The date was October 6th, the time- 7:30am. 550 athletes lined up for the 2012 Aurora BayCare Duathlon. It was a windy and cold fall morning. The temperature was in the low 30’s, a 40 degree difference from last year’s summer-like duathlon. The race started and ended at the Ashwaubenon Boardwalk on Pilgrim Way. The distance for the 2012 race differed slightly from last years, with participants running 3.1 miles, biking 29 miles, and finishing with a one-mile run.
I was in wave 9 with some familiar faces, which always helps when your nerves are high prior to starting a race. Jackie Miller and Kristen Stodola, both friends and coworkers of mine, lined up with me at the start.
They listened to my pep talk and jumped around with me to warm up. I get nervous every time, no matter what race it is. This was the first time I would bike competitively in such cold weather.
I didn’t know how to dress, so I ended up wearing my snowmobile neck warmer, a hat, gloves, long pants with bike shorts, a long sleeve shirt and jacket with fleece over the top. I wanted to be warm enough. 2 ½ miles into the run I pulled the fleece off, but kept the rest on for the remainder of the race. The 29 mile bike ride was tough due to the wind, but the 1 mile run at the end was by far the hardest part of the entire race.
When I got off my bike to transition to the run, my legs felt like 2 blocks of ice. I had to work that much more to move one foot in front of the other. As I took off on my run I saw a coworker, Corey Kunzer, who encouraged me to push on. I pushed hard and kept telling myself, “You’re almost there! You can do this! Get it over with already!”
Finally I saw the finish in site. I barreled my way to the finish line and threw my hands up! It felt great to be done………and I did better than my time from the previous year, which is always rewarding.
A few employees and friends from Aurora BayCare participated including, John Utrie, Jackie Miller, Kristen Stodola, Junius Ho, Regan Kust, Kevin Mullinax, John Lee, and the entire Raul Mendoza family. Everyone gathered post race to congratulate each other for finishing on such a cold and windy day.
Although the temperature was frigid, the hearts of participants and fans was warmed by the success of racers and the love of a young couple who chose to become engaged at the event. Bob Tews of Waupaca chose the event to propose marriage to Suzy White of Green Bay at the finish line. The two had been dating since meeting at the 2011 event.
It was a great day for all! Congratulations to everyone who participated. Who knows, perhaps a race is the perfect place to meet your true love. Come the Aurora BayCare Spooky Sprint and you may just meet the one!
Whether you’re a competitive athlete or a weekend warrior, Aurora BayCare Sports Medicine’s experts will put you on top of your game. To start your customized training program, contact us at 920-288-5400.