5 duathlons in 5 days: My experiencing racing virtual duathlons

About six years ago, my now-husband and parents teamed up to buy me a Jamis hybrid bike for my birthday. I love to ride it, but I find that running takes up so much of my time (especially when I am marathon training) that I don’t take it out as much as I should or would like to. 

That’s changed over the past few weeks as I took on Rip It Events’ V5 — 5 Virtual Duathlons series, and raced five virtual run-bike-runs in five days. I wrapped up the challenge today after five weeks — I did one duathlon every weekend and opted for the sprint version (1 mile run, 10 mile bike ride, 2 mile run) for the first four duathlons, then bumped up to the intermediate version (2 mile run, 20 mile bike ride, 4 mile run) for the last one. Woo, that was tough! It’s been years since I’ve ridden my bike that far.

It was a ton of fun and reminded me that when things get back to “normal,” I’d like to start signing up for more duathlons. Before this series, I did Rip It’s now-defunct Maryland Duathlon in 2017 and 2018. It always was held the day I left for Rehoboth for vacation, and honestly it was a struggle to wake up before the sun, drive an hour to do the race, race, and then drive to the beach. (In 2017, I stupidly went to an Orioles game the night before the race and got about two hours of sleep! I don’t know how I managed.) So last year, I decided not to do it, and unfortunately that was the last year for the race. 

Duathlons are definitely a different kind of challenge than running. While I love to ride my bike, I am not fast on it, and part of that is because I do fear crashing and hurting myself. (You don’t have to worry about that with running!) Aside from that, doing the last run after getting off the bike is HARD — my legs always feel like Jello. (How do my friends who race Ironman triathlons do it?) 

I also decided to push myself with the sprint duathlons and run the one mile at the beginning as an all-out effort to see what I could do. I’ve only raced the mile once, and that was last September when I did the Market Street Mile in Frederick in 6:11. I haven’t been doing any real speedwork lately, so imagine my shock when last weekend, in my fourth Du, I actually broke six minutes in the mile and ran a 5:56. I truly did not think I was capable of that. I’ll write a blog post on that in a few days, but needless to say, I was so excited. 

I believe I completed all of my sprints in around an hour and 10 minutes, and last week’s duathlon with the mile PR was right around an hour and five minutes. Today’s intermediate effort took me about two and a half hours to complete. I’ve been treating other virtual races, including Get Pumped For Pets and the Cinco De Mayo 5K, as real races in that I am waking up early like I would for a real race and even wearing race bibs. I didn’t do that with the duathlons, mostly because I don’t like to wake up early and also because I didn’t necessarily have goal times in mind for these races. As I am not an experienced duathlete (yet?!), simply completing them was the challenge.

And it sure was a fun one! I truly looked forward to “du”-ing each one, so thank you again to Rip It Events with coming up with such fun and creative virtual events in these bizarre times.

Proceeds from the race also benefited Food It Forward, a collaboration between a small group of restaurants to drive business, save restaurant jobs and provide food to those in need throughout the pandemic.

In fact, I enjoyed these duathlons so much that I signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon’s virtual Quantico Duathlon (originally supposed to be a triathlon that obviously got canceled). I have until the end of August to complete it, and I may save it for July 26. That’s two days before my 40th birthday, and the half marathon I was scheduled to run that day got canceled, so this might be a good substitute. If it’s not 100 degrees, I guess.

As a Rip It Events ambassador, I receive free entries to all of their races, including their virtual races. 

2 thoughts on “5 duathlons in 5 days: My experiencing racing virtual duathlons

  1. What great commentary on the V5! I had the same fun experience. I’m not a cyclist AT ALL basically for the same reasons… fear of crashing and falling off, coupled with the ensuing embarrassment (all of which has happened 🥴). But this event got me on my bike and I became more comfortable with cycling. I luckily got into the event as one of the last entrants. I first thought I would do it on my own without having to register for it. But I love swag and decided to officially register (I’d done Rip It Events Cinco de Miler in May and their shirt and medal were among the best designed swag I’d ever seen). Well,
    THANK GOODNESS I officially registered, because if I hadn’t, DU #2 wouldn’t have happened! I signed up for Intermediate and completed my first day on what had to be the windiest day this year. I was exhausted! But knowing I had to earn that swag kept me going. Essentially, I participated because I needed a goal and I needed to keep moving, and a series event satisfied both. So I didn’t concern myself with transition times by immediately hopping on the bike after the first run, then immediately running after i finished the 20 mile ride. Nevertheless, this series was challenging to say the least.
    Though another member of my running club (Kent Island Running Group) had registered and is working on hers now, I have since shared this event’s plan with the rest of the group. Many members are excitedly doing it as it was too late for them to actually sign up. Now that I’ve had two incredible experiences with Rip It, I will continue to share its events as soon as I see them so more in my club can join the fun and EARN their swag, while supporting the worthy causes Rip It gets behind.
    Thank you again, Rip It Events!

    Liked by 1 person

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