Relay runs carry deep historical significance. Before the internet, telephones, and cars were invented, relay running was a method to pass messages and mails over very long distances. The most famous relay runs are Japanese Ekidens. Although Malaysia’s running standards are not on par yet with the Japanese, I was delighted to see that relay running is slowly gaining popularity in Malaysia with new events emerging.
However, duathlon relay is a completely new concept to me. A duathlon relay is held exactly in a duathlon format, but the only difference was that one person cycles and later, another person runs. So when a friend said he needed a partner to run in Lexicon Cyberjaya Duathlon event, I immediately agreed to it. I have always wanted to know how are duathlons and triathlons conducted, so I can use this chance to observe and learn. Perhaps it might also spark my interest to branch out from my running career into duathlon and triathlon too. There was also the option of doing all run-bike-run by yourself in the individual category, but I will save that for a later day.
The only 2 familiar faces that I bumped into in this event. Both of them are participating in the individual category. Can you guess which one is a regular podium finisher in duathlons?
Our plan was simple: My partner runs for 2.5K, and continued to cycle for 30K. Then I will finish the duathlon by running 10K. Cycling was clearly my partner’s forté. He came in 2nd in our relay category. He got off his bike, quickly passed the timing chip to me, and I was happy with the head start. It was an easy route with minimal elevation. A few kilometers later, I can hear other runners catching up on me, and I was unable to maintain our 2nd position. I ran until my lungs were about to burst. The marshalls and volunteers along the way were encouraging, shouting at me to maintain my top 10 ranking. However, despite all the cheering, I could only manage to finish as the 11th position in our relay category.
The pressure is on when there are only 300 participants for this event
Relay partners at the transition area, waiting for their partners to finish cycling before we run 10K
Transitioning from cycling to the last 10K of running to complete the duathlon
I agreed to enter this relay duathlon as a learning opportunity with hopes that one day, I will be able to take on the individual category and complete a duathlon or even a triathlon by myself. There is still a lot to learn, such as improving on my running efficiency, polishing my cycling techniques, and in the long term, building up my endurance to swim in the open water. Until then, I’ll save up on investing the right bicycle first before I can even start on a BRICK (Bike-Run) training.
Until next week,
The Weekend Runner.