Columbia Gateway Duathlon April 2023

Last year when I was looking at potential competitions to participate in, it saw that RipIt Events had a Duathlon pretty close to the house. I figured it’d be neat to try out a Run-Cycle-Run event. This would end up being my first competitive cycling event. However, it was scheduled for about ¾ of the way through my Triathlon training so I figured that I would be nice and trained up for the cycling portion. 

(Taken by official RipIt Events Photographer)

The first running portion was nice and simple – just 2 miles. I was feeling just fine as that portion concluded. 

my bike hanging at the transition area
my bike hanging at the transition area

After that it was my first time learning how to navigate a transition area and what that entailed. I made my way to the rack holding my bike, put on my bike helmet and I jumped on the bike for our 10 mile bike ride. The course consisted of 5 loops around the commercial district where the race was being held. I was a little worried about screwing up, but I had my Garmin bike computer to measure the distance and help me out if I miscounted laps. Even though I’d done plenty of training, I found myself constantly being passed by everyone. I was pedaling hard (or so I thought?), but I didn’t seem to be achieving the speeds that everyone else was achieving.

This race was also the first time I tried the Sports in Science energy gels that I bought last year when I was going to run the marathon. It gave me good practice for fueling while riding bike. It’s not easy to open the gels while keeping the bike going straight. The transition area was located at the top of a modest hill and as I was downshifting in my final lap (just about 100 yards to go) the chain popped off the gears connected directly to the pedals. It was very frustrating, but I only had a little more to go so I got off the bike and started trying to jog it into transition. However, that proved to be very slow going. I took a look at the gears and realized that the design of the drivetrain was set up such that I could easily raise the chain and pop it back in. So I did and got to transition. 

Coming in at the end of the bike portion after having put the chain back on. (Taken by official RipIt Events Photographer)

After that it was time for another 2 mile run. It went well and I started passing a lot of the folks who had passed me on the bike. Near the end of the race my feet started hurting a little, but at least it was only 2 miles total for that section.

Even though I was slower than I wanted to be on the bike, I was happy with my results. I got 80 out of 320 for the whole race, 65/169 for all males, and 14/27 for my age group. As you can see below I had a 7:45 pace for the first run portion and an 8:11 pace for the second one. My average bike pace of 15 MPH seems to be my fast bike pace as it matches pretty closely to what you’ll see in my triathlon post in a few days. 

I don’t know if it’s because I just got back from a week at Disney where I’d walked over 50 miles, but I hadn’t had any issues with my feet while training. Yet, for days after the Duathlon my feet were bothering me .Or did it happen because I was in the middle or training and pushing myself too hard? Either way, it’s part of the reason for my decision to hold off on training/racing for most of the rest of the year. I want to let my body rest before we see just what is going on and whether I have to give up running.

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