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Rudy Project Challenge Report! « Mathieu O'Halloran's Blog

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Rudy Project Challenge Report!

Hey blog readers – last Sunday,  this race was supposed to be a Triathlon but it was changed into a duathlon last minute as there was some ‘issues’ with the man-made lake at the Republic 1 Wakepark which is in the beautiful area of Nuvali thats only a few minute bike ride from my home!

The race map minus the swim part. The Duathlon distance was a 6k run - 30k bike - 3k run versus the original triathlon that was supposed to be 900m swim - 30k bike - 8k run.

For me the run was the key to this race, as it was quite undulating and would expose any weakness!

The water level of the park was a fraction of what it should have been...

This is however a top notch venue for various sport events!

Admittedly, when I was told it was a duathlon @ 4h45 am I was annoyed, not for myself but for my girl friend Joyette who’s been working on her swim and using this as a tune up event for the X-Terra World Champs in Maui in 3 weeks and one of my scholars, Dhill was ready to do his 2nd ever triathlon!

There was a bit of circumstantial clues that *SOME* of event organizers new of this and simply kept quiet and acted sneaky. The first, was 2 weeks before the race, it was announced that this was a ‘bring your own swim cap’ race! The reason, for recycling and planetary issues? Thats funny, I personally find that a good (silicone) swim cap, is arguably the best ways for triathlon events to get *FREE ADVERTISEMENT* as athlete may use them multiple times per week for months and years of swim training!

The 2nd was, a few national team duathletes appeared on the start list the week of the race – I mean those are athlete who cant swim and would never race a triathlon as well to considering the Asian Duathlon Champs are in Subic Bay at the end of November, training/racing for a triathlon makes no sense at all.

Anyway, at the end of the day, it was the same race course for everybody and the weather god’s where with us as it was a mild, dewy and overcast morning!

Having to adapt with the present circumstance, where my strength (the swim) is taken out and that my weakness (the run) is extended. I could only suck-it-up and look forward to the challenge!

Did I mention this race was draft legal?

I just never understand why some people just start out to freaking FAST only to slow down dramatically?

The run start was fast – I found myself in about 20 place in the first 200m or so as we headed into a downhill before a gradual uphill towards the turn around.

I started out patiently and gradually ran passed a few ‘elrabitos’ and made my way up to the leader who was in fact the top Pinoy duathlete for the past couple years and built like a Kenyan!

BIKE BIKES BIKES!

It took me about 6k but I made it to the very front by the time I had to jump on my bike!

Once on the bike, another local athlete had manage to bridge the gap – so then there where 3.

It was quite clear from the start of the bike (dont let the pic fool you) that my two ridding colleagues where quite content to let me do the work at the front, why not? I was the strongest of the 3!  One of them would take a few short pulls when I signaled and slow down the pace and the other was just no-were to be seen and he was in fact, in my opinion the best runner out of the 3 of us.

So now I had to strategies with myself.

I saw 3 options:

#1 ride hard, hope they hurt and gut-out the run.
#2 try to break away and gain a gap.
#3 ride slow so we all start the 3k run ‘fresh”.

I had been ridding hard/consistent in races all year long and I new it would be very difficult to shake them both! As well to the lure of seeing how fast I could run over the final 3k – it made feel like I was in an ITU race =)

Sure enuff, everybody wants to lead into transition in a draft legal race especially before a 3k where every second counts!

Once I got my almost new ON Cloudracers in my feet, I bounced my way down the gradually downhill in 2nd place with long strides while taking deep breaths.

I could tell that the leader was in over his head – he had a massive shoulder rock and his head was boobing more-and-more each 100m. I gradually reeled his ~50m lead on the uphill and increased the pressure as I passed him by speeding up my turn over and bumping my arms!

Once I reach the turn around, I saw I had a small gap on both of them which meant 1500m to go thats mainly downhill with a short up near the end?

At this point, I had the race in my grip mentally and looking to beat duathletes at their own game and who are 20-30 pounds lighter than me!

I punched the pace down the hill and promised myself I would NOT look back until I get at the top of the last hill which is about 400m from the finish!

I put myself through a world of pain while getting cheered on by friendly and familiar faces! Coming into the finishing stretch, I heard Brett‘s voice tell me to give it my all to the finishing line, regardless if I am 1st – 2nd – 3rd or 33rd.

In insight, I sit here writing this being much more content by winning a duathlon by a few seconds that winning a triathlon by a few minutes! I was challenged until the final moments of this race, where during most local triathlons I do, I basically go-off-the-front and time trial to the finish with a big lead!

Joyette also made it to the top the podium - beating 2 foreigners that are almost the same height as her on the lower steps of the podium!

Later that evening I went and did that elusive swim – but it was slow and easy – just how I like it on Sunday evenings after a solid morning session!

Anyway, I know there was some hard feeling about this race by many participants – I know a few where looking to do their first triathlon, some their first open water triathlon and others, actually flew in from other parts of the country just to do this event!

To me, I believe there where to many heads involved in this event and no actual omnipotent leader who had the last say on everything…

The Rebublic 1 Wakepark has tremendous potential for various outdoor activities that will benefit the park, the organizers and the participants, so I genuinely hope that this experience has not tarnished the possibility of future multi-sport events as it can potentially be a great asset for the local triathlon community where you can get in an open water triathlon without having to sleep over night at the hotel if you live in Manila!

Hopefully, petty politics wont be an issue and ego’s will be put in check as I would really like to see an off-road-triathlon on this venue early in 2013 in preparation for X-Terra Cebu!

CAUSE I JUST GOT A DOUBLE SUSPENSION 29er!!!

See you out on the trails 8)

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