Kettleman Duathlon Race Report

By , April 26, 2014 4:44 pm

Woo hoo! Today was my first official “event” on my road bike – the Kettleman Duathlon in Kettle Moraine State Forest, near Kewaskum, WI*, with Brian, Rich and Sean from my multisport club. The duathlon was a 1.5 mile run, 23.2 mile ride, followed by a 3.1 mile run. 


Ever since Steven gave me my road bike at the end of July, I’ve wanted to try it out in some sort of “official” event! Even though I could have done road events with my mountain bike, I thought it would be more enjoyable on a road bike (um, yes). When Brian mentioned this duathlon awhile ago I kept it in the back of my mind as a possibility. I ended up having a mostly free weekend, so I decided to sign up!


I did minimal training – a few indoor rides this year (including ride/run brick workouts) and one outdoor ride. So, my plan today was just to have fun and see if I would enjoy a duathlon. Spoiler alert: yes, I do!

The race started at Long Lake Recreation Area in Kettle Moraine. Both running legs were through campground access roads (so, somewhat flat!) and the bike course was on country roads around the area  (so, somewhat hilly). I know, I know, I say “hills,” and you are probably thinking, “in the midwest?!” And yeah, you are probably sick of seeing these charts, but check out the middle bike portion – those were some serious hills! Ha ha – for the midwest. I definitely utilized my low gears. 


Luckily, Brian told me it would be hilly, so I expected it. And we discussed shifting technique on the ride up, so I could make sure my plan for the hills was similar to what he would do (it was). Brian helped me a lot! This was my first solo multisport event and I had a few questions, mostly about what to wear! I didn’t want to underdress for the ride, since it was only in the 30s (36°F at the start and 38°F at the finish with 8-11 mph winds). But I didn’t want to be too hot for the run. I ended up dressing in layers that I could peel off after the second transition, and that worked out great. I was a bit too warm on the 1.5 mile run, but it was no big deal, then I felt perfectly comfortable on the ride! And ditched my gloves and arm warmers for the last run. And I skipped my padded capris/shorts since I can’t run well in those. Ha! Wonder how sore my “saddle” will be tomorrow!

Okay, so actual race! The event was pretty small, which is probably good for my first duathlon! It was easy to find a spot for my bike, and the course was never too crowded. Ha – a few times I thought I was the last biker (I wasn’t). 

I ran the first 1.5 miles in an average 8:31 pace. I was super excited to get on my bike! I stumbled a bit with my shoes but made it through transition 1 in 1:07. 

The bike course was beautiful – serene country roads, mostly open, but some wooded. The sun was out and it felt fantastic! I really wish I could have taken some photos, but yeah… that wouldn’t be safe! I ended up taking four GUs** on the bike and drinking out of both water bottles. I wasn’t sure how much I needed to fuel, and wanted to be on the safe side. 

I really enjoyed riding my bike, despite it feeling a lot windier than it was, and slowing down big time on the hills (a few expletives came out each time I saw a huge one – but I kept telling myself “you are still riding faster than you could run this!”***). There were some incredibly rewarding downhills though, where I was flying at 34+ mph!!! Woo hoo! Don’t get to do that too often!

I was hoping to average 16 mph on the bike, but ended up with 15 mph. Not too bad! My bike time was 1:32:38. I got in to transition 2 at the same time Brian was finishing! I cheered him on, quickly threw my helmet and gloves down and tried to get my running shoes on. Ha! The bottom of my feet felt so numb! I went through transition 2 in 1:06. 

And that was the only thing that bugged me on the run – numb feet. My legs felt fine. I was kind of dreading the last run during the bike ride. I was just loving riding so much that I didn’t want to stop! And I thought I might be kind of bored running through the loops of the campground. But I found a few people to talk to, including one who went to the same university as me!


My pace was slower than the first run, which I totally expected. I finished out the 5K in 29:03 for an overall time of 2:15:51. 


I was pleasantly surprised that we got participation medals! And that I placed second in my age group!


I was also surprised to see myself listed in the 30-34 age group! But I know USAT Triathlon does some weird race year age thing, so I figured that was it. 

Everyone in my club did really well, too! They finished way ahead of me and near the top finishers! I need to start riding with them to get better! And lose some weight so the hill climbs are easier. That is actually what I want to do in the next three months to prepare for the hilly day of RAGBRAI I am riding – shed some weight! And do a few longer rides. 

So, yeah. I really enjoyed this! I hope I get to try another duathlon this year, and spend a lot more time on my bike!

*When I signed up for this race this past weeek, I thought it was in Kettle Moraine State Forest where I did my 50K. Ha ha. Um, no. Apparently there are at least two Kettle Moraine State Forests – and this race was much farther away from my house than the other one. Like… a two hour drive. Meaning a 3:45 am wake-up call. Ha ha. 
**And one before race start.
***I was just so happy during the whole event – there was lots of positive self talk. “You are doing a duathlon!” “You can do it!” “Keep pedaling, you got this!” “Use your weight on the downhill to pass people!” Ha ha. 

30 Responses to “Kettleman Duathlon Race Report”

  1. Amy says:

    Woo-Hoo! Congrats on placing in you AG on your first ever biking event! Seriously, that is awesome and I would be psyched if I were you!

  2. Heather says:

    Wow that is far! But lady you rocked that, congrats! That looks like so much fun!

    That’s confusing, they aged you?!

    • kilax says:

      Thanks! Lauren explained it in the comments – USAT uses what your age will be at the end of the calendar year – mine will be 30, so that is what they used.

  3. That’s awesome that you’re getting into multisport!! I see a triathlon in your future someday!

    For the USAT age calculations, they take everyone’s age at the END of the year. So for example if you are going to be 30 on 12/31/2014, you are in the 30-34 age group this year. This helps to avoid someone racing on the last day of their 29th year against the ppl who are just turned 25 years old (really a 6 year age difference).

    There are a few duathlons to check out:
    -Tinley Park Duathlon in June
    -Run for the Dole (or something like that) in October (north suburbs)

    • kilax says:

      I would like to try one someday! I like to swim, too 😉 Just too lazy to commit to paying for a place to do it regularly 😉

      Thanks for the USAT explanation! I shared it with Heather 😉

      A lot of people I know have done the Dole one! It seems to always conflict with something but it would be so great if it worked out since it’s really close to me 🙂

  4. Kiersten says:

    So glad you liked it! I just haven’t been able to get myself out on my bike yet this year, so kudos to you for racing already.

  5. Pam says:

    Sounds fun! Glad you enjoyed it!!!

  6. Linda says:

    Great job – and it sounds like you had a great time! Yahoo.

  7. Michelle says:

    Great job! This looked like an absolute blast! I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a road bike this year, so may have to ask you for advice!

  8. Ooooh, I think this is where my trail half is! How hilly was it!?

    • kilax says:

      Are you doing the NFEC? That is actually at the other Kettle Moraine State Forest that I mentioned. The trails there are also very hilly – I did the 50K and the trail half there. It’s hard to find a place out by us that is similar in trail and/or elevation profile, but I trained at the Volo Bog and the Moraine Hills park in McHenry County to get ready and that helped a bit!

  9. Kristina says:

    Congrats! I think that you are going to be a multisport fan before you know it! I will say, the cold feet on the bike – I am SUCH a wimp but it’s hard to deal with it.

    • kilax says:

      Do you use those little bootie things for your shoes? I wonder if I should try those!

      And I always think of you when I write about the “hills” I run cause I know you have real ones!

  10. Heather says:

    Congrats!! I LOVE the downhill of the bike, too. My husband is very timid on downhills because he’s a little scared of crashing (legitimate concern), however I just let it ride – it’s so exhilarating! Lol.

    • kilax says:

      Ha ha ha! I was worried I would be scared, but I just went in to my highest gears and kept pumping so I’d go faster! It was so fun!

  11. Rachel says:

    Haha! You’re in the old age group! Neener neener!

    Great job on the race. Those hills are INSANE! I would cry trying to bike up that…and probably trying to run up it too!

    I love your smiles during the race. Congrats on placing! Are you addicted to these now?

    • kilax says:

      I had a little panic attack!!! AHH! Actually, it just took me a sec to realize it was not a mistake and that were using USAT age groups 🙂

      Thanks! Usually I think hills are easier to run, but it would have taken me SO LONG to get up it without the bike! Shall we go run up there for fun?

      Not addicted, but I really enjoyed using my bike and it just made me want to ride it more. I am looking at an organized ride the first weekend in June 🙂

  12. Congrats! You’re amazing! I’m so excited to get back on my bike this summer.. its such a nice change from running!

  13. Erin says:

    Yes! Your first duathlon! I really wish they had more of those around here. Being able to ride your bike all out with no traffic stops is so fun and such a luxury.

  14. Mica says:

    Ahhh, the numb feet! When I did my first (and only tri), the second running leg was so weird; I felt like I could still feel the clips on my bike shoes under the balls of my feet. It was a lot harder than I anticipated. A more experienced triathlete was talking to me after the race, and she said that the second 5K is “the hardest 5K you’ll ever do,” which, yeah, I kind of agreed with.

    But anyway, GREAT JOB!! I’m glad you liked biking so much!!

    • kilax says:

      Yeah! It was exactly like that – phantom clips! So odd! I was very pleased that I averaged 10:00mm. I still think the hardest 5K I have done is that dang snowshoe one. LOL!

      Thanks! 🙂

  15. Alyssa says:

    Oh that is hilly! I rode my tri bike outside while I was in Iowa on Friday and the hills were killing me! I guess trainer rides don’t help me train much for the hills!

    • kilax says:

      Yeah, we gotta get outdoors for those hills! I am thinking I need to go back up to this place to train for Ragbrai or maybe ride in Barrington!

  16. Congrats and how fun!!

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