GatorTrax Duathlon Recap
Workout: My Run 2 miles / 18:15 min Mo’s Bike 16.27 miles/ 63:28 min My Run 2 miles/ 17:53 min
We are back from the GatorTrax Duathlon! Thanks for all the good wishes yesterday and today. The race director was very accommodating and let us switch to a relay team since Mo’s achilles tendon is bothering him.
We had to leave the house at 5:15 this morning to get to St. Gabriel, Louisiana on time.
Overall, the race was a mixed bag. There were some great aspects…and some not so great aspects.
- Friendly, accommodating race directors and volunteers everywhere we went. This really overshadowed some of the disorganization we encountered.
- Small field of participants, maybe 150?
- Great T-shirts: soft, green cotton shirts with a nice graphic
- Nice location: Everything (packet pick up, parking, transition, restroom, refreshments) was in a contained, easy to navigate park.
- Beautiful and unique prizes
- Good distances- enough to be a challenge but not overwhelming
- Disorganization: If the race had been much bigger, the disorganization would have been overwhelming. Body marking started late because there were no markers. T-shirts arrived late and sizes seemed to be limited. The beer arrived right before we left. There was no race clock so nobody knew their official finish time. The transition area was really cluttered.
- The course was not closed to traffic. Mo said this mattered less on the ride and all of the drivers were considerate. On the run this was a big deal to me. The runners were constantly dodging cars and there was a blind turn that we passed both ways on the out and back course. All four times I came around this turn I was worried that a car wasn’t going to see me. There were also a lot of bikers on the running course who were not in the race.
- Poor pre-race communication: Compared to RocketChix and Bridgeman (both from this summer) there was very little pre-race communication about the course and what to expect. I heard several people saying they thought the race was draft legal because they had not heard otherwise. Unfortunately for those people, there was a USAT official taking note of penalties and while I waited for Mo to finish the bike, I heard volunteers saying the list of racers getting penalties was really long. Some of that could have been avoided with effective pre-race communication.
I really hate to complain about races because I know how hard they are to direct. My dad directed multiple road races when I was a kid and he worked hard on each race for close to a year in advance sometimes. (On a side note, I found this old article on a race my dad co-directed. He’s so cool.) I’m sure this race took a ton of effort to put on and it’s got the potential to be a really stellar race.
In the end, I would do the race again if I knew that some of the logistics were going to be better. Duathlons are on the rare side around here, so we would like to take advantage of them whenever we can. The good things about race were all very good, especially the race directors and volunteers. That really can’t be overemphasized. Great people make events great.
Speaking of great people, Mo did awesome! This was his first race and he biked despite his achilles injury. In case you are worried, he said that he felt fine afterwards.
I am very proud of him.
I don’t have the race results, but when I get them, I’ll post an update with our official time and place.
What was your workout this weekend? Did anybody else race?