Wednesday, October 08, 2008

DaveM's team wins Greenway Challenge!

After a postponement due to weather and a lot of uncertainty Dave Mingori's team rallied last weekend to win the Greenway Challenge. Here's Dave's report:

Well, we won yesterday to make it 6 out of 8 years! Our final time of 4:18.24 was only 8 minutes slower than what I was projecting for a "best case" scenario. We beat our initially projected time by almost 20 minutes (we were anticipating 4:35). Our winning gap of 16 minutes was our largest of any win (although of the 2 teams that beat us last year, one didn't show and the other was DQ'd - see below). Results will only be posted by total time on the Greenway page. Split times by leg are not kept track of by race people, so we get splits taken by combination of individual participants and support people.

I personally was quite happy with my legs. Did the first 4.75 mile leg in 27:43 (5:49/mile). I started the leg in 2nd, overtaking the guy in front of me in the first 1/4 mile. Knowing the course helped as I knew where I wanted to back off the gas in order to conserve a bit for the final leg, then push the final rolling 3/4 mile on trail where I knew others would be tiring and slow down. My final leg is an extremely fast leg. Pancake flat on a bike path, following the river. Is actually a bit net downhill since the river loses some in elevation along that stretch. I ran 19:18 for 3.55 miles which works out to a 5K equivalent of about 16:51.

A little trash talking went on before that leg to get me pumped up. I knew we had almost an 8 minute lead going into the kayak section leading up to me. I knew our kayaker was pretty much unbeatable in the boat he had. So barring hitting a rock or something it was quite likely over. So only 22 minutes into the leg a 2-person racing canoe comes around the bend and people start yelling "what number are you". I know there's no way they should be in the race but I recognize the canoe from prior years, and it's a REALLY fast boat and paddler. Well it turns out it was team 2 who had been DQ'd in the very first bike leg (they beat us last year by 3 minutes). Not sure exactly what happened but I think their biker missed the start then cut the course trying to catch up. So one of the paddlers says "no, we're not in the race but if we hadn't been DQ'd we'd have won". I couldn't resist so I asked him how he could be so sure since they weren't actually racing (you know, tried the logic approach). He asked me if I was on Great Canadian and then said "you'd have lost".

Just at that moment our paddler comes into view. Now I'm in race mode and a bit PO'd at the guy as well. The adrenaline is now going quite nicely and I hit the mile in 5:15! Okay, maybe a bit too aggressive but just kept pressing, going thru mile 2 in 10:44, hanging on for mile 3, then going into overdrive once I could see the finish with 1/2 mile to go.

Here are our splits, rounded to nearest minute (except my legs which I personally had timed exact). Our paddler is my friend Mark who I won the Tuckerman 2-person with. We had a guy Mark works and trains with do the first bike leg and mtb leg. Our usual biker did the 2nd bike leg.
1) 15.7 mile bike in 42 minutes (22.5mph). Pack start with 2 pretty good hills in last 3 miles. Our guy basically hung with a pack of 7 or 8 then dropped the hammer on the final hills, gapping the group with one other rider, opening up 30-40 seconds in those last couple miles. His time also includes the transition time for the kayaker to get into the water, since we started the next split once our paddler was in. Subtract at most 40 seconds.

2) 4.5 mile kayak in 43 minutes, including a 250 yard portage (~ 2minutes out of the water). Accounting for portage and transition, he averaged about 6.7mph on the water. He paddles a 15' Pyranha down-river racer.

3) 6.8 mile mountain bike (our leadoff biker doubled up here) in 43 minutes. Very technical course, but he was still only 5 minutes off what we believe was the fastest time of the day.
4) 4.75 mile run in 27:43

5) 17.9 mile bike in 49 minutes (22.0mph). This was the most nerve racking leg as our guy flatted with 2.5 miles to go. He decided to keep going at that point rather than stopping to change the tube as the final run in was mostly flat and straight with just 2-3 tight turns toward the very finish. Maybe 2-3 minutes lost due to the flat. Had it happened earlier, he'd have had to stop and change it, so a bit of luck on our side there.

6) 4.2 mile kayak in 34 minutes (7.4mph). This is the leg we knew we'd crush people on as we had an extremely fast flat water boat. It was a 18.5' composite sea kayak. Same paddler did both legs.
7) 3.55 mile run in 19:18

So maybe a NETT team next year to mix it up?


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