Duel in the Desert

Saturday was Bend’s annual Duel in the Desert duathlon. Since this week was a high intensity training week, I decided to jump in for a quality workout. Temps were in the upper 80s and sunny. Race start at 10am was toasty.

The race is a run-bike-run format. 5k trail run, choose between a 13-mile mountain bike or 18-mile road bike, then finish off with a 5k trail run. I chose the mountain bike division. Why hammer on the road when you can hammer on sweet singletrack…know what I’m sayin’??!

After the very exposed, very sun-baked 5k trail run, we were off to Phil’s trailhead and up Kent’s trail to Voodoo. Bruce Cole-Baker caught me at Voodoo and we headed over to the windy, fun descent of Ben’s trail. We caught Marshall Greene (our local nordic skiier stud and defending Pole Pedal Paddle Champ) on Ben’s trail, he let us pass, then I washed out a little on a curve, clipped a stump (barely) and ended up in the sage…still clipped in and managed to stay upright while they passed me. I jumped in behind them and kept hammering.

Soon after, Marshall lost it and rolled in the dirt. Marshall rode a strong mtb leg, as it was his first time on a mtn bike this season. I was hangin’ out on Friday afternoon at Bend Bike N Sport and we were all giving him a bunch of peer pressure to step up to the mtb leg, he caved and entered. He looked like pigpen from Charlie Brown after his digger. Good stuff.

After passing Marshall again, I tried to stay with Bruce (a Cat 1 mtn biker), but he gained a little on me over the last few miles. I was hoping to catch him on the run. He eventually caught up with Mike (the leader) at the end of the mtb leg. But, Mike is running fast right now and Bruce doesn’t run much…and Mike took off. I came off behind them and reeled Bruce in on the run at about half way through the final 5k run. I could see Mike up ahead but couldn’t reel him in. I ended up 2nd in the mountain bike division, 33 seconds behind Mike.

Afterward, my Sunnto said my average heart rate for the 1 hour and 28 minutes was 175! Ah yeah, can you say threshold workout!!

All in all, solid event, fun to see everyone out there mixing it up. Had a blast. I’ll be back for more next year! Giddyup!

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