Being a vegan, I was quite skeptical about the Duathlon “Bike Run Biryani”. Didn’t want to be part of an event where the title implied “Chicken Biryani”. But I like both cycling and running and a duathlon brings these together nicely. Hence I decided to give this a go. The organizer Dr Vignan, was so enthusiastic and encouraging that, I wanted to do my personal best in it.

The one area that I knew I had to get better at was the transition. In the GHAC organized Hyderabad Triathlon last October, I had participated in the Olympic Duathlon category. I was third among the women. But I spent 20 minutes in transition time. 20 mins of the 4 hrs 21 mins. That is a long time spent on transition. So this time, apart from focusing on better cycling and running, I was rehearsing the transition in my head so that I spend minimal amount of time in it. Vignan advised me to use my cleated cycling shoes and switch to the running ones. I realize now that, it was the right thing to do. It is best to do the ride or run with the shoes one has most practiced with. Having shoes with “Lock laces” also helped in quick swapping of the shoes.

The event was really well organized. Vignan had created a Strava segment with exact detail of the run and the ride. That really helped the participants understand where they would be able to push and which part they had to store their energy for. Looking at the segments I was hoping to finish the running and the transition under 45 minutes and finish the 5 km run in 30 minutes and in a total of 1 hour 15 minutes. Given my previous personal best of 29.30 minutes for a 5 km run, and 28.1 km/hr being the best for the BBCh ITT, this seemed possible.

Anirudh cycling ahead of everyone. He finished first overall in the men's category.

The day of the event, everything was setup well. The changing area, markings on the road for start and finish, marking showing where to dismount and prepare for the transition – everything was clear. The instructions were clear regarding the route. There was hydration support setup on the route. Apart from me focusing on my personal best, everyone participating wanted to do their personal best as well – including Anand and Anirudh.

I started slow taking time to cleat my left leg. I was able to speed up after that and did my personal best speed. I could do a PR on the first round of the downhill segment with a QOM. On the uphill I could have done better though. There is some learning there for me on how to not push all out in the beginning, but push at the end. I could not beat my own QOM on the uphill segment. But overall it was good and the speed of 29.1 km/hr was my personal best. I finished the cycling part of the duathalon in 41 minutes.

Great run by Anirudh with the next person more than a minute behind. He decided to take it easy given that he was way ahead.

After the ride, I quickly transitioned and started running. The volunteers were of great help here. The run was good. I could start well. But once I realized that I was way ahead of the other women, I was pushing myself to do a personal best and not for the race. I ran faster than few other men participants who were ahead of me in the cycling and finished overall 8th. The run was only 4.2 km and hence I could finish strong by pushing at the end. I could finish it in 25 minutes. I finished the event in a total time of 1 hour 6 minutes which was better than what I had hoped for.

I pushed to finish strong in the run.

There were not many women in this event and I finished 14 minutes ahead of the next woman participant. I was really happy that Anirudh was first in the men’s category and I was first in the women’s category. Anand did his personal best too on the cycling, after which he had cramps and slowed down on the run.

Overall a great event and great experience. I look forward to many more such events. The organizers got us vegan Biryani too :).

Results of the Bike Run Biryani Duathalon

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