Yesterday I participated in the Mermaid Duathlon in beautiful Capitola, CA. It’s an adorable beach town just south of Santa Cruz.
After being on the injured list all summer, I knew going into this race there was no way I could compete. So I took it easy and enjoyed every second of it. #bestdecisionever
This was my 3rd year participating and is still my absolute favorite race course in the history of ever.
It starts on a pier overlooking the gorgeous October sunrise, goes through a charming residential street, on the beach and the ride takes you through wooded areas so you get a little of everything.
I met up with my friend Brittany and her husband Troy, before the race to pick up our packets. Capitola is about a 40 minute drive from Monterey so I opted to get it race day. It was easy peasy,
After racking our bikes and setting up our transition area, we walked down to the beach to hang out before the start. It was so fun to watch the triathletes head into the ocean for their swim. Brittany and I agreed they are hardcore and we were pretty darn happy to stay on land. #wussmeisterstatus
First leg: Run 1.5 miles
Then it was our turn to start the first run. The beginning is uphill but the views are so incredible, I forgot all about the hard work it took to get there.
(pic from last year)
Then we ran on the beach and into transition. It flew by!
Leg 2, Ride 11.5 miles:
Oh dear lawd this ride was all about embrace the suck. Since I was injured for so long, I choose to focus my training on running. That was not a very wise life decision, but I did it and now I know I can!
I met Toren along the way. She had a Mizuno logo on her tank and I struck up a quick conversation. Turns out she reads this dumb ole blog. Hi Toren!!
The course description said it was “predominately flat”. Maybe it’s true for more advanced riders, which in my case is anyone BUT me. Ha! It was not flat. However they did warn us about a climb before the turnaround point which almost took the fight right out of me, but I turned the Britney station on Pandora and peddled through most of it. Hey, at this rate I’m just happy I didn’t get lost.
On the bright side going down that sucker was one heck of a ride!!
Leg 3, run 2.5 miles:
I was so pumped to do what I love most, jello legs and all. It was getting hot, and I remembered my mental note from last year to grab a bottle of water. That was a brilliant decision, though it would have even been better if I tossed a Nuun tab in. I shall remember that for next year.
I ran/walked this though I ran more than I thought I would. Woohoo!
We ran up that dang hill and into the residential area, but other than that the course is flat. Then onto the beach where Toren and I met up again. We ended up finishing together. How cool is that!?
Toren’s goal was to make it under 2 hours and she did. Congrats girl!
The race bling:
Gotta love a race that gives you a cute necklace you can rock every day. It has “Mermaid” engraved on one side, and “Athlete” on the other. The race shirts are super cute as well.
After crossing the finish line and taking sweaty pics we hit up the Whole Foods booth for a couple snacks. I usually have Mike with me and we opt to go out to lunch, so it was fun to participate in the post race festivities.
We also grubbed at Pizza My Heart for some salty goodness.
My advise for future participants:
- Please do this race!! Then feel free to send me love notes and coffee.
- Get there early. I got there about an hour early, so I easily found a parking spot. But if you need to pick up your packet on race day morning, it’s a bit of a hike from the transition area. It’s easier to just ride your bike there.
- Bring water + fuel. There was a water station at transition and another one at the turn around point on the 2nd run but that’s all I remember seeing. I carried a bottle of water for the 2nd run and it turned out to be a brilliant life decision.
- Train for the race. Duh. I was injured all summer and off + on the month leading up to the race. It was a bit more difficult than it should have been had I trained. That being said, I think the race distances are perfect for an entry level duathlon participant. It’s enough you have to train for, but not overwhelming.
A HUGE thank you to the folks at the Mermaid Triathlon + Duathlon for the bib in exchange for this post. Please don’t ever stop putting on a fantastic race!
Has anyone ever done a duathlon?
What is your favorite race course ever?
What does your significant other do while your racing?
Mike is my photographer, but other than that the boy get’s board. I think it would be awesome if the race directors put together a beer/coffee and food booth and maybe a tv to watch a game to keep them occupied. Ha!