Off Road Duathlon at Hacienda Escudero

May 5, 2013

For starter, this didn't turn out well. My first attempt at off road racing was a bit of a failure right from the start. Two days before the event I went to the venue for track reading. A fellow named Hermie generously guided me through the track. It was a mix of lots of trail under the coconut trees and some paved roads of an empty subdivision. The trail was flat with turns all over the place and the grass slows the wheel down substantially. I wasn't doing well that day but I already expected that since I'm riding with tires suited for hard pack concrete like roads. I knew I had to use a different set of rubbers and there lies the problem, I didn't change them so I was doomed right from the get go.

Off Road Duathlon at Hacienda Escudero
Early enough to bike through the run route before gun start

The first run started out well, I reached kilometer 1 in less than 4 minutes and second to go inside the transition area. The run course was approximately 3.5 kilometers and only 35 percent of it was off road and is flat as any pancake's bottom.

Then came the bike leg and with 60 psi of inflation I was bouncing hard on the track. Coupled with my lack of skills on trail riding, or biking in general, needless to say the 22 kilometer ride went slow. And as if that's not enough I encountered two more problems first with my rear derailleur so I had to stop and fix it and second by getting lost in the lagoon portion of the track. By this time I was just enjoying my ride and hoping to finish with a smile on my face as the brutality of off road biking put a toll on my butt and triceps. Maybe a 60 kilometer road bike course is easier than this. My speed was definitely 3 times less than my road bike average.

Green Planet Duathlon
Obviously I won't be stepping on this in the near future

As I entered the transition area to prepare for the second run there were more than 15 bikes already hanging on the bamboo poles. I was able to overtake 5 or 6 runners on my way to the finish line and placed 11th overall out of less than 40 participants.

Would I do this again? Maybe yes if the participants remain few. I don't think I would enjoy it this much if there were more than a hundred of us battling it out on the trails. Trail riding could easily be dangerous if there are a lot of overtaking but the allure of mountain biking will always be there. Off road racing is too technical you just can't spend time on a trainer and hope everything will be fine.

triathlon philippines
Somewhere in San Pablo City

After the race we went to a resort and spa nearby and enjoyed the rest of the day with good food and massage. Ah... Life is good!

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