Next Up: The Central Park Duathlon

I spent most of Saturday horizontal on the couch nursing a cold. Sunday morning, amped on Mucinex, I took my bike (and Matthew) to Central Park to ride two loops of the park for the first time ever.  The maximum I’d ever conquered in the park before is one loop.

It’s a strange activity for someone who spent most of the weekend trying to take it easy. But I’m training for something. What? Yup! I haven’t mentioned it here because I’m a little intimidated by it.

iceland bike ride

not this weekend, or in central park. my friend trish and i rented bikes and biked around reykjavik, iceland last month

This Sunday I’ll be participating in the Central Park Duathlon.  It’s a two-mile run up Cat Hill, followed by two loops of the park on a bike (for 12 miles total), finished off with a second two-mile run back up Cat Hill. (Because I know what everyone thinks at the top of Cat Hill: “Where is the water fountain? Will my heart stop beating?  Let’s do that again!”

glorious central park in the fall

glorious central park in the fall

I signed up for the race in late August once I felt a bit more confident in my running health. I thought having a goal race would encourage me to progress on the bike, and it has, but not by much.

As I see it there are three main challenges for me to overcome:

  1.  The hills. Biking Harlem Hills (a 4.4% grade over about a third of a mile) once is grueling, twice is extraordinarily tough.
  2. The transition. I’ve never done a mixed sport race before. I understand there are some pretty specific and strict rules about transitioning to and from each activity. And despite my google attempts, I still don’t feel like I understand them. Though this was a very helpful resource for new tri/duathloners.
  3. The race atmosphere. I’m physically fit enough to ride two loops of the park, but as a newish bike rider riding alongside fearless speedsters is intimidating for me. The other riders will be much more aggressive than I am and I’m worried I’ll let them bike all over me or I’ll break a code I don’t know.

I’m toning down my competitive spirit and I’m looking at this event as a fun, workout thing I’m doing, instead of a race with a goal time. It’s my first one, so no matter what, I’ll PR 🙂

So secret’s out. I’m doing it. I took a look at the results from a duathlon using the same course that was held in March. Based on my practice ride this weekend, biking-wise I would finish just about last, right before a 92-year old woman who is already my hero. I hope she is back for more this Sunday, I could use a colleague.

Let’s just hope I finish. Has anyone else done a duathlon in Central Park? Looks like they have them frequently!

Any advice for a first-time duathloner?


  1. jogo
    October 7, 2015 / 11:00 am

    you’re gonna crush it, Nico! have fun with your colleagues!

    • October 7, 2015 / 11:08 am

      you’re the best!! thanks jon!!

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