This past weekend was the 7th annual Fly By Night Duathlon, held at the Watkins Glenn International Speedway. If you have ever played with matchbox cars, boy or girl…… you develop this secret dream of racing on a racetrack. As a kid my father took us to the Daytona 500 and as loud as it was….. I was intrigued. Here these guys could go as fast as they wanted to. Zoom!!!!
My good friend Jeff Henderson came to town in 2004…. came back to town I should say, he is from Geneva……. and brought us the Musselman 1/2 Ironman. Then he backed up that spectacular race with this unique formula 1 style event…. on a race track of all places.
Now a bunch of grownups could live out their childhood dreams.
My husband races this annually, and a few weeks ago I was finalizing my race and announcing schedule. I shot him an email and asked him if he needed a race announcer. Luckily he did, and I got to have the unique opportunity to announce at a race track!
The format was this: run 1.8 ish miles / bike 10 / run 1.8 / bike 10 / run 1.8. Check out the results here.
It was a star-studded field if you ask me, headlined by the one and only Travis Kuhl. We met Travis ten years ago and like I mentioned previously, one of the guys in sport that I respect most.
While Travis was the headliner for the men, Laura Kline was the favorite for the women. Laura has enjoyed a lengthy career of all distances; triathlon, duathlon, running.
The rest of the field was full of speedsters…. 27 year old Adam Forgione from Pennsylvania was 4th in the World as a junior duathlete. Erica Ruge of the Bikeway Team was in the mix as well as local favorite Kristie Mallory, who just took top honors at the Spring Classic one week ago.
Other notables in the field were multi time national champ Curt Eggers (That name sounds familiar), bronze medalist at world’s Tom Dutton. The man who really got me into this sport Warren Elvers (another decorated national caliber duathlete), Jim Roche, the legend of all legends Dirk Elliot.
I met an incredible group of athletes from Rogue Racing, hailing from Horseheads…. I kept screwing their name up. I think I called them everything but Rogue Racing (you get a little air dunk up there!). Nice Tri had a team, The Broome County Triathlon Team, The Rochester Moms in Motion, The Ithaca Triathlon Club, Buffalo Triathlon Club, Rochester Area Triathletes, TriVault and of course we have four athletes competing from Train-This. Three of mine and one of my co-coaches.
When you see your own athletes racing in your team kit it’s one thing. When someone you don’t quite know (but I actually do know her is in it it’s an even cooler feeling.
The course this year was different, which I found to be a bit frustrating. One of my athletes, Kristin had done this race last year and I was hoping to compare times. But that’s the beauty of Jeff Henderson…. he mixes it up. The bike was clockwise this year and the run course was changed (and a touch longer) because of seriously high grass.
Nonetheless at 6:15pm, the race began! It was nighttime, on the Watkins Glenn track. Does it get any better than that!!!!
After the first run to bike transition…. things became difficult to track from an announcer perspective. I knew to look for Travis, and Adam’s father pointed him out to me…… then teeny tiny Laura Kline slipped right on through without me even noticing!
In a race like this there really is no pacing. It’s red line from wire to wire. And that’s what Travis did as he took out the first run in 10:20 which was around a 5:54 per mile pace. Adam was not far behind coming in at 11:13, a strong 6:25 pace. Taking the first bike section in 25:57, Adam followed up with his initial three laps of the bike with a 27:34. When Adam came in from his second bike, he had probably the most impressive dismount I have ever seen. After he dismounted he caught my eye because he was holding his bike by the seat post and it was waaaay up in the air!!!!
As Travis came down the finisher’s chute he stopped and took the hands of his two beautiful children, and I was able to grab a post race interview with him.
“The team guys had me worried.” He admitted with a laugh, “I couldn’t really tell who was who out there, I was just hoping that I wasn’t going to have to work any harder!” This was Travis’ 6th victory at the Fly By Night. Head’s up to all who come out next year…… Travis’ sister will be getting married on this weekend. That top spot will be wide open!
Adam finished up strong with a second place and hot on his heels was Tim Adrus.
The beautiful thing about our sport is that age means nothing, there was some really amazing 50 year olds in the top five….. my husband would have been in that top ten group…. had he not ridden an extra lap on the bike.
Three laps. One two three. Good one Eggers. This isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened!
On the ladies side Laura Kline set the stage for the night with a set of super consistent splits…… 12:03 first run and 29:43 first bike set her a few minutes up on Erica Ruge who nailed her first splits with a 13:05 and a 30:35. Third place Nira Kovakofski wasn’t far behind and nailed very even splits as well.
At her post race interview Laura laughed when I asked her what went through her head today “I didn’t really think about anything!” , sign of a girl in the zone “I just tried to get out there and stay out in front”, and that she sure did. Up next for Laura…. Boilermaker.
On our team we had a very stellar performance by Greg Hoorocks, who was neck and neck with Curt until Curt lost count of his laps. This Ironman lake Placid athlete put a stamp on the top ten with three solid runs and some 27 minute bike splits, that’s with dropping a chain!!! Kristin Mullally was just seconds out of third as a porta potty stopped robbed her of 2 minutes!!! Our ever consistent Richard Adams enjoyed another set of really consistent splits and Coach Jackie’s athlete Donna backed up a pretty tough training week looking unbelievably fresh as she came storming through the finish line.
Whew. I had an absolute blast announcing. Thanks to Andy Schachat who has been an amazing mentor to me. He is truly the man on the New England Scene. He’s taught me so much! Thanks to Jeff Henderson as always for allowing me to just storm my way into events like this, and for putting on such an awesome race in the coolest ever venue!
And thanks to all of you for stopping by to give me competitor stats, helping me with pronunciation, etc!
We have a giant week on tap for the Train-This athletes! You will see us at Keuka, Pittsford, Honu 70.3, a 5K in Iowa and three of our peeps will be heading over to Rev 3 Quassy!