Thursday, November 5, 2009

On September 26th I participated in the Duathlon World Championships in Concord, NC. The race was a B-race for me with IM Cozumel coming up in late November. My goal for the race was to really get after the bike, shooting to average 20+ MPH.
Here is the race review:

ITU Duathlon World Championships—10k run, 40k bike, 5k run
Lowes Motor Speedway Concord, NC
September 26, 2009

Entry fee: $200 (must have qualified for the event)
Hotels: Lots available within 5-10 minutes of the race site. I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express right off the Interstate—great breakfast bar and very friendly staff.
Restaurants: Plenty of chain and fast food restaurants available. Concord Mall is close by with a food court.
Race Packet: Dry Fit T-shirt
First Run—a challenging 2 loop course that went through the infield of the track, out a tunnel, over 2 pedestrian bridges and on access road around the track. No mile markers…
Bike—a fast course on a mix of flats, rollers and steep climbs with a few technical areas. 2 loops that brought you onto the track twice for a loop around the speedway—very cool!
Run—one loop of the first run with the finish down the straight-away on the track.
Aid Stations: There was not a water bottle hand-off on the bike. There was an aid station as you were leaving the transition area and then 3 more on the loop--water and sports drink.
Volunteers: Friendly, helpful volunteers.
Expo: Small at the race hotel and at the race on race-day.
T-shirt: Very cool Carolina blue with checkered flag theme.
Timing: Chip timing
Awards: ? Did not attend the ceremony…
Award ceremony: Brunch the day after the race.
Post Race Food: Good choice of drinks, fruit and the usual bagels, pretzels etc.-under cover in one of the garages on the infield (Very welcoming with the rain pouring down).
Parking: Plenty of parking at the track.
Porta Potties: Real bathrooms at the track.
Transition Area: Pavement-well designed, easy in and out-had to rack your bike the night before, numbered racks and spots. Mechcanics were available for help.
Waves: Juniors and Elites went off in the morning with the age-groupers in the afternoon. There were 6 waves for the AG’s.

Unfortunately the rain rolled in the evening before race-day…. The temperature was okay, low 70’s, but a driving rain during the bike made the course a bit dicey.
The tough conditions made my 21 MPH ride that much more satisfying! I saw one really bad crash at the bottom of a hill… Even with the rain it was a fast and fun course. The loops brought you into the track several times, so it was very spectator friendly. The race crew produced a top-notch event even with the unfortunate weather. I hope that they are able to hold more duathlons at this venue.

Rating: 4 CRANKS

1 CRANK = Don't even think about doing this race...
2 CRANKS = Hmmmmm, a last resort...
3 CRANKS = Not bad, you get what you pay for...
4 CRANKS = Solid event all around...
5 CRANKS = Can't miss, a must-do race...