Riding This Week


Chainbuster MTB Racing Series - Georgia's friendliest MTB racing. 6 & 9 Hour Endurance racing for solo or teams.

Dirty Spokes - Duathlon and Trail running series. Love these guys. First class events.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

2012 Dirty Spokes Duathlon at Fort Yargo

Dirty Spokes, Inc.
Finally! Finally my daughters are getting old enough to actually enjoy competing in something more than a 5K fun run. Our first real race would take place at a familiar location for my family, Fort Yargo State Park in Winder, Georgia. After deciding to quit Gymnastics my oldest daughter, Molly, wanted to stay fit and have an event to train for so we started looking at the calender. Last year my friend David Shabat and I were very successful in the Dirty Spokes Duathlon Series but I hadn't considered it something Molly could do because it was so much running. But when I checked the website I found out Tim had a Parent/Child category. Done!

These great folks put on some of the best races in Georgia. Despite the name they're actually known best for their XTERRA trail running series. And in case you are new to my blog let me tell you "I don't run." It's not what I do. I only have time to be good at one discipline. So running is only for bone density and nothing else. I'm sure it wouldn't hurt so much if I ran all the time. It might actually be fun. But right now it's not fun...to run.

Molly has plenty of nervous energy at registration.
But Molly is young and carefree. She doesn't know that running isn't fun. She's motivated by anything. So we signed her up to race with me in the Duathlon. She would run 3.8 miles in the trail and then I'd bike 11 miles. Of course it being her first race we let her Mom run with her.
So that meant that Mother and Daughter were obligated to start training for the race. Cool.

They both made running a priority for weeks leading up to the race and by the time we got there they were ready to complete the task.

I packed my bike and all our gear into a van and we headed out on what was a beautiful Saturday morning. It started out in the 40's but warmed up to the 50's by lunch time. The breeze coming across the lake kept our jackets on though. Especially the girls. Because girls are always cold.
The park is a fantastic place for events like this. There's plenty of trail to allow the runners and bikers to stay separated. There's camping areas and play grounds and boat docks. If you bring the right stuff it's down right relaxing. I almost always bring the right stuff. I had chairs and blankets and food. Sock hats and gloves. The last thing I want is my girls to be miserable. I need them to like this.

At the start I think I was just a nervous as they were. I felt the erg to jump in there and push some people around if they got to close. But that's just my Daddy/Husband genes kicking in. I know they'll be fine. So I took pictures.
Molly and Lisa are lined up and ready.
My Angels!
Molly was wearing our number which had the timing chip built into it. I'd never seen that before but I liked it. The crowd began to swell with runners of all types. There were the super serious guys who had been waiting at the starting line for 30 minutes. Then we had some mid pack guys seemed intent on going after a personal best. And in the back were the folks who simply wanted to complete the course. I was especially inspired by the lady you see in white behind the girls. I won't say her age but she did fantastic! I only hope I'm doing stuff like this when I'm that age. I love these kinds of people. Most everyone was fun loving and grateful. It good to be around and good for my daughter to be around.

Johnny Garner aka String Bean at the start.
And then there was Johnny Garner. He is evidently warm blooded. He was almost naked. Even I felt over weight next to his skinnyness. But he must know what he's doing because his relay team won their division.

I also saw my good friends from Baxter's Multi-Sport. Ron Miller won in the Solo Single Speed Division. Doc (I don't even know his real name) took Second in his division. The team of Ray Mullins and Nathan O'Neill were Second in their division. Kelly Woodard was 1st Place. And little miss Betty Hodges took home a 1st Place in her category. Great day for the Baxter's crew!

The Start.

The Exchange.
Chad and Molly at the Finish.
After my girls were on course I headed to the van to get ready. My plan, regardless of Molly's time, was to time trial the course. So I needed to warm up. I got ready and went down to the Start/Finish to enter the bike course and pre-ride the first few miles. But by that time the speedsters were back and the transition area was full of action. I rode up next to Johnny who had just finished his first run. We watched folks coming in and I got worried that I would miss Molly (I've done that sort of thing before). So I went and got the camera and asked Johnny to take pictures for me. Molly came running up and we made our exchange. I underestimated the amount of traffic on the trail and had to dial down my expectations. It took me 54 minutes to ride what normally would take between 45 and 50.

Molly waited at the finish for me to arrive. I loved it. I've said before that events are more fun after you've completed them than while you're suffering through them. I know how great it feels to be nervous, take the start line, push through the effort and finish the race. I know how great it feels to finally sit down and relax afterwards. Knowing that you did something cool and maybe beyond what you thought you could do. I was excited for Molly. And for Lisa. Now we were having fun.

 We waited around for the awards ceremony to start, hanging out with the Baxter's guys in the sunshine. Which wasn't enough for Molly who wanted to stay bundled up in the chair. I spoil her, I really do. I met a nice guy who rides for Team Iron Data named Jim. He won the Solo division. Really nice guy. The announcer came by to congratulate Molly on a fine win and told her she needed a faster partner. Tim (Dirty Spokes Promoter) came by and encouraged Molly as well.

So there you have it. We did our first race together. And I hope there are many more to come. We had a great time thanks to the Dirty Spokes folks. It gets better the more we talk about it. A lot of the credit has to go to my beautiful wife Lisa. She puts up with me and my training and now has another trainee on her hands. But it's not so bad...she's just as competitive as I am. Perhaps one day we'll compete in the Coed division (hint, hint). 

On Sunday it was biking with friends at Gainesville College. I can't help but share some of those great pictures.

Next up is the Chainbuster Race at Conyers Horse Park. I've somehow convinced David Shabat and he's somehow convinced Clint Sanders to be on a team. It's a special team with a special team name. You'll have to wait and see what it is though. It promises to be a ton of fun. I'll take pictures.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend! Check the top of the page for the latest ride and races in North Georgia.

Chad Hayes

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