by Scott Carkhuff, Kyle’s Bikes 2014 Triathlon Team, and Katherine Roccasecca
Scott and Katherine competed in the Des Moines Dirty Duathlon as a team. This is a duathlon so you run/bike/run. Scott did the run portions of this event, and Katherine biked. This is an annual, off-road event on hilly single track mountain bike trails. Normally for this event, you don’t know if it is going to be super cold, or raining, or what the weather is going to be like. This year it was perfect!
Scott Carkhuff, Des Moines Dirty Duathlon Trail Runner
So I started our team out with the first two-mile run. The course was in the opposite direction from last year. I felt like I was running uphill the entire two miles. Trail running is a little different than running on the road. Trail running requires you to use your brain and look ahead to find the best foot placement. The trail wasn’t wet so that was good! Some roots, and one little stream to jump over. Other than that nothing to major happened on the run except for your legs feeling like jello! The runs were quick two-mile sprints.
We were one of only two co-ed teams with a woman mountain biker. The bikers are on the course a lot longer than the runners as they have to complete three laps of the bike course, so time can be made up during those laps easier than the run laps.
After my teammate was done biking, I went around for my final lap. The hills felt like they had gotten bigger, as you sit and wait it’s just the right amount of time to start to tighten up so the key is to try to stay up, walk around, and keep loose. Which I don’t know if I did a very good job of…
Lots of dirty fun! Thanks to Katherine, my teammate, for biking!! She didn’t wreck, so she says!
Katherine Roccasecca, Des Moines Dirty Duathlon Mountain Biker
This is my third year doing the Des Moines Dirty Duathlon and my third runner. I have enjoyed this race every time, even if I feel a little guilty thinking about them sitting around cramping while I'm out having the time of my life.
Relays make warming up tricky for both people, and I didn't really get the best warmup in. Fortunately, I know this trail well; I made the most of the first downhill and soft-pedaled it up the first climb. Then I settled into my planned race pace.
I had set my goal at 25 minutes per lap. I met that goal, and I succeeded at something I almost never succeed at: very even pacing. My lap times did not vary much at all: 24:10, 24:47, and 24:31. Now I just wish I had set a faster goal. Maybe I would have made that! On the other hand, I was on day two of a nasty head cold (that I didn't bother to tell Scott about), so this might be the best race I had in me. I feel good about my season ending on a high note.
Central Iowa Trail Association (CITA) puts on a great race and got their sponsors to organize a fun after-party at a local brewery. There is a shorter distance sprint duathlon in the morning and a kids race at noon, so there is something for everyone. I recommend putting the Des Moines Dirty Duathlon on your race calendar!
Nate Cline did the race solo. Read his report to see what that was like.
Full results from the Des Moines Dirty Duathlon are online at OnlineRaceResults.
Photo credits: Eric Roccasecca