My guide for participating in the Knockma Duathlon
The 2016 edition of the Knockma Duathlon was held on Jan 30th. It was the second event in the Ireland West Duathlon series and was hosted by Tri Lakes Triathlon club. The format was a 4km run, 20km cycle and a 2.5km run to finish. The run sections don’t sound too bad at first but you have to tackle Knockma hill. Trail runners are recommended.
Registration was in Caherlistrane GAA complex. On a dry day you can register here and then cycle the 2km over to Knockma as a warm up. However, this was not the case this year and I drove over. Parking is very limited at Knockma so watch out for this at future events. Facilities were excellent with plenty of bike rack space and chip timing built into your race number.
Run 1 – 4km
As with most Duathlons the run got off to a fast pace. The first few hundred meters are flat but then you tackle the hill. I broke it down into three sections. The first incline makes you want to push really hard but you need to be careful, the next section is much steeper. That is what I thought anyways, I remember taking very short strides. The third section is not as steep and so you can increase speed. My big problem on the run was the decent. I have a very bad technique, maybe it is my height but many competitors passed me out on the downhill bit.
Cycle – 20km
I did not change shoes in transition, I seem to waste a lot of time doing this in past events. Got on my TT bike and started pushing. One mistake I made was having my breakfast late that morning. Really felt it on the bike. I struggled to get going through a combination of really cold conditions and a full stomach. Any time I looked at my bike computer I was not going above 33kph which is not great in an event like this. I finally felt I got going during the last 5km.
The cycle section is flat enough with a couple of small hills and a good few corners that you need to slow down for. The event is well marshaled so there is no danger of getting lost.
Run 2 – 2.5km
The second run was shortened from the advertised 5km to 2.5km. It took in part of Knockma hill but it was not too steep. One of my club mates was catching me which made me push hard for the last 1km. I completed the event in 1hr 9mins and was 11th overall. I also took the over 40 prize so it was a nice finish to the day.
Next up is Ballinrobe Duathlon on Feb 13th.