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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Doing a Duathlon!

I joined the 2nd leg of the Powerade Duathlon here in the Alabang area this morning. This is a race that entails a 6k run followed by a 30k bike and capped off with a shorter but intense 3k run. The obvious difference of a duathlon from a triathlon is that the tri requires a swim while the duathlon is done entirely on land.

Short distance duathlons such as these are usually more intense as the competitors push hard in the first 6k run with leaders averaging 4:00 to 4:30 per km. The bike leg is where everyone gets carried away and pushes speeds of 35kph to 38kph averages while leaders go as fast as 40kph++ average. By the time we get to the final 3k run, everyone is still pushing hard given the short distance remaining.

Hats off to the organizers this morning as registration has grown to over 400+ athletes with most teams well represented. My training buddy and I got to the venue at 5:15 and were surprised to see the parking areas fully occupied. Indeed the sport has grown exponentially through the efforts of Thumbie and Popo Remegio, organizers and proponents of the local duathlon series.

That's me post race with the Race Organizer, Thumbie Remegio.

Timing chip and race packet collection was a breeze despite the larger registration count. We set up our bikes and proceeded to warm up. It's important to get your heart rate up and break into a steady sweat as the duathlon start is very, very intense. It's almost a long sprint race.

At gun start, I was well positioned close to the race leaders and kept pace up to mid point, afterwhich they slowly started to pull away. I ran a 4:30 pace throughout but still saw myself in the chase pack. Clearly, the participants today were much more competitive. And though I was able to establish a good run part, my position quickly deteriorated at the bike portion. The boys from Tri Clark-Yellow Cab were like Kamikaze Fighter pilots and led the way in the bike. Whizzing past everyone via their superior leg power and super powered bike handling skills.

The bike course was challenging given the two hairpin u-turn slots at the end of each of the 6 loops we had to complete. Despite the presence of a ton of beginners, almost all the participants were able to avoid each other along the bike course, not get into any major crashes and this paved the way to the final 3k run. Depending on your health level, the basic requirement for the duathlon is to ATTACK! After the bike, it's just 3km thus encouraging most athletes to push the pace even harder toward the finish line.

Unfortunately, I didn't make podium this time. I usually get into the top 3 but this time, I couldn't keep pace with John Villanueva of Tri Clark and two other athletes within our age group. I figured, I came in at around 4th place with a time of 1:38 or so. Unofficial results (meaning, my stop watch) had my run at around 27 mins for the 1st 6k while my bike was around 53 minutes for the 31k distance. I had a tough final 3k though and that's where I lost my slot at the podium.

Ivan Fojas - he nailed this race today! Hats off! 4 min/km average in the run.

Ordo, our team "sprinter".

This race was dominated by the guys from Tri Clark who are all killers on the bike.

Tri Clark Team during the last Duathlon at Filinvest.

The post race breakfast was insane as the organizers pulled off getting Ineng's bar-b-que as sponsor. Longannisa, Rice, Egg! SARAP. Aside from the good food, it was also good to see friends from the tri community who join these races both for fun and to support the growth of the sport.

Don Velasco and some members of 2nd Wind Team with their Ineng's BBQ treat. 

It was  a fun and fast event. Was able to get home early enough to hear mass, get a massage, hangout in the mall with my son and cook a spaghetti dinner for the kids. Duathlete na, driver-kusinero pa!

Next Duathlon is on August 26th.

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