Sunday, May 24, 2009

Gear West Duathlon Race Report by Matt Liebsch

Matt Liebsch is a member of the CXC Elite cross country ski team and a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a BS in Electrical Engineering.  He is an Olympic hopeful and had a very successful 2009 season… 3rd Place at US Nationals, Mora Vasaloppet winner and American Birkebeiner Champion.  When Matt is not training and racing he is helping out at Gear West or spending time with his wife and one-year-old son.

Well, my legs never came back 100% from my overzealous week of training but the race went well regardless.  Race day started out a little hectic; I noticed on my way to the venue that my rear tire was flat.  Luckily, the Gear West mechanics were able to find a tiny tack in my tire and then replaced my tube in short order.  My next item of business was to choose the right clothing… it was a chilly morning and the day started around 32F.  I ended up racing in shorts and a thin long sleeve top and I'm glad because if I had gone in tights I would have died from overheating.

            The first 5k run was great and I came into the transition in 6th place.  Once I got on the bike, I steadily lost time.  My legs were a little sore from the past week of hard intervals and my dad's old road bike was no match for the time trial rockets that came cruising by me.  Getting off the bike and transiting back to running sparked one of the weirdest feelings… it was as if I was trying to learn to run all over again.  My legs felt like jelly and my hamstrings felt like strings ready to snap.  I thought I was going to be walking it in, but after a mile my legs loosed up a bit and I finished strong in 10th place.

            Post race has left me with some lingering soreness… having a little trouble walking down stairs.   I did a proper cool down and have been stretching and rolling the last two days but I don’t think I had enough time on the bike to condition the muscles for the abuse I put them through.

            The GW Dualthon was a fun event and I will definitely be back next year to improve my time and place… maybe I'll try to track down some aero bars next time around.

Train hard, train smart!!!