Review: 2012 Race to Recycling

“Recycle, reuse, reduce … and re-run!”

Date

Saturday, April 28, 2012, 8:00 AM

Location

Recycle City, Saint Peters, MO

Distance

Official: 2.5 mile run / 15 mile bike / 2.5 mile run
Measured (my GPS): 2.45 run / 15.45 mile bike / 2.45 mile run

Transition area showing bicycles on racks.

About half of the transition area.

Put on by

Saint Peters RecPlex

Saint Peters Recycle City

Timing by Fleet Feet

Sponsors

Cost

$37 individual, $47 team

USAT Sanctioned

No.

Woman approaching finish line.

Finish line. The is on Ecology Drive looking east, the end of the road with the turn onto the levee is in the background.

 

Swag

Cotton/polyester commemorative t-shirt.

It’s all on the event website, dude

Race Day Weather

68 degrees, sunny, light wind.

Parking

Open field adjacent to the transition area.

About the Race

This was a first year event, organized by the same people who do the Saint Peters RecPlex  Spring and Fall Triathlons. The race was run in conjunction with an open house of the Recycle Center, which meant you could tour the Recycle Center, pick up more Saint Peters Blue Recycle Bags, check out the big trucks and equipment on display, and so forth.

There were about 50 racers at the event.

The First Run

The course is 1.25 miles out, 1.25 miles back. The run started on a flat roadway, then a quick easy ascent up to the top of the levee. The course is advertised as “flat”, and its true in that the majority of the course is indeed quite flat, but it has some interesting features. The surfaces consisted of roadway at the start and finish, bike/run trail between Salt River Road and the turnaround, gravel road (the bulk of the course, and this is small crushed gravel so not a footing problem), some short transitional areas with broken up asphalt, and mowed grass reminescent of cross country running. One of the more interesting features is the loop in the figure around Salt River Road and Spencer Creek. At this point you make a 20 foot hill climb to transition form the levee to the bike/run trail. Making the quick transition was preferable to going a longer distance at a slope. I was told the only other alternative was to need to cross salt River Road (which was the rain plan).

The course was adequately marked with volunteers where needed. The water station was located near the loop.

Transition 1

Run out/in was on the east side, bike out/in was on the west side. Portable toilets were on the parking lot of the Recycle Center, which means you could do a detour at the beginning/end of the bike leg if necessary.

The Cycling


The cycling portion used a lot of Highway C with a short jog down Highway B. This section is popular among local cyclists and triathletes who are looking for flat level training. These are flat country roads with generally light traffic. This section is also used in the Saint Peters triathlons. There are some hills in getting to and from the transition area and Highway C. We were faster going out than coming back due to a light breeze coming from that direction.

There is essentially no shoulder on much of this route so if you get a flat, you are going to be standing off in the tall grass to fix it. It is an enjoyable ride, especially if you enjoy hearing redwing blackbirds! I also got to experience a black cat darting in front of me at about mile 12. I don’t know if that is a regular feature of the course or not 😉

The route marking and volunteer placement was straightforward. There was a bit of a challenge near the end due to the timing of the day’s events. The other events going on at the Recycle Center were starting at about the time the cyclists were returning, which meant a line of cars waiting to park. The volunteers kept an eye out and directed both the riders and the vehicular traffic, so it all worked.

Transition 2

Reverse of Transition 1.

The Second Run

The second run was an exact repeat of the first. The short dash up the embankment was, for me, a short walk on the second run!

Newbie Lessons Learned

  • As a runner, it is interesting to the see the relationship of the first run to the second run. I’m (hopefully) at the beginning of the fitness path, and in my case it seems like the person running the first leg and the second leg are not only not the same person, but not even from the same gene pool. This article is interesting. Although it refers to Ironman™ specifically, and I certainly can’t vouch for whether the science is valid or not, it does state an interesting premise: the secret to the triathlon run is in the triathlon cycling, i.e., becoming a strong cyclists supports having something left with which to run, and additionally, cycling workouts are supportive of running but not vice versa. Empirically, the latter seems to make sense to me; as a high school cross country runner, it amazed me how hard it was to ride during the few times I got onto a bike. So I present this for your consideration.

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