Natchez Trace Duathlon

Guy Petruzzelli, one of Trigger Points sponsored athletes, had a great race last weekend. Read below to find out how he did.

“I headed out to Tennessee this past weekend for the Natchez Trace Duathlon, a short, but extremely hilly course, with top-level competition. I was a bit nervous about the terrain, since the Chicago winter only provided me 4 days of outdoor riding, but I had been training pretty hard, so I was hoping my fitness would carry the day. After checking out the whole course on Saturday, I knew that even though the race was short, it would play to the strengths of the most fit, so, I gained some confidence as I ran the single track trail for the second run.

Race morning arrived, and I was nervous as I saw the guys lining up to race. I just kept thinking about the advice of my coach – calm mind, watch your “get out pace” and never let up. The first run started out with a nasty climb for over a 1/2 mile, starting at 6% grade and kicking up as high as 19%. So, I let a couple guys go, figuring, they were going to gas early at that pace. Fortunately, I was right. By the end of mile 1 on the first run, I was sitting in 3rd, only 10 seconds off the leader. Got back into T1 and hit the bike, climbing out the same way we did on the run. But I felt strong, and spun up the hill on to the open road. As the bike leg progressed, I felt stronger and started to push the hills hard. I knew I had lost a couple places on the bike, but, not a lot of time. I stayed calm, not wanting to blow up with a closing 5K run. Whipped out of T2, and hit the single track. It was muddy from the previous day’s adventure race, and the guys who passed me on the bike began to suffer as they sunk a bit in the mud and were tentative on the dry portions of the trail. I took a chance about 1/2 mile into the second run, doing a 30 second surge to pass 2 guys, and get into some clean air to get out of the trail. After 1.5 miles, we hit the road again, with a steady climb to the second mile marker. I saw 2nd and 3rd place, as well as first. With a mile to go, I wasn’t sure if they were hurting or not, but I knew it was time to go. I kept surging till I caught 2 and 3 as we hit the last 600 meters back to the park. I saw first place, but I was feeling the lactic acid taking its toll as the final climb on the run cut in to my legs. But, I crested and sailed down, feeling great. As I walked thru the finish chute I felt great, thinking maybe I should have gone harder, then after one sip of water and another step, I ended up vomiting in the nearest trash can. Thankfully, away from the crowd. I felt a bit better seeing the 3rd place guy having to be put on Oxygen after crossing the line and collapsing.

Big thanks to Trigger Point, as I took my kit with me to help warm up for the race, and roll out for the long ride home!”


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