My race this weekend, the Miniman Duathlon (who can resist that cute name? Bless its heart!), was my first and likely only duathlon (run/bike/run). It was very short (2.4/12/1.2 miles), which meant I tried to go as hard as I could the whole time (62 minutes). The first run ate up my hamstrings, so the first three miles on the bike felt crummy—especially since I wasn’t catching any of the five women who finished the run ahead of me. Eventually I resigned myself to bringing it home as best I could, with all hopes of a good competition gone.
But when I reached the dismount line, my boss’s boss’s boss was standing there, saying, “Second-place female: keep it up!” Whaaa??? Something was very wrong. I booked through the run like a bat out of hell (6:30 pace?!? Could it be true? Probably not!), flailed my way to the finish, and learned that the four women behind the leader (reigning world champ in long-course duathlon) all took a wrong turn on the bike course, which sent them three miles out of the way. Oops. The rules say that each competitor is ultimately responsible for knowing the route, so they were SOL, while I am left feeling inglorious at my back-door second-place finish. Should I have been sixth? Could I have caught someone on the bike? Now I’ll never know.