Sunday, July 12, 2015

2nd O50 in the Sri Chinmoy short course Off-Road Duathlon

This is an annual event and the good folk at the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team provide both short (for 5k runners like me) and long course races. It's a run/ride/run duathlon with the first run a road course around the Botanic Gardens, the mountain bike held in Black Mountain reserve which is also used for the second 'mountain' run. Leg distances were 2k, 7k and 2.5k although the first leg was a little short of what was advertised, at about 1.4k.

It was a cold and foggy morning and it took me the first run to get fully warmed up. I ran with Bronwyn early and got ahead a little into transition. The mountain bike course was tough! Straight up a steep hill before following undulating fire trails within the reserve. I enjoyed the ride, moving up in the field and only having to run my bike on a couple of steep pinches. I was having a battle with another 'old bloke', managing to break away on the last uphill section. My second transition wasn't the quickest, frozen fingers not wanting to unbuckle my helmet (stood there like an icy statue for about 30 seconds). The second run went straight back up the mountain on a rough single-track trail, then followed a long fire-trail section before plummeting back down to the finish. My rival closed the gap (I could hear his footsteps ever closer), but before he drew level I made a run for home down the last hill. The sneaky bugger matched my change of pace before sprinting away within sight of the line. Damn!

A nice '2nd Place 50 & Over' trophy for the mantelpiece and some very interesting stats from the event. I placed 5th overall; 16th (out of 27) for the first run, 6th fastest on the bike ride and 8th fastest for the mountain run. Perhaps I'm a better cyclist than runner? I think cycling is more forgiving of body weight (unless you're cycling up a 10k climb) — not that I'm over weight for my height. My BMI is 20.8 (within 'normal weight' range), but 72 kg is 'heavy' when compared to the average weight of elite distance runners. The bike 'carries' weight well — I guess in a similar way to water with swimmers. Anyway, my immediate plans are to continue cycling for fun and cross-training, while at the same time developing some end-of-race sprinting speed. Or maybe employ different race tactics against kickers!

At the back chatting to Bron when the race started
 Cold and foggy on the first run leg
 A nice trophy from the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team

10 Comments:

Blogger TokyoRacer said...

Chatting when the race started! That's why you were second.
Sounds like fun, except for the frozen fingers.

12:53 pm  
Blogger Janene said...

Good going ET! I don't agree with you that cycling is more forgiving on body weight. The 'sprinters' struggle as soon as the Tarmac gets a slope. Your cycling in this event would be better than your running because you are currently doing oodles of cycling. You can't't hide on Strava ;-)

8:02 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Haha Bob. Actually, I probably only missed the start by 2 seconds. Lost the race by 6 seconds!

Thanks Janene. You're right about cycling 'sprinters' and climbing. They do a pretty good job to keep up on the flat stages. I wonder what the average weight of 'good' TT cyclists is? Yes, nowhere to hide on Strava - but I don't log my warm-up/warm-down jogs there, so I run a LITTLE more than you think ;-)

8:48 pm  
Blogger Mark Watson said...

OK OK ... continue with the cycling and throw in a little speed work too. I get all that but what about your lousy technique at transition Ewen. That shoddy piece of work cost you 30 seconds, the GOLD and undoubtedly a lot of endorsements my friend. That said, what does it feel like to walk up there to receive a running trophy? Do you think it'll ever happen to me? :-(

6:21 pm  
Blogger allrounder said...

my frozen fingers happened at the first transition - took ages (felt like it) to do up my helmet buckle and undo my laces...by second transition my fingers were functioning properly!

3:03 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Mark, I'm really miffed about lost endorsements but it felt pretty good to hear my name called :) Race enough and long enough my friend and it WILL happen to you!

Allrounder, luckily I didn't have to change my shoes! My first transition was slower than it should have been. Wasn't used to the tight helmet strap ;-)

7:01 pm  
Blogger Black Knight said...

Looking at the photos I can imagine how cold was that morning. Here the heat is killing us, unusual for this part of Italy. Glad you are improving more and more with the cycling. I know that I am a better swimmer than runner but there are not swimming races in open sea around here.

5:13 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Yes, Stefano - freezing! It has to be a special event to get me out at that time of the morning in mid-winter. My friends in Italy are saying how hot it is - near 40C the other day. I've also been hearing how hot it is while watching the TdF on tele.

1:07 pm  
OpenID canute1 said...

Excellent performance, but still scope for improvement in transition and the final sprint.

During your cycling, are your limited by leg muscle power or aerobic capacity. In cycling training, do you habitually train at high intensity, or is the focus more on large volume at a comfortable intensity?

12:03 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Canute.

With my cycling, leg muscle power (lack of cycling legs?) seems to be the limiting factor. I habitually ride (when I can) large volume (2 to 3 hours) - yesterday for 60k my ave HR was 101. I do occassional segment tempos of 5-10 mins at high intensity when my legs feel up to it. My ave HR for my most recent cyclocross race (until I had to ride slow) was about 142 for 40 minutes, which is maybe 3 to 6 beats under 5k race heart rate.

8:11 am  

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