Duathlons hurt. A lot. I only have two data points, the other being the 2008 San Francisco Conti Cup turned 5K-40K-10K (where I spent the evening post-race curled into the fetal position on the floor). Rev3 Venice was equally painful, and this picture says it all:
The extra suffering was probably brought on by hauling through the initial 1.5 mile run at just under 3 min/km, then compounded by chasing Jesse Thomas/Ben Collins/Starky for 15 miles at 40k effort (to no avail). A chase group formed up of about ten athletes, including the usual suspects (Viktor, Richie, Kyle) but also the unusual suspects (the non-swimmers). One person flatted, another dropped his chain, Kyle got a 2 min stand-down penalty, and eventually we were only six. Around mile 40 Viktor surged to the front, followed by a short surge from me, and another from Richie, and when I next turned around nobody was there! We finished the bike as a group of three, nine minutes back from Starky, six from Thomas, and a little less then three to Ben Collins.
I set the early pace on the run and Viktor quickly matched it. Kaleb Van Ort joined up around mile three and that’s when I started to suffer. I lost some calories on the bike when a gel flask fell out of my pocket, but I figured that since the race was ~20 minutes shorter than a normal half (no swim), and I generally carry an excess of calories on the bike, that I would be fine with what I had. I was wrong. The hot, humid, windy conditions punished me for my incorrect assumption. I got dropped by Viktor and Kaleb and my pace slowed to what felt like a jog. The last two miles were all about survival. To give you an idea of how much I faded, I came within 21 seconds of catching Ben Collins around mile 10 of the run and he ended up beating me by 2:10. Ouch! In the final half mile I felt like I could barely get one leg in front of the other and came through the finish in sixth. This is not how I hoped to finish the 2012 season, but a few positives emerged: my cycling is at a level I didn’t expect until next year, and despite blowing up I still ran the third fastest split behind Viktor and Kaleb. So it wasn’t all bad, but frustrating to know I could have done better.
So now I get a couple of weeks off and then start it up for 2013.