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.

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!

    • Nicole
      October 7, 2015 / 11:08 am

      you’re the best!! thanks jon!!

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