Saturday, August 17, 2013

3rd Annual Chunky Dunk Duathlon Race Report

This is one of my favorite races. I did the Chunky Dunk back in 2011 when it first started. I had an amazing experience due to the awesome event staff and race director, that I knew I’d be back. And I was. I did it last year, but never wrote a race report. I had kind of an off year with blogging.

This year was the 3rd annual Chunky Dunk Duathlon and as a new addition this year, they had a paddle board race and swim as an option. My friend, Alyson came and did the race with me for the 2nd year in a row and we did the usual swim/run race, but it was nice to see them branching out!

In usual race fashion, I set out my stuff the night before and aimed to get a good night’s sleep. And in usual race fashion, I didn’t go to bed until 2 am. Happens all the time. I know I’m not the only one!

After getting checked in and tatted up with my race number, I realized that I had gotten a T-shirt for paddle boarding instead of the Chunky Dunk. So I went over to exchange them. On my way back to the set up area, my posse informed me that I had gotten the wrong race number. Sure enough, I wasn’t Meredith... and I wasn’t number 33 either. That was disappointing. I was kind of excited that I was number 33 because that’s my age! It’s the little things that excite me, I tell you. Instead I was number 65. They had looked at my age instead of my race number when pulling my packet. Since I had already been written on in sharpie, I got block numbers on me to cover up the mistake. I calculated that it would come off in approximately 32 days. Turns out, rubbing alcohol takes of off in about 10 minutes. Maybe 2 for regular numbers. But with half my arm blackened, it was a bit longer. Holly, I’m looking at you on this one.

See? Not me!
As I was getting ready, I realized I was again breaking the cardinal rule of racing by trying out something new on race day. Goggles. I had been having issues with my goggles because they were old and fogged up really bad within seconds of starting a swim. So I bought a new pair. It was the same brand so I figured it would be fine. It wasn’t. I had issues with the straps pulling loose and not fitting into the bracket, resulting in loose fitting goggles. I actually used them for the first time at the Mass State Triathlon  and I had the same issue then too. You’d think I’d learn

They started race announcements and told us that because there were a bunch of different races going on at the same time they were going to have all the swim/run racers start in one wave together instead of in 4 waves as planned. Damn, I was hoping for a head start!  

We headed out on the half-mile swim and I realized I couldn’t see the buoys. So I just followed the hoard of people in front of me and figured I’d see the buoy when I got close enough to it. I was right. And it was fine. Got the swim done, hit the beach with my usual out of water pose and headed to the transition area to get my sneakers on for the run.

Who am I kidding? I didn’t run. This was my first running in a race since 2012 sometime and my first time running in at least a month. I was in no way shape or form ready to run. But I kind of did it anyway. I did a bit of running, or jogging really, but walked most of it.

A few people were behind me in the swim, but passed me on the run, no surprise there, so I was the last finisher of the swim/run. Normally being last place would bother me as it has in the past with my mantra of I don’t care where I finish as long as I finish, and I’m not last. But when I realized I could still feel accomplished even when I finish last, like I did at the Mass State Triathlon, I wasn’t so bothered.

I was however disappointed with myself for not training at all. I certainly had the time do some training swims and runs before this race, but I got lazy and just didn’t challenge myself. I like the fun of the races, but none of the fun of the training. All that does is build me up for disappointment at a race when I know I could have done better. Last year in the race, I shaved 4 minutes off my time from the year before. This year I added 3 minutes. I know I can do better. And I know I’ll do this race again next year, so I know what I need to do to swim and run a better race.

After the race, they were doing the awards for the top finishers in each age group. Instead of medals they were giving beer mugs with the Chunky Dunk logo on it. I jokingly asked the race director, Holly, where my award for last place was. She grabbed a mug and handed it to me. I told her I was only kidding!! Then said “Wait!” and grabbed a second mug then said, “You get two because you’re so awesome”. Well, THAT I can agree with! I went back to our transition area with my trophies and gave one to Alyson, because in my book, we’re both awesome!

We headed back to the house to change and take some pictures with our shirts, mugs and of course the infamous “We don’t skinny dip, we chunky dunk” sign before heading back into town to grab some lunch.

And the next day we celebrated with some wine with frozen grapes in our mugs.

If you live in the area, you definitely need to check out this race next year. It’s one of the good ones. I promise! Plus, I'm listed on their site as a "success story". If I can do it, you can do it!

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