Posted by: wasatchprotocol | February 11, 2011

The Toilet Bowl Duathalon

The name ended up being somewhat spot on since it was super muddy.  The Toilet Bowl Duathalon is a new race held in Greensboro, NC.  The format is as follows: Run 1.5 miles around a road loop, switch to the mountain bike, ride 4.5 miles of trail twice for a total of 9 miles, switch back to running shoes, and run another 1.5 miles to the finish.

If you’ve been following the blog, then you may have noticed that I’ve really been enjoying my new ride, a Surly Karate Monkey set up with a rigid fork and single speed at 33-17.  It’s been a blast on some of the more mellow trails that I’ve been relegated to since my wrist injury a month or so back.  So obviously I wanted to race the Monkey.  But I was feeling a little uneasy about the gear ratio, so I had ordered a 20 tooth freewheel to replace the 17 tooth one, which would make it a little friendlier on the climbs.  Due to post office issues, I didn’t actually get it until the night before the race and had some installation problems.  So I’d have to settle for the 17 tooth or take my full suspension Heckler.  The Heckler would be fine, except for the fact that the rear tire is almost bald.  That would not do very well in the rain-soaked conditions we’ve had lately.  Karate Monkey it was then.  I’d just have to charge the climbs as hard as possible.

It rained the day before the race.  The dogs got muddy.

Muddy guys who like fetch.

When I woke up the morning of the race it was still raining, but it was on rain or shine.  It was still raining when we pulled into the parking lot 45 minutes before the race.  Then it sort of cleared up.  Needless to say, this race was going to be muddy – Toilet Bowl style.

Steph found a blue heron while wandering around before the race.

Nice colored moss in the trees. And a nice reflection in the water.

10:00 AM.  Race time.

At the start, looking clean.

FiveFingers FTW!

Runners are off and across the bridge.

Meanwhile, Steph got took some other shots and worked on figuring out where to take shots of the riders.

She found some picturesque droplets.

I was doing well after the run.  There were probably only 15 or so people ahead of me.

On the bike, making for the trails.

Here comes the mud.

Still some nice foliage hanging around.

First bike loop done. On the road to go through the checkpoint. Steph got into position for trail shots on the next loop.

The trail was super muddy in spots, but held up nicely in others.  Made for some interesting riding.

On the trail.

There were a few short but tough climbs.

Hammering it.


Smiling for the camera.

This guy was ahead of me for a while during the mountain bike section, but I passed his ass on the last running lap.

Yous about to get passed.

The ride finished up with a couple of concrete skinnies and some rock panels.

Almost done with the ride here.

I finished the ride, passing a few people on the short hill on the road loop back to the transition area.  Unfortunately, FiveFingers are hard to get back on when your feet are wet, so I lost a minute or two here.  Oh well.  I passed a few people on the last run, which felt good.

Almost done with the run.

And we're done. But a bit muddy.

Kinda tired though.

MTB dirty butt.

I ended up in 27th place.  I did really well in the running section, but a few people passed me during the bike laps. (Steph says that a few people only rode one bike loop but still “finished”.  Lame.  So maybe I was actually a few spots better.  Don’t know or sure though).  Considering I’ve never ridden the trail before and I was one a singlespeed, I was still pretty happy.  Oh yeah, 78 riders finished the race.


My bike was caked in mud.  I spent 15 minutes hosing it off afterwards.

Muddy Monkey

All in all a great race.  I hope it’s around next year.  Guess there’s probably some trail work to be done first though.



  1. looks awesome, glad to see you’re keeping some spirit alive down there. and the single track looks sweet.

    UT on tuesday

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