Monday, December 14

Gettin’ Dirty in GA

Last weekend I made the trek down to Macon for the finale of the Georgia Dirty Duathlon Series. Originally scheduled for mid-Nov at Dauset Trails, the race had to be rescheduled due to a pesky hurricane that had blown thru the week prior. This go around was at the Children’s Industrial Home trails. (Earlier series stops were at Blankets Creek and Fort Yargo). After staying with an old adventure racing teammate in Atlanta Friday night, I drove the rest of the way the next morning. Unfortunately the threat of rain and cold temps in the upper 30s greeted us - perhaps this kept some folks at home. While the crowd was small, we were all enthusiastic to be there and ready to get started!

The format was a run-bike-run (3-9-3 miles). A bit short for my 3.5hr trek south - I usually have a “I have to race as long as I drive” rule, and that would not be the case today..... but, it was the finale and I had set an early season goal of podiuming in the series. Plus, it was a fund raiser for SORBA-OMBA, to raise money for new trails at Arrowhead. (With the original race and mountain bike festival being cancelled, I know they’ll be hurting to meet their fund raising goals for the year.)

We had a mass start up a short hill, breaking things up a bit. I settled on the trail in 3rd place, keeping an eye on the gals ahead. About 2/3 of the way thru 1 more passed me, but with lots of time ahead, I wasn’t too concerned. (With winter clothing covering our bodies, we couldn’t have our divisions written on our legs so it was hard to tell if any girls ahead were racing as a relay). The run was nice, through hard-packed, twisting trails that had you guessing who was ahead and who was behind. After I was barely warmed up, it was time to transition to the bike. I haven’t been riding much lately (concentrating on running!), so I was happy for a course that wasn’t too technical or had a ton of climbing. It was (as previously mentioned) full of tight, twisty sections where you couldn’t let up your concentration. Some areas were bone dry, with slippery pine needles; other times we were riding through huge mud puddles, fighting to gain traction on slippery roots. Regardless, it was lots of fun. The final run leg was a bit harder than the first. With temps so cold, normally I’d wear shoe covers; but in a short duathlon with quick transitions being key, using these was not an option. Therefore, I was running on half frozen toes for the next mile - not an easy task. Finally they felt alive and I had a normal stride again.

I ended up finishing 2nd overall female and first in the 30-39 age group.
Overall for the series, I finished first in the solo women's division.

Big thanks to the race directors for putting on a great event and persevering the many challenges it took to make it happen. They did a great job utilizing the available trails and recruiting top notch volunteers!



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