This last weekend, I finally got a chance to run the Triple D near Dubuque, Iowa. I first found out about the race a few years back, but never got up the courage to sign up. The race consists of a 22 mile run/ski or a 60 mile bike ride. The course for the run is basically the entire Heritage Trail which starts in Dyersville and finishes just outside Dubuque around Durango.
The bike event seems crazy since it’s on a trail with snow, but after seeing the kinds of bikes they use, it’s looks cool. Here’s a link to the Surly – Pugsley (http://surlybikes.com/bikes/pugsley_complete/) which is the typical bike used. Think of a bike with motorcycle tires, thermoses instead of water bottles and handlebar mounted mittens. Maybe next year…
The run was very cool. I’m really starting to like trail running and longer distances vs the avg road 5k. The packet pickup was at the Grand Harbor Hotel in Dubuque, IA. All the runners hopped on a bus and were shuttled out to Dyersville to the start. The bikers stayed at the hotel and would bike an alternate route but start at the same time as us. The runner’s route was dead simple, start at the beginning of the Heritage Trail and run to Durango. The finish was at “The Handle Bar” on the left hand side of the trail around mile 22, which also turned out to be the first building we came across! After an uneventful start with the mayor of Dyersville saying “go”, about 30 of us chased down the trail along with two skiers. Since this was a self sufficient run, I packed like a boy scout. I had my usual winter running clothes of tights, Brooks winter pants, cold gear Under Armour shirt, thick jacket, Seirus Hat
and Yak Trax. The only problem was, I grabbed Michelle’s smaller Yak Trax which barely stretched over the shoes. The mistake turned out to be a recipe for blisters, but well worth the traction in the snow.
The start of the race went very well. I felt great and was able to keep a decent pace. For the first 15 miles or so, I ran behind two other guys. Once we broke up the pack, it became apparent how pacing with others really helps. For the next 3 miles or so it was all solo running, with the only distraction being the base of Sundown Mountain and a view of snowboarders in the distance. Around mile 18, I caught up with Bob (friend from CR) and we finished the rest of the race together, albeit slow. We got to The Handle Bar 3 hours and 11 minutes later. The best part of the race was an open bar tab with your entry fee and beer waiting at the finish.
The only problem I encountered throughout the run was a frozen Camelbak tube. I knew the Camelbak might freeze, so I put in under my outer jacket. But when I started to heat up I had the jacket half zipped which provided enough cold air to freeze the water tube. I never thought of this because during my practice runs I could hear the sloshing of water in the bladder of the pack and assumed it was good to go. It took a mile thinking about how to unfreeze the tube when it finally occurred to me just zip up the damn jacket. I think I started laughing at myself because of how simple the solution was…amazing how an elevated heart rate can messed up your thinking process!
Overall the race was cool. The weather could be a huge factor though, and we got lucky with mild temperatures, little to no wind and mostly packed snow. Next year, I may not be as lucky.
Here’s the race link if interested…http://www.tripledrace.blogspot.com/