The Village Velodrome Appreciation Society

A blog about jitensha and jogging

Sunday, February 10, 2008

"Calfman" Duathlon at Showa Kinen park, Tokyo

Today, I ran the Calfman Duathlon (カーフマン・デュアスロン) in a park in Tokyo's west. The conditions were quite bad - snow and ice on the ground - the transition area looked like a mudbath. But the organisers did a great job of making the roads rideable.

I competed in the "Challenge" category, which Harriers runner (and occasional Namban Rengo runner) Taro Agui won - mainly thanks to two brilliant runs, although his bike leg was pretty good too.

I'm not sure where I finished, but I'd guess about 60th. I set out slowly, not knowing how much a 5km run, 30km cycle, 5km run might hurt. In the end I was glad I took it easy at the start. I spent most of the race catching people, or running with people about my pace.

It kind of fell apart at the second transition. I reached down to pull my wet socks into my wet running shoes and my calf muscle spasmed. I tried the other and that went too, so I had to stop, stretch, then try again, but my socks were very wet, so they were sticking in my shoe. I tried and tried again. In the end I kind of crammed my foot in as best I could, then headed off. But I completely forgot I'd left my helmet on! So I doubled back to get rid of that. I must have lost 3 or 4 minutes.

The first 2km of the run felt bad. Really bad. My legs were really stiff and sore. But soon I got back into the groove, picked up a few places, and by the last couple of kilometres I was doing alright again.

It was a well-organised and fun day. They have a kids race and a novice race, so people of all abilities can enter. I just hope next year is warm and dry.

Having some trouble getting on the bike and going

I had an enjoyable battle with the guy in the green jersey - but he got me in the end

There were a few guys who didn't run so well, but could time trial really well. They made us look like we were standing still.

The women set off 2 minutes ahead of us. I caught some, but the first woman finished 5 minutes ahead of me.

Tiring, I'm a yellow-helmeted spec in the distance. At this point I had cramp in both calf muscles.

"One lap to go?"

The officials did really well to clear the roads of snow and ice - the rest of the park looked like this

It's not every race you get a snowman lining the road

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