RACE: Standard Bank Duo Challenge #2

The Standard Bank Duo Challenge was not on my top list of events do to right now but I have not been on the bike in a while but I got convinced to do it regardless. After the fall at the Salomon Bastile Trail Run last weekend, I was not sure I would be fit enough for it. Thursday I went to pilates class and the knee felt ok so I reckoned that it would be 100% for the challenge. It was only the short duo, 10km bike and 5km run.

Friday evening I took the bike for a little cycle, seeing as I have not been on it in over a month I just needed to see if it was in riding condition, thank goodness I checked as the gears were a bit sticky changing from high gear 1 to high gear 2. Bought a bike rack a few months back but because my car does not have a toe bar, I had to get the one that fit on the boot with latches. I attempted to put it on to a degree of success and was happy with it so in the morning I could just pop the bike on and fasten it, but boy was I wrong. The next morning when I popped the bike on and tried to fasten it, it was raining and bloody cold. I struggled to get it securely on and after trying for 10 minutes I had to at some point decide that this was not going to work and disassemble the whole thing. My fingers at this stage were numb from the cold I almost literally could not unfasten the bike from the rack! After getting it off I had to pop the front wheel off and put the bike in the car. Such a mission. Seriously need to practice this thing!

I was finally off to Boschendal where the Standard Bank Duo Challenge was taking place. It was still raining while driving to there. Was this going to be the first event where it would be raining? I didn’t mind at all! Met up with friends there who was also doing the duo, put my bike together and cycled up to the starting area. It was very muddy and wet cycling to there but the rain had gone at that stage. We setup our bikes in the transition area and went to the registration table to check in.

at the venue
at the venue
My bike in the transition area
My bike in the transition area

20 minutes before the start and I had not eaten anything, I just was not hungry. I didn’t even pack energy bars or a banana for some energy. Thank goodness someone was handing out some energy bars and I gladly took one and ate it otherwise I think my body would have not loved me. The weather was turning out to be beautiful just before the start but the route seemed to be very wet and muddy!

Race selfie
Race selfie

I had to use my phone to track myself as my TomTom watch is literally unusable now. Until I manage to save up for the multi-sports watch I want, my phone will just have to do.
We were off, the front guys were speeding and I was very hesitant to do the same as I was not sure how my gear change would handle it, from past event where I demolished my derailleur. We were on the tar for a few hundred meters before we crossed the main road and onto the farmlands where it was very muddy! Mud was spraying everywhere from the wheels in front it was crazy and I could feel the mud flicking up from behind on my back as it was spraying off my back wheel! It was so beautiful looking out in the horizon at the mountains I regret not taking my phone out to take a picture! There were some slow uphills and people were passing me to my frustration as I thought I was peddling fast. I seriously need to learn when the correct gear ratio is needed to be able to perform. At leat on the downhill technical section I caught up to people but then I got stuck behind them as there was no place to pass!

At around 4km there was a slight uphill for the next 2km. This was pretty intense on my left knee. The same knee I fell on last week. I decided to shift the effort onto the right knee. At the time it was fine. Got to the top and it was downhill from there. I was following someone in front of me and there was someone behind me too, not sure if it was lack of attention or when you do an event you just follow the person in front of you but 2km later, just before the 7km, we missed the turn. We ended up doing an extra 2km, which to my calculations, I lost 10 minutes! Annoyed, I knew I had to push the run a bit so at transition, first had to rack the bike, stop my cycle ride on strava and start the run on strava before I headed off on the 5km trail.

It was very muddy and wet and had difficulties trying to decide where to tread without slipping or going for a swim in the puddles. Other than that, it felt good that running is stronger and sped past people who passed me on the bike. It was a beautiful route non the less, with 2 water crossings and the last one was a bit tricky because I had to run with my phone in my hand and if I fell, then the phone would have been a goner! It was tricky coming into the finish straight as it was very muddy and it almost floored me at the finish! Managed to do the the run in under 25 min. Totaly time for the duo was 1 hour and 3 minutes. Pretty chuffed with it after the extra kms on the bike.
Cannot wait for the next Summer Duo series that starts closer to the end of the year!

Happy after my first Duo!
Happy after my first Duo!

About 10 minutes after, I felt my right knee. It was sore. Pain was crazy as if I had torn it or something. Bending it was painful beyond belief. I am pretty sure it happened on the bike leg. I never felt it once during the event. Totally frustrated by it as I have just come off the injury from last week and now I am sitting with this. Just means I cannot do anything this week AGAIN!

Next event was the Gluhwein Trail Run, which I skipped today, first time I have ever skipped an event!
Hopefully the knee will be better by next week Sunday when I am doing the Die Burger MTB Challenge with a friend. This will be a very chilled and fun ride.

After that there is nothing on the calendar. Was going to do the Spur Winter series Trail Run in Kleinmond mid August, but at the moment, I just need to focus on getting these knees healed up as September is a big month with the Marloth Mountain Challenge and the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon coming up!

Don’t forget I am trying to raise money for the Wildlife Unit at the Cape of Good Hope SPCA