2015 Adelaide ITU Duathlon World Championships – Richard Palmer
Race Date: October 18th Results: 2015
Always an honour and a privilege to represent your country and I was super excited to be in Adelaide to have a crack at the best in the world for my age group in a Duathlon. Distances for those not familiar with Duathlon are 10km run, 40km bike and 5km run.
Arrived on Thursday afternoon for a Sunday Race as you are required to register on the Thursday and attend the opening ceremony. Adelaide was hot at 40 degrees and looked dry and was uncomfortably warm. Brazilian team put on quite a show and it was great to be part of the green and gold team.
Friday started with the Australian team breakfast at the Adelaide oval in the Bradman room. This was a great experience and it was good to meet many of the other Australian athletes. Also got to meet one of my all-time favourite triathletes in Emma Carney who was back racing as an age grouper due to a heart issue. Also set the bike up and did some course familiarization. Ran the run course and rode the bike route to get familiar with the turns and hills etc.
For the rest of Friday was free so popped down to McLaren vale to taste a few red wines and checked out the lovely beaches along the coast.
Saturday was the elite races and under 23 world championships which was interesting and great to watch. Bike was then racked and all prep done. The rest of Saturday was free to explore Adelaide. I managed to hire one of the free bikes and cruised around the city watching formula one race cars and visited a yoga and fitness expos plus explored the national wine centre.
Sunday race day. Up early to get organised and get to transition. A bit different to the usual transition as you run first then ride then run again. I choose to use a second pair of shoes for the second run as the first ones are often hot and sweaty after the first 10km. Set up my bike and made sure everything was in order then warmed up and watched the other age groups go off in waves. Got my usual starting position on the front line and we were off on the 10km run. Stayed with the lead group for the first km but the pace was high. Rowan walker and a Spanish athlete we really putting the hammer down so decided to ease off and run my own race. Tough 2 lap course with small hill and twisting paths to follow. Came inwards the front of the group but the front runners had smashed it and gone low 32 minutes for the first 10km. I was just over 37 minutes so had some work to do on the bike.
The bike course was fast but with 4 or 5 technical turns, 2 of which were 180 degrees, and many waves of slow riders it was a challenge to go fast and stay safe. Managed to pull back a few spots on the bike and averaged around the 40km mark for the ride coming in just over the hour mark. So now to smash out a quick 5km to finish! Duathlon is a hard sport. Trying to run fast after you have already run a hard 10km and then ridden hard for an hour is not easy. In fact it is bloody hard. Managed to get going but was not flying. Held my place and came home in 8th spot in the age group which I was happy with considering I had had a few injury concerns that had hampered my running leading up to the event. At full fitness I believe I could have probably improved that to about 4th but the top guys in my age group were world class. Rowan Walker for example got third. Rowan was the first Australian home at the Gold Coast marathon this year in 2.25, runs a 10km in 30 minutes and park runs in 15.13s. Plus he can ride a bike. His weakness is swimming. Back to triathlons for me but really enjoyed the duathlon but boy are they a hard race.