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Downtown Temple,NH

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pinnacle Challenge

acidotic RACING was out in full force yesterday in Newport,NH for Pinnacle Challenge V, probably the only double-duathlon you'll find (if you were looking!). aR fielded 4 teams plus a solo entry in the 5 mile road run, 5.5 mile mountain bike, 13.75 mile road bike and 3.4 mile trail run event (results). With four, 4-person teams plus a soloist, there was some serious inter-club braggin' rights on the line (not to mention the chance for FREE BEER FOR A YEAR!). Let's just say it doesn't suck to be sponsored by a brewery :-)

Our team included myself on the road run, Chris Dunn on the mountain bike, Geoff Cunningham on the road bike and Brent Tkaczyk on the trail run. I liked our chances! We were ready for some racing!!
Geoff, Steve, Chris, Brent

My day would start early and end early...only because I was doing the 1st leg, the 5 mile road run. Turns out the first 2 miles of the road was more like a cross country run, with the first 1/2m run across a field and the next 1 1/2 miles run on a rail-trail. Nothing overly difficult, just an odd way to start a road run. About the 2 mile mark the course hit the pavement, and the only significant hill on the run. The next 1/2 mile was a series of short climbs. By mile 2.5 the hills were gone and it was either downhill or flat the rest of the way back. Miles 3 and 4 were along a nice country road which even included a run through a covered bridge. We were essentially running around the perimeter of a small grass airfield (Parlin Field). Once around the airfield it was a straight 1 mile shot back to Newport High School and the location of the transition area.

At 9:30am we were off. I settled into a fairly comfortable pace through the fields, trying to find someone to pace off of. By the time we hit the rail trail I was probably in 10th place o/a. Derrick Hamel (acidotic RACING 2) already had a sizable lead, followed by Justin Soucy (one of my GCS track coaches) in a distant second. By the time we left the trail and hit the roads at mile 2 I had picked off a few runners and settled into 7th place behind Eric Williams (Team High Speed Vomit, GSRT runner). Eric and I would essentially run back and forth the rest of the way, never really being more than a few yards apart. His team were the defending champs so I really needed to stay with him if I could.

Eric and me at about 3 1/2 miles
Heck, I wasn't going to catch team aR2 so I had to focus on somebody! Running together helped us close the gap on a few more runners by the time we got back to the final 1 mile straightaway. With 1/2 mile to go I had moved up to 4th but wouldn't look back to see where Eric was. As we turned onto the grass with about 50m to the transition area I found out where he was...going by me! Man do I HATE getting passed right at the finish!!!! I entered the transition at 28:20, 4 seconds behind Eric and Team Vomit and exactly 2 minutes behind Derrick of aR2. Now all I could do was wait (and take pictures!).

Special note: Derrick had the fastest road run split of the day with a 26:20.

After my run I went up into the woods to take some pics of the mountain bikers and some of the early trail runners before heading back to the transition area to catch the finish. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get any photos of the road bikers (sorry Geoff!) Chris would hammer the bike (42:34) and not only make up the 2 minute deficit but also tack on an additional 11 minute gap over aR2.

Chris on the descent

Geoff would have a very comfortable cushion to start his ride. He too would not give an inch to aR2 and even managed to pick up 38 more seconds, averaging nearly 22mph on his 13.75 mile ride, with a time of 37:59.

Geoff back from his warm up ride

Interestingly, both the mountain bike and trail run would ascend a wicked set of stairs (yes, Chris had to carry his bike up the stairs), before heading further up the mountain course. The lead solo athlete reached the top, placed his bike down and popped his rear tire on a nail. He managed to repair the flat AND still finish 2nd OVERALL (including teams)....1st solo finisher in 2:11:00.

Brent climbing 100+ stairs up a seriously steep hill

Brent was our more than capable anchor leg to finish up the day. With a nearly 12 minute lead over aR2, only an injury would doom us. Thankfully doom was not in our forecast today and Brent ran the 5th fastest trail split of the day (26:21), and our team finished a strong 4th overall in a time of 2:16:40. Tim Cox of aR2 made a herculean effort, making up 2 minutes and 14 seconds in the 3.4 mile trail run but in the end it was not enough. Team Vomit finished first in 2:09:20.

Brent bringing it home!

Special note: Tim Cox of aR2 had the fastest trail run split of the day with a 23.58.

Final acidotic RACING Results:
  1. acidotic RACING 1 (Steve, Chris, Geoff, Brent) 2:16:40
  2. acidotic RACING 2 (Derrick, Steve, Jay, Tim) 2:26:17
  3. acidotic RACING 3 (Kurt, Brayden, Jay, Austin) 2:48:02
  4. acidotic RACING 4 (Karen, Sarah, Scott, Rich) 2:50:10 (NOTE: 3rd Coed Team)
  5. Steve Sprague - solo racer 3:03:34

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