Formula 1 Phoenix Park Duathlon – Race Report

10k ray - formula 1 phoenix park duathlon race start(Me in red about to make a move!)

A lovely mid-week evening greeted the 212 athletes in the Phoenix Park (Wednesday, 7th August) for the Formula 1 Duathlon organised by Irish Triathlon, one of the most unique race formats on the triathlon/duathlon calendar in Ireland. The race comprises of an opening 2.7km run, then is followed by an 8.5km cycle, a 2.7km run, 8.5km cycle and a final 2.7km run. Let me tell you, this is tough! The distances may be short but the pace at the top of the field is absolutely blistering. On top of this the bike course includes a few cute little drags which really sap the legs. It reminds me of the Professional Team Relay sprints on the ITU calendar where there are short swim, bike & run distances and you are basically in a complete state of oxygen deprivation for the whole race! Great training for the longer slower stuff 🙂

THE RACE
The race started promising enough, coming through the 1st run in the leading pack of about 6. One of these lads was a runner by trade only (a very good one at that!) and took off with 1k to go to ensure he got the cheque for 1st man over the line on the 1st run. None of the rest of us took heed in his move and basically all thought the same thing, “Leave him off, he’ll have disappeared back into the main pack over the 1st bike.”. We were not wrong 😀

I sprinted through a quick T1 and for about 700metres into the 1st bike leg found myself leading the race before being overtaken by 3 racers who would take 1st, 2nd and 3rd place overall. The race standings essentially stayed in this exact same position for the next 21 kilometres. Each leg of the race hurt so much more than the last, lactic acid was tearing legs to pieces but the pace was still kept rocket high. With the leaders just ever so slightly out of touching distance after the 1st bike leg, the remainder of the race was about pushing hard while being someway sensible with the effort to ensure no blow-outs and make sure that 4th place was secure.

10k ray - formula 1 phoenix park duathlon 3rd run leg(3rd & final run leg. Body starting to fail…)

‘EVENING-LIGHT ROBBERY’
Not one to try court controversy (tongue firmly in cheek) all I can say is a spot in the top 3 was robbed from me by very carefully planned drafting by the 2nd and 3rd placed athletes. Once I was overtaken by the eventual winner (who has since told me he led the bike leg for the remainder of the race and in doing so denied any drafting on his part) and 2nd and 3rd place a nice little chain gang forming for the next 8km. I ensured to keep my 15metres back of the racer in front and in doing so was quickly dropped by the 3 ahead due to faster group speed, which also meant I expanded more energy than them. The 30 odd seconds I lost here was the 30 odd seconds that 3rd place finished ahead of me. Let’s say I wasn’t too happy a bunny crossing the line and made sure the lads knew how I felt about their tactics…

Drafting is a complete bane in this sport. I was delighted to see so many get penalised at Loughrea the Sunday before this race but the growing trend seems to be that if you can get away with it, do it. Would you kick your golf ball out of the rough in golf? No. It’s cheating to improve your position and there is no difference in the sport of triathlon.

10k ray - formula 1 phoenix park duathlon cycle leg(Climbing the short, sharp hills of the Phoenix Park)

In the end, I was happy enough with the evenings work. After having good finishes in duathlons around Kilkenny and the South East it was a big boost to do it on a larger stage in Dublin and happy to see that even over the very short distances my times in each section have greatly improved from the same race exactly 1 year ago, improving in total by over 4mins. I’ll take that sure 🙂

2013 VERSUS 2012 BREAKDOWN

2013
Run 1 – 2.7km – 00:08:32
T1 – 00:00:40
Bike 1 – 8.5km – 00:12:36
T2 – 00:00:41
Run 2 – 2.7km – 00:09:44
T3 – 00:00:48
Bike 2 – 8.5km – 00:12:54
T4 – 00:00:45
Run 3 – 2.7km – 00:09:45
Overall – 00:56:29 / 4th place (from 210) / 2nd 25-29 year old

versus…

2012
Run 1 – 2.7km – 00:09:04
T1 – 00:00:55
Bike 1 – 8.5km – 00:13:20
T2 – 00:00:48
Run 2 – 2.7km – 00:10:28
T3 – 00:00:47
Bike 2 – 8.5km – 00:14:01
T4 – 00:00:50
Run 3 – 2.7km –  00:10:23
Overall – 01:00:40 / 19th place (from 222) / 4th 25-29 year old

Full results available on Irish Triathlon website
Full range of pictures on the Irish Triathlon Facebook page

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One thought on “Formula 1 Phoenix Park Duathlon – Race Report

  1. Pingback: “LOUGH-10k-RAY” – Race Report from the Loughrea Sprint Triathlon |

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