Thursday, August 14, 2014

Suffering around Kere Thonnur - My 3rd Duathlon story.

A big thanks to the organizers and volunteers of Enduro team to manage the permissions, logistics, accommodation bookings, 150+ participants for triathlon/duathlon, pre race pasta, post race puliyogre etc. It was a wonderful event that i plan to keep coming back every year. For more details

I had already biked/run at BAR #1 and BAR #2 and had won both of them. But unlike those here the cycling leg was a mass start. Not a flat course and hence no TT bar on my bike.

You decide well in advance why do you want to race. For Fun or to Win. If it is about winning,
get ready to hurt yourself cause it's never easy to win any race unless your first name is Eddy and last name is Merckx. Just 40.6 km cycling with 363 mt elev gain and 10.6 km *trail* running.

The field had just 5 strong contenders. The rest were never a threat. One of them was a sponsored rider who is also a fast running Frisbee player. The other 3 were sub40 10 km runners and decent bikers. With hardly 10 runs in the last 6 months I less i talk about my running the better.

Marking guys and Watching out for any moves - is complicated for me. As the race started I just split the field. Break away. If you can't run like them at least bike fast is what I said to myself. The idea was to finish the cycling leg before the fast runners finish and start the running leg immediately without changing shoes as the transition time counts too. This is what i have done with my previous duathlons. I know it wouldn't have taken much time but every second counts.

The 1st 2 kms was getting down the hill on a narrow patchy road and go through a village that had
several women washing clothes with street-dogs and hens watching them. SCARY. Adding to it we had excited riders who never had any sort of experience riding in a race or bunch.

Once I hit the highway I decided to time trial as hard as possible till i get the Belgian toothpaste. Solo breakaway. After 20 kms I did turn a few times to check if i was being chased. And yes I was being chased. KKR was trying to bridge the gap with 2 more riders behind him. Every turn same visual. Looked like nobody was helping him and he did all the work against the wind. Making other's suffer is a nice feeling.

After 25 kms, On a steep section with 2 or 3 hairpin bends I heard a gear click noise behind me.
It was indeed KKR. Later we were joined by another rider who was more interested in wheel sucking than sharing the load. We spent the next few kms together but i did manage to drop the 3rd guy though he tried to stay on my wheel. By this time KKR had created a gap. The last 500 meter or so is a steep climb back to the hill top that had the start line. With people cheering on either side I hit the finish line few seconds behind him.

Got off the bike, walked on the mat with timing chip on my ankle I heard the expected beep sound.
Put the bike aside removed shoes and immediately took out the helmet and started running. All this while KKR was on a chair changing into his running gear.

As expected KKR caught me and we ran till the U turn together. The volunteer's put a band around our wrist and we picked up water - all this without stopping. During return we saw 3 fast runners one behind the other - the usual questions. How far they are from us ? How many more mins ? Last 2 kms i did a fake surge just to check if he is keen to follow me. But KKR had his own plans and as usual he attacked during the last km and I didn't had the juice to close the gap. The hill top finish did hurt me more than the blisters on my feet. I finished 22 seconds behind KKR. I hugged him and I collapsed later.

The suffering ends after 2:06:35 seconds into the race.