Race Coverage

Lucky Charms, Pee Face & Creepy Doll...


By Nikki Dostert Sudberry


OAKDALE DUATHLON RACE REPORT - If you’re offended by swearing; don’t read this.  That’s the beauty of reading this one.  You get a choice!!

Its 6:35am and I already know that today is going to be a great race.  How do I know? I just gobbled up an entire bowl of Lucky Charms and washed it down with orange juice.  This is my pre race fuel whether I’m competing in a local 5k or an Ironman. I also know I’m winning because while my kids sleep I took the last bit of that stale, marshmallowy goodness. I know, I’m an asshole. Don’t worry you’re not the only one who thinks that.  Plus, the early bird gets the worm, right?  Don’t worry I left Cherrios for them.

With my bike and transition bag in tow I make my way to Oakdale Minnesota to race in the  Oakdale Spring Classic duathlon.  I’ve done this race many times but for the last 2 years I have managed to walk away with a first place AG award. It would be nice to make it 3 years but I guess we will see.

I get to the venue and my best bud Marc is already there in standard early fashion as he is usually the first to appear at these races. We set up our transition areas, take our bikes for a spin and talk about other upcoming races with other athletes. I look around; the women here look fast. Really fast. And we all know what fast women look like.  They wear the Gear West kit.

Everyone lines up for the mass start.  My favorite part of the race.  Everyone’s “omg I’m so caffeinated” pee face is on.  (It’s not a race face, its a nervous pee face.)  Star Spangled Banner is sung perfectly and we are off!  And the sea of red and black fast kits start to...

distance themselves from me as the clock ticks. Many thoughts enter my brain “ I wish there had been more lucky charms, I’m so hungry” “damn those women are fast !”  I look at my Garmin, 6:40 average….. I better slow my roll.


The weather was perfect; not too hot or cold and completely overcast. A crisp spring morning and while the athletes make their way through the 3 mile run of smallish paved hills, its almost impossible to not appreciate the park that I’m in. The smell of the trees, the sound foot steps and breathing of athletes around me.  We are all in our element.  Some first timers and some veterans but our goal is the same. To finish and to be proud of ourselves.

As I make my way into T1 I see my creepy good luck doll and I make my way on the bike.  I know this bike course well as my parents live a mile from the park and the familiarity is comforting; the seams in the road and the hill that’s to come after we exit the park.  That hill is a punch in the ovaries but it separates the athletes for the next 10 miles on the bike.  Road conditions are near perfect and every corner and right hand turn has the smiling volunteers that reminds us that we are on the right track and so much closer to the finish.  The bike course was windy but fast and I was happy that all I had left was 2.5 mile run

As I leave T2 I think “Just run damnit, this will all be over in less than 25 min.”  Salty face, burning lungs…. And the fast people are nowhere to be seen.  During long distance triathlon training I practice no negative self-talk.  But I was hungry and my pee face was still on and I’m slow and I’m tired…..but I have a bright and beautiful kit!  And I now only have 10 minutes of running left and I can do anything for 10 min! Like that one time I had a 10lbs baby that ripped through my body!  Yeah! It’s not THAT bad!  And OMG I hear cheering and what’s that?!? It’s the smell of the bbq at the finish line!  Everyone is eating and having a party and damnit I want to be there!  Off comes my tri top and with my sports bra and hungry mom belly I run faster.  
 I see my friends; and I’m finally here. I finished and guess what? At that moment I didn’t care what the clock said.  My friends are my friends no matter how I finish and I didn’t have to worry about Nike or Adidas dropping me as an athlete.  Sometimes its comforting to think of that!!!
 I lay on the grass waiting for my heart rate to come down and welcomed the cool air.

After a few chuckles I overhear athletes talking about their race. The good and the hard.  It’s different for everyone; like snowflakes.  It makes me smile to know that every athlete crossing that finish line just did their version of “hard.”

I’m smiling, my friends are smiling and everyone is wolfing down the post race food.  I find out that I finish 2nd in my 30-39 AG and with first place being taken out for the overall category I managed to score another 1st place AG medal:)

Marc and I celebrate with a post race beer.  I can’t wait until next year:)

3 mile run 23:08  7:40/mile
14 mile bike 41:15   20.4/ avg
2.5 mile run  20:25  8:19/avg


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