Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Event Reviews: Dino Dash Bike Tour and Veteran's Classic One Miler

The season is winding down, which means that I'll often sandwich smaller races and events and do them more or less "for fun" as a "cool down" to the competitive season.  This will include shorter races like 5ks, group rides, time trials, cyclocross stuff, etc.  Nothing big and nothing overly competitive.


This is a pretty big event put on by Renegade Racing that has a few different bike tour lengths, a 5k, and a 10k.  It benefits the Tustin area schools and is a pretty fun time.  Most of Renegade Racing's events are all top notch and first class - and this one is no exception.

The bike tour is an untimed "fun ride" that is not competitive.  My brother-in-law and I both signed up for it looking mainly to just get free SWAG (some cool bike socks and a bike jersey that was really just a tech T Shirt) but also to have a good workout in the challenging Trabuco Canyon path the tour ran on.

Also - this would be the longest test to date for my "budget road bike" that I built up.  I rode it previously at the Fearless Super Sprint Triathlon, but that ride wasn't as long as this one and didn't have as many hills, turns, etc.  So I figured that this would be an excellent test for the bike and getting used to it.  As a forward, I found that the bike performed well for me.  My saddle, as always, was top notch (Cobb VFlow) and worked extremely well with the bike.  So far, I'm impressed with my "budget build" and in no rush to upgrade.

As is always the case, "non-competitive fun ride" quickly turns into "Let's blow through these guy and crush this thing!".  It's just how it is.  We had a good ride and were ahead of everyone (after starting in the second wave).

The only picture of us from the bike tour.  That's me in the pink and my brother-in-law right next to me.
 When we found a guy who somehow managed to make it out front of us (he must have been in the first leg), it became more of a race and stayed that way until the end.

One note - the bike ride was incredibly well supported (almost overly so, as I only stopped at one aid station to replace a bottle that I forgot at home).  A lot of time and effort went in to having the aid stations up and running for the entire ride - so I applaud Renagade Race Series for that.

The only downside (for the cyclists only) was that there was little to no pictures taken of the bike tour.  For the runners (5k and 10k runners) that wasn't a problem.  There's thousands of pictures of the people who did the running races in all shapes and sizes.  I can see why it would be difficult to get pictures of the bike tour - mainly because of how long it is and how it would be a bit cumbersome to have a photographer waiting around for hours to get everyone.  However, pictures at the finish line would have been easy enough to do (since they had volunteers there already).  That might be something to look into for next year.

The finish line festivities were top notch too.  You got a meal ticket to get a free meal from one of their many vendors and there was lots and lots of stuff to do outside of that.  All in all, a great time and a fantastic event.  Not to mention that there is a great little medal that everyone gets for finishing - which is pretty "kidsy" but that's the point.  My son enjoyed it for the .04 seconds he had it before trying to shove it in his mouth (in which we promptly took it away).

Getting our grub on after the race.  They gave me an extra medal and socks because I crossed in first place (which I gave to my son).  Please note how much nicer my brother-in-law's bike is compared to mine.

The medal is super cool.  It's small, but I liked it a lot.


This is a great event that's in its second year.  It's a short, cheap (only $15.00) race that precedes the Veteran's Day Parade in Long Beach, Ca.  

I did the race the year prior and placed second - being beaten by a guy who was just faster than me (and a bit older as well, but I won't mention that too hard - as it makes me look bad and makes it seem like I'm poking fun ;) hehe).  Last year, I took off in the lead, ended up running a bit too far due to a confusing turnaround spot, and just lost steam towards the end (where I was passed and fell to second).

This year was more or less exactly the same.  I took off in the lead and held it until the 3/4 mile mark where I was passed (by the same guy, btw).  Second place again with a time of 5:08 and that's about as good as I could have done on that day, so I'm satisfied with it.  I DID take first place in my age group though - and got a "large" medal as apposed to the smaller finisher's medal (as shallow as that sounds).

In the lead at the turn.

Still holding on to the lead....
....and I lost it.

Finished pretty strong though.

Yes, I did a running race in my ITU suit.  It's the most "Veteran's Dayish" thing I had.

The race itself was pretty cool though - and I'm baffled as to why there isn't a lot more people lining up to do it.  For one - there isn't a whole lot of one mile races outside of high school and collegiate track meets - so it's something that's completely different from the norm (in terms of running races).  Secondly, it supports the Long Beach Neighborhood Foundation which is a great organization that is the very definition of "giving back to the community."  Third, there is a really cute kids' half mile race afterwards that I can't wait to put my son in (as soon as he can walk).

For an event that costs next to nothing, gets you a T shirt and a finisher's medal, and takes 30 minutes of your time - it's a no brainer to attend in my opinion.

My baby boy with my finisher's medal.

So what's next for me for the rest of the year?  I have the Renegade Racing Turkey Triathlon on November 24th, and then I'll do a couple of smaller running races to close out the year.

My wife will be doing the HITS Triathlon in Palm Springs, Ca in December - but I will be going strictly as a spectator and to root her on in her first triathlon.  

I'll have a blog post with my race schedule and plans for next year sometime in December or very early January.