Sunday, 19 September 2010

Mixing it up

I headed home to Clonakilty on Saturday with Safan, Ani and Saran to the International Guitar Festival. Safan is a buddying guitarist and following my suggestion jumped at the chance to get a few gigs in and strum a few chords herself. Her friend Sarah also came along. With all the guitars & amp, there was hardly room in the car for my bike (which had to go on the roof). I forgot to mention that the Clonakilty Duathlon was on Sunday morning - everyone happy then. It all works out when "family activities" can be organised around races, although Ani and Saran had to be bribed with sweets and takeout as they were less enthralled by the music.
My legs were achy on Saturday evening following the 15 mile hilly club run in the morning - to be expected I suppose as it was my first run (exercise) in a week. This, my first duathlon, was a sprint event - 3km run, 20km bike and 3km run. Biking after a run would be a different experience. I signed on just before 9 and went back to the house until the race briefing at 10. With most of the participants pre-registering I reckoned that my number "179" was close to the total number of competitors.
Race briefing was fairly standard - wet roads so be careful, some sharp bends and new road surfacing. There was no chip timing so, at best, we'd get an overall finishing time. I wasn't complaining - for €15 entry it was very good value (with energy drinks, a gel, recovery potion, cereal bars and a bottle of shower gel thrown in). Anyway I had the Garmin on multi-sport mode to capture all the splits.

The 3k runs were the same out and back course on the flat road along the east side of the bay towards Ring village . I was surprised at how many pushed out in front of me during the first run as my quick opening sub 6 minute pace slowed towards something more sustainable, with one eye on the bike ride ahead. I had planned on 12:00 to 12:30 for the 3ks (about 6:26 to 6:40 pace - should be manageable without giving my all). I figured there was about 40 in front of me during the first run, not what I was expecting. My running legs appeared to be a bit rusty on the speed side of things as I came into T1 in 12:42 (approx, as there was no line/timing mat). The run was closer to 2 miles (3.2k) than 3k though.

After a few seconds looking around for my bike I was out on the road towards Inchydoney and Dunmore (west side of the bay). The terrain was fairly familiar to me as I had either run or biked it during the summer. I was surprised at how many people I passed on the bike during the opening mile or 2. Admittedly some were on hybrids, but still they must have run sub 6:30 pace in the run to get ahead of me in the first place.

The first 6 k to Dunmore Hotel were flat and fast and then a bit of a climb and descent to Duneen before the right turn and the only real climb of the day. I got out of the saddle for the steepest section but noticed the rear wheel spinning/slipping on the sections of smooth wet tar. I had to adjust my course to find the section with most traction as the climb was tough enough without making it more difficult for myself. The steep section gave way to a more gradual climb and then the descent to Ardfield and pretty much plain sailing back into Clon via Inchydoney.

At least I knew on entering T2 that it would be all over soon enough - 3k should be a doddle compared to the 21k that faced me last week. However my pace for the first half was a pedestrian 6:44, although I did manage to pass 2 guys in the process (they could have passed me in T2 for all I knew). During the return leg I was gaining on another guy, who had surged out of T2 ahead of me and with about 800m to go I came on his shoulder and gradually pulled ahead - no huge effort on my behalf, just a steady manageable pace. I was now about 50 yards behind the leading lady but ran out of road before I could catch her (she had passed me about 4 k into the cycle) and even got passed on the line by the guy I had just passed (maybe I should look over my shoulder more often as I did not hear him coming)- Total time of 1:06:20.

Garmin splits as follows:-

Run 1 - 12:42 (2.02 miles 6:07/6:26/0:09 - Average 6:17 pace)

T1 - 01:13

Bike - 38:34

T2 - 00:53

Run 2 - 12:57 (2 miles 6:44/6:15 - Average 6:29 pace)

I ended up somewhere between 20th and 25th overall. My first Duathlon under my belt and certainly a different event to a triathlon but very enjoyable and I must say very well organised and marshaled by Clonakilty Triathlon Club, well done to all concerned. I don't know if official results will be posted though as the Club does not appear to have a website. Maybe Triathlon Ireland will publish them as it ws a TI sanctioned event.

And finally the last time Cork won Sam Maguire was a few weeks after I got married - some would say a life sentence (for Cork football). C'Mon the Rebels.


  1. Well done on the race, your run splits aren't too far off considering the tough bike. Oh yeah, funny video.

  2. Now, duathlons would be my cup of tea!

    I need sub-titles for the vid - rap I can understand, but in that accent? ;)