week. Then they picked the date: May 13, 2012, plotted the routes, and finally determined a start time. 4.6 miles of running, then a 20 mile bike ride, finishing with a 4 mile run. Definitely bigger and better than the Goleta Duathlon. The DIY Mother’s Day Duathlon organizers were as awesome as the competitors and the event went off without a (major) hitch.
On the morning of the race the athletes were fueled, (with the best homemade vegan pancakes ever) the bikes were in the transition area, and the dog was anxious (because he always is). At 8:06 a.m. the participants lined up at the start, also known as the gate to their driveway, and after a few inspiring words, they were off. Rachel added some extra distance to her first run since she had forgotten a couple pieces of gear for the bike section. As she returned from the first run stage, she ran right through the transition area, into race headquarters (their house), where she darted around, quickly gathering her camera and water bottle. This would be her slowest transition of the day, taking just over 4 minutes. (Something to improve on in future events.)
Rachel chose to forego her padded cycling shorts and even her road-bike for this event. Instead she wore her running clothes and used her hybrid bike, because, as she so aptly put it, “Running in padded shorts just sucks and I didn’t want to take the time to change my shoes. It’s only 20 miles, my butt can handle it!” She did slip her Cookie Monster cycling jersey on though. It served dual purposes – better visibility on the roads and fuel to keep her smiling along the way.
1 hour and 40 minutes after mounting her bike, Rachel returned, making quick work in the transition area, removing the cycling jersey and arm warmers, all while enduring the jeers from the crowd of onlookers – actually just her brother, Joe, who was yelling, “Lance arrived about 5 minutes ahead of you!!!!”
As expected, the final 4 mile run was the toughest part of the event. Rachel urged her tired legs on as she completed the last run section along a different section of the Carpinteria Bluffs. With heavy legs and feet, she made her way down the final stretch. Throwing her hands into the sky as she crossed the finish line, she just knew that she had set a course record and personal best time of 3 hours 8 minutes. Just one of the many benefits of putting on your own DIY event. The others being in ultimate control of the course, the participants, the date of the event and the start time. No wonder Rachel likes it so much.