Dirty 30 Race Report

My first duathlon and it was a blast.This was the perfect end of season race - low key and mellow with plenty of people just happy to be out running, riding and racing. The run course was a fun mix of double track and single track through the park and the bike course had enough challenge to keep you honest, but not so much as to scare people. There were a lot of new multisport athletes, which was great to see. Kim and I had a great race - trading back and forth on the bike a number of times. In the end, I was able to come from behind on the last run, with Kim very close behind. A huge thanks to Gary from King Chef Diner, Jayson from CTS and all the other volunteers and organizers that brought this race together. I'm looking forward to helping the the Dirty Du series next year.

The day started out a little chilly and misty, but Nick and I decided to ride down to Bear Creek Park as an easy warm up anyway. I bundled up, made sure I had my running shoes and number belt and off we went. Once we started riding, it warmed up pretty quickly. The mist burned off, there was no wind and the sun was nice and warm. A perfect November day. I picked up my number and started getting the transition set up. Nick hung out for a little, then headed off to his post. He was volunteering on the bike course - at the creek crossing on Zip Line. and wanted to get there with plenty of time. The transition area was very low key - no racks, just lay your stuff down on the ground. It was pretty crowded as a lot of people were taking advantage of a nice day to get in that last race of the year. Everyone was being really cool and respectful of the other athlete's bikes and space, which was really nice to see.

Run 1
The race started with a mass start 5k run. It was a little crowded at the start, but thanks to the loop around the soccer fields, by the time the run hit single track we were spread out nicely. Kim was a little ahead of me on that first mile and looked pretty comfortable. I didn't want to run too hard, knowing that there was the bike and another run yet to come. I gradually pulled up behind her and settled into the pace. The trails were steady running, but technical and rocky in places with plenty of hills to keep the pace honest. Relaxed, but still working hard - I could feel the fatigue from Silverman already. On one of the longer hills, I pulled ahead of Kim, but just by a little bit. She made up ground on the descent into transition and we entered T1 at about the same time.

The bike course followed the run course for the first two miles, then the Regional Trail out to the west of Bear Creek Park. At the western tip, it was two laps of Zipline, a hiker only trail with a mandatory dismount section, then back into the transition on the Regional trail and last half of the run course. Kim left transition a few seconds in front of me. I followed her out, closing the gap pretty quickly on the rolling climbs of the first single track section. She hit the Regional trail first and started gaining time on the loose, gravely descents. That would be the story for most of the bike - I would catch her on the climbs and flats, we would ride together down Zipline, then she would pass me back on the gravely descents and the mandatory dismount section.

On the bike
Photo by Bob Kane
On the first lap, I caught her about halfway to Zipline, recovered for a few minutes, then made the pass. Held the lead entering Zipline, made the first few gradual turns- and came skidding to a halt on the first tight corner as a guy walking two huge pitbulls stopped right in the middle of the trail. (He was pissed off - told me to slow down and we had no right to ride that fast on his trail. I politely said that there was a race today, which was why there were so many cyclists. Didn't matter - when Kim came around the corner, he started swearing loudly at her as well) Luckly the dogs were well behaved and we made it past them with little other issues. I cleaned the rocky section and the first switchback, then skidded out in the second tight corner. It was a little sketchy and I wasn't riding all that well - tired legs and racing MTB is not the smartest of combinations. Back on the bike and Kim and I were discussing the dude with the dogs. That was the scariest section of the whole race! Through the creek to the cowbell serenade of Tracy H and Nick, then back into the woods. The climb back to the regional trail was good - I made it up all the wooden water bars, although I did take the easiest lines possible. A little two-way traffic and onto the hiker trail, with the mandatory dismount. Kim took the lead here - her cyclocross racing gave her the edge with the running in cycling shoes and such. I would retake the lead before entering Zipline again. With no dogs and distractions, I cleaned everything on Zipline on the second lap. Then just before the climb back into the park, I made silly mistake and wiped out. Oops. Kim passed me and would hold the lead for the rest of the bike. I was able to close the gap from the fall and walking up part of the hill (there were some racers on the first lap trying to get over the water bars - I wasn't going to be rude and not give them the chance to try and ride the obstacles, even though I lost some time). Back on to the Regional Trail, then down into transition. I was feeling the effects of the race and was not looking forward to that last 5k.

Run 2
On the second 5k
Photo by Bob Kane
Kim had about 30s lead entering the run. I had a quick transition and was soon off onto the run myself. And wow, my legs were tired! As we made the loop around the soccer fields I was gradually closing the gap between myself and Kim. After the first long hill, I had made the catch. It was now time to try and hold the lead until the finish. Easier said then done! I was fine on the flat trail through the lower field, but when we hit the climb to the top of the ridge line, I was feeling everything. My pace was still good, but I was slowing down. Finally to the top and onto the down hill, which wasn't any easier after Silverman's punishing marathon. I was very happy to see the last little rock garden and make the turn to the finish line. It was a good race between us and made the day a little more exciting.

Since Nick was out on course helping, I hung out until the last finishers came through. I cheered on the athletes finishing and those just starting the run. Everyone looked like they were having a great time. It was a good thing that I had warm clothes in my back-pack. The wind was starting to pick up and it was getting chilly out. Overall, I think everyone was happy with the event, the course and the atmosphere. I know I was! Even though it was a little soon after Silverman to try racing again, I am very happy I decided to come out and support the local events. Here's to next year!


  1. Congrats! Looks like it was a lot of fun!

  2. Nice work Tracy! Thanks for supporting and being a great role model! Jayson


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