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vicino Karpenísi, Central Greece (Greece)
Duathlon was on my to-do list since 2015! I even did some training back then and signed for one of races near my city. Don't remember what went wrong, but for last two years, something always went wrong in regards to doing a duathlon race. (just for clarification, I don't think of triathlon, yet!, as my swimming skills are closer to 'staying on the surface of the water' and not racing).
So, about 2months ago, I decided to drop any running plans or races, whatever they would be, and focus on finally doing the duathlon. Karpenissi is not that close to Patra (and the road is tragic) but it's the only duathlon in summer months here in Greece (rest of duathlons are in early spring while summer months are mostly reserved for triathlons - 3 of them in June alone!). Then it was a question of the distance: a sprint one (3 - 22 - 3) or the long one (10 - 44 - 5)? I really wanted the big one but my mind was telling me the opposite: first time it's better to do a quick one, and the long distance would go way over 3h and into midday temps! So, sprint it was (and boy I don't regret the decision :-D).
Since Karpenissi is a mountain town, it's really kind of hard to find anything flat here. The route was no different. Running legs were in the town, around the main square, with first 1km climbing ~100m (this meant 10%!) and the other 2kms coming back around with a 5% grade descent (nice and speedy). While the bike leg was an out and back outside of town on local roads, with accumulated ascent of about 330m. Actually I was pretty happy about that kind of profiles. I do fair amount of running on hilly/mountain roads so I thought I might get some advantage over flat runners there. As for bike, I do have a regular road bike, so on a flat course I might have lost a lot compared to TT bikes. Since there was a lot of climbing and then technical downhill, I really don't think TT bikes got any advantage in this race - good for me :-D
Anyway, I did my training, including transitions and brick sessions, so I was optimistic about my debut. And the race did go well! Very well! I can't think of any mistake, nor pacing wise, nor during the transitions. I went pretty hard on the run trying to stay in the front. I did my transition very smoothly (no shoe change, went with toe clips on the bike). I went very well on the bike, that I was the most afraid of, loosing some time to best bikers, but still staying close enough. T2 also spotless. And final run felt tough but as I found out at the finish line, it was much tougher for other guys :-P So, the overall result was 1:10'52" and 3rd spot. Cool :-D