31 May, 2009

Duathlon or Biathlon?

Seems like either term is accurate. Biathlon is an event with any two sports, but most commonly refers to the winter sports of skiing & rifle shooting. Duathlon is most similar to a triathlon without a swimming leg - running, cycling, and sometimes followed by another running leg. (All this according to our friend wikipedia...)

Either way you call it, Greg participated in one of them yesterday. The Eklutna Challenge is put on by Lifetime Adventures. It's a 3 mile run, followed by a 15 mile bike ride through the woods. It also happens to be right in our backyard - figuratively speaking, of course. Eklutna is just outside Eagle River, which is about 30 minutes from here. Of course, once you get off the highway, you've got to go 10 miles down a windy road @ 30mph, so it can take almost an hour to get there, but still...

The race started at 10am, but Greg needed to be there by 8:30 or so... which is *way* early on a Saturday (taking drive time into account) for me. So I opted to skip all the pre-race stuff and sleep until 8:30am (which is still early for me on a weekend). So while he was getting warmed up and prepped for his adventure, I was home having a nice warm cup 'o joe and doing the dishes. Dishes?? Well, yeah... the sink was overflowing and there wasn't anyplace to set my dirty cup. So because of the stupid dishes (and because I turned into the wrong parking lot, and because I had to get the park sticker from Greg's car and put it on my windshield so I wouldn't have to pay to park), I didn't actually arrive until almost 10:30. So I missed the start. But I still got to see some of the runners come in, gear up, and head out for the bike portion. Unfortunately for me (but good for him!), Greg had already gone through.

After cheering on the last of the runners, there was a break in activity. Apparently it takes a little bit of time to traverse 15 miles of hilly, rocky trails on a bike. Who'd have thunk it? =) Since I haven't been out to Eklutna since... *years* ago when I drove in to pick M up from a bike ride (I think that's the trip when she & mom were up for a visit and we also went river rafting - which means it really was *ages* ago)... I wandered around a bit and took some pictures. It's a nice place - I'm thinking we might need to investigate this for some camping closer to home...

After a bit, I headed back to the race and got to watch the bikers come in. I was determined to get a picture of Greg as he passed me on the way to the finish line! But maybe I should have thought some things through first. Like charging my camera battery? I already know my camera takes a few seconds between pressing the button and capturing the picture. So I was standing in an area where I'd (hopefully) be able to see the contestants, pick out Greg, focus, shoot, and get the shot before he passed by. Plenty of time! Unless the battery is dying - then everything takes even longer. Oh! And you can't have the camera on & ready, because you don't want to waste the battery while you're waiting.

So I got a great shot of some people that I don't even know. Got a little excited thinking it was Greg, but no such luck. And when he finally did come round the bend getting the shot took longer than I anticipated. So now you get to see a picture of his backside as he passes out fo the frame. Oh well. My next camera will still be a point & shoot, but it'll have a quicker shutter time...

He did really well, considering this was his first go at this type of event. He ran the 3 miles pretty fast - which is how I ended up missing the switch (and the damn dishes!). He had to deal with a flat tire and an inner tube that wouldn't hold air for the bike portion, so was a bit delayed there (another biker had a spare tube that he gave to Greg so he could finish). Live and learn... He seemed pretty happy with the entire event and I'm sure he'll be doing more of this in the future. Official results are posted here. So I'll either need to get out of bed to go with him, or forget the dishes until later... =)

No comments: