This past Sunday, I competed in my first duathlon. Man, was it hot! 35 degrees Celcius (that’s about 95 Fahrenheit for our southern neighbours). For the first time, I realized why those nice light running hats are a good idea. By the time I got around to the second run, the sun was beating down on us. And I was lucky – I was only doing the sprint duathlon. 2 km running, 20 km on the bike, followed up with a 5 km run. Those crazy half-Ironman competitors had to run a half-marathon (21.1 km), and that was after a 2km swim and 90 km on the bike. I know how I felt after my half-marathon last year, and with the heat we had, I would not have wanted any part of that on Sunday!!

So, going into the race, I set some goals. I thought they were challenging for my first race, but definitely achievable. I managed to hit 4 out of 5 – I missed my time for first run. But I heard after the race that it was quite a bit longer than 2km, more like 2.5km. And I definitely felt like I was running those first 2km pretty hard, so I’m not too worried about it! Most importantly, my overall time was 1:09:47, which was about 2 minutes faster than my overall goal! Not too bad, for a first-timer. The results are posted here.You’ll find me right in around 27th place, which also is quite respectable.

I have to say that this seemed like a walk in the park compared to the half-marathon I ran last year. In that race, around the halfway mark, I looked down and saw blood seeping through the top of my shoe from where my blisters had formed and popped. Between the blisters and the burning, aching feeling in my legs, the last few miles were complete agony! And don’t ask how my socks looked when I finally finished. A bloody mess. Let’s just say that they went straight into the garbage. Afterwards, I couldn’t walk for two days. Oh, and my toenails fell off. So comparatively speaking, the duathlon was a breeze. I think it’s mainly because the bike ride is a lot less stressful than the running. I also felt a little better prepared, having actually trained up to the distance I would be racing.

On the whole, the weekend was a great time. Two of my friends were racing in the sprint triathlon, so we camped the night before. Our pre-race carb loading consisted of a few cold beers around the campfire! And we wonder why we’re not at the front of the pack! The race was well organized, and there were lots of goodies afterwards. Blair even one a nice Camelback hydration system in the draw afterwards. After one race, I’d definitely recommend the Subaru Triathlon Series for anyone looking for triathlon or duathlon events.

So, what’s next? Well, I’m looking at getting into a real triathlon. Which will involve swimming. Swimming is difficult to practice because it requires a little more planning and effort. Biking and running I can do out my front door (well, I have to go down a few flights of stairs, but you know what I mean). To work on my swimming, I have to look up the lane swim times, pack a bag, drive to the pool, change, shower, swim, shower again, change again, and drive back home. It’s a 2 hour process for less than an hour of training. But it must be done. I’m going to comptete in a Try-A-Try next weekend, so hopefully I’ll get into the pool a few times before then.

I’d also like to get more competitive, because that’s just the way I am. I have no idea what I’ll be like swimming, but at least now I know where I stand in the biking and running. My biking is where I think I can improve the most. I may need some bike upgrades – clip on pedals and aerobars are on my list. Hopefully I can get my average speed up a few km/hour by the end of the season. My running is pretty good, and should improve a little too. I actually had a great little run tonight after a couple days off. On my 5km training course, I ripped off a time of 19:40 – my previous best was 21:04. That feeling of being in a race has motivated me to try to step things up a notch over the next couple months. Tonight’s run was a good first step! Come back soon to see how I’m doing!


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  1. […] A year after my first duathlon, I returned to Peterborough. This time though, instead of racing in the sprint duathlon, I would be doing the Half-Ironman, my first time at a true long distance triathlon. […]