My First Duathlon. (But not my last)

I’ve often thought about doing a triathlon. But the thought of competitive swimming any distance stops me every time. I can swim but not efficiently. So I’ve never competed in any event except road races. Until now.

i read about the Rouge-athon event put on by Tour de Troit. Run 5k, bike 10k, run 5k. Sounded perfect. And it was. I really didn’t know what to expect as far as the event itself. The registration said limited to the first 250 entrants but when I got to Rouge Park in Detroit an hour before the event, there were only a dozen or so people there. While picking up my packet I asked a volunteer about the event. He said they had 80 people register and explained the way the race works. There was a transition area where you hung your bike on a bar next to your bib number. The event is one lap around the path, then you get your bike and do two laps on the road parallel to the path, then put your bike back in the transition area and run one more lap. My GPS watch showed the lap longer than a 5k, and that was correct as I saw a sign later that read “3.3 mile loop”.

This was my first time on a bike since last summer so I knew that would be a challenge. And it was. The first lap was steady even though the few hills were a challenge. The second lap was an effort the whole way. My quads were feeling it as I downshifted to climb the hills. Several of the people I passed while running were now passing me as they leaned over their curled racing handlebars with their shoes clipped in the pedals. As I sat upright pedaling my road bike I was glad I had taken off the big basket I normally have on my handlebars. When I rode into the transition area a volunteer yelled “Ready to run on spaghetti legs?” I thought she was joking until I stepped off my bike and my legs almost buckled. The first 100 yards of that last lap were unsteady but then I got into a groove and felt good and finished strong.

Going into the event I didn’t know what would be a good finishing time, but the 1:31:30 felt good when I looked at my splits.  The running laps were all around 8:05-8:10 per mile and the biking was between 4:30-5:15 per mile. When they posted finishing times and I was 5th in the 50-59 group I was satisfied for my first Duathlon. But next year, I’ll do a little bike training.




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