The off road duathlon organised by PB Events was on again yesterday and was the official Victorian Championships for all aged group. The You Yangs is the best place to organise one of those races with Anglesea for example.

There was a sprint and STD duathlon on offer so that everyone could pick their distances. No everyone is super fit at the moment and you should really only be peak fitness if you are going to World Champs ITU or IM.

The key for those races is not to demolish yourself on the first run and to be on top of your nutrition. The STD duathlon is only about 2h30 but add the cold on top of that and you burn many calories. I usually recommend a light brekky like two toast with honey 2 ours before the start and one pro4mance gel with caffeine 30min before the race, then to have one drink bottle with produrance + a gel with caffeine squeezed in there.

Here is more detail about my race:

The first is all about pacing for me so I stayed 10 beats under threshold and slowly got dropped by Tyler, Mack, Ron and Calvin. I ran 3:45 pace for the first 8kms in undulated trails so I was happy with that. I felt good at the end of the run and felt in control of my breathing. I came into T1 about 45sec behind Tyler and 20sec behind of group of 3 made of Mack, Ron and Calvin.
I decided to put my road bike shoe set on my MTB because the course is not technical and there no need to unclip. That meant that my transition was fast and I jumped on the bike on 3rd.

The trails are undulated, twisty and a bit sandy so best not put too much pressure on your tyres for this 2 lap course.
I caught Mack pretty quickly and dropped him. Mack is not bike fit right now.
Tyler was now in sight. He races Elite in off road triathlons and he is someone I look up to. I caught him after 5kms and we rode together for 3kms before a stick went into his wheel and forced him to stop for a few seconds.

I kept going and expected him to get back on but he never did. Uphills and downhills are not steep or dangerous but I am not a light frame so uphill can be a struggle but in the downhill, I know I can create some good gaps so I went for it and took risks which caused me to get my foot stuck in a branche and break my bike shoes tightening system. I did not fall but had to unclip. No issues there apart from a bruised ego 🙂 After 20kms, I took a gel, kept my head down a bit and missed a very well signed turn. 100% my fault on this one. I got lost and I even thought I took a short cut but I ended up doing extra distance on the bike.

The last run really hurt. Legs are dead, energy levels are low, hip flexor and lower back have over worked. I knew that Tyler would not be far back. I tried and keep 3:50 km pace until the first turning point and I counted 1min on Tyler which with 3kms to go should be enough. I went a bit slowler on the way back as it hillier and went back up to 4min km pace but it was enough to take to overall win at Vic Champs Cross Duathlon 🙂 Tyler was second, only 35 sec behind me, then Calvin, Mack and Ron.

Hopefully it is on again next year. I really recommend to give this race a try. It is not dangerous or technical and very well signed and organised.
Regarding shoes, no trail runners needed unless you are dealing with torrential rains. Train safe 🙂