Sunday, 18 March 2012

No longer a virgin. Marlow Duathlon Race Report

Today was my first ever duathlon so let me say this, the legs are aching a LOT right now. So how was it?

Generally it was enjoyable but a lot harder than it should have been. My fault completely obviously as I did the 'not training enough' part again. I've cycled and run over the last couple of weeks but I have never done them both. In fact, I was thinking earlier that I don't think I've ever done them in the same day!!! Not a great start and I was pretty nervous.

The Marlow Duathlon consists of a 7km run, a 25km cycle and a 7km run. So 39km in total. Or not... Eatingtrees garmin read nearly 40.5km at the end which I have to say, didn't surprise me a bit as on the first run, I was 30:08km through 6km (pretty much bang on my 5 min/km pace) and then the 7th km took nearly 8 minutes???? How's that possible??? I'd love to know the actual distance of the 1st run as 7km it was not. Is it actually possible to run an 8 minute km. Surely that's slower than walking pace?

Anyway, first run out of the way and into my very first ever 'transition'. That's where you dump a load of your stuff before you start and then come back later and try to remember where you've put it all. It went OK. On went the helmet, buff, gloves and rucksack with the drink in it and off I ran (with the bike) until they let you get on it. I was expecting the run to cycle transition to be easy as I do a reasonable amount of cycling but ouch! The first 2km is at an incline which means you have to stand up and push when riding a single speed and wow my legs felt weird. I hadn't expected that at all! In fact, I was absolutely dreading the rest of the ride as it was just so strange and not enough speed either. Eventually I passed the 5km marker and realised that I was actually quite enjoying it and it felt a lot better than it had. Numerous comments from people on 'proper' bikes gave me some encouragement which I appreciated although was also aware some people were thinking 'mad/idiot/stupid/glutton for punishment' at the same time.

The cycle went well and I think I did pretty well  and overtook as much as I was overtaken. Now came the bit I really feared. The final run. The only experience I had of this is eatingtrees telling me that the first couple of km are very strange which they are... and not very quick but after that, km 3 to 5 felt OK if not particularly quick and then came the final 2 km over a muddy, slidey and narrow path and my legs had absolutely nothing left. They felt so, so heavy and I followed the same guy for the whole of the final 2km and he was only a couple of metres in front but I could not give myself a push to get past at any point. On the final half km I had a really bad stitch but refused to walk knowing I wasn't far away. Finally, I was at the last corner and it was time for the sprint finish. That wasn't going to happen at all.....

I shuffled over the line in somewhere in the region of 2hr 20min (time TBC) which I was extremely chuffed with and would definitely do it again although maybe with some training next time. Time to put my feet up and open a beer.....  


  1. Dude, proper respect to you and Grant taking on this race as your first Duathlon, let alone riding a single-speed. Nuts! The smiles on your faces after however tell me you'll both be back.

    The 1st run was definitely long. I had it at about 7.5km. Have a look here:

    Really cool catching up with you. Hopefully see you at another multi-sport race soon! ; )

  2. Cheers fella. Great to see you too and congrats on the 7th place