Saturday, 24 August 2013

ITU AG Duathlon World Championship - Garima's version

So, you all may have read Parichit's blog on this race with his usual talk about numbers (read "boring"), but here is my fun take on the race.

For some background, Parichit and I qualified for the Age Group Duathlon World Championships last year (2012) to represent Canada and boy did things get real for me. I mean....first of all I didn't really do duathlons and second of all I didn't take my results very seriously. But when you are representing a country, you start to take things more seriously, and of course continue to have fun!

For me, this was my goal race for 2013 and I started training more like a duathlete (instead of triathlete), lesser swimming sessions, more running sessions. My running got better, biking improved and I stopped making fun of Parichit for not doing any! This involved some torture sessions (like sprinting for 800 m right after 50 min of bike intervals), but in the end it just made us stronger. The thing that makes me smile the most about our training sessions is that Parichit couldn't say the following things any more:
- "Why dont you do some sprints on the track and I will run easy with you"
- "Its my easy bike day so I will go on my low front gear and spin on high cadence while you try to bike hard behind me"

OK, I may have made him sound like a mean guy, but he really isn't! In fact he has been a wonderful boyfriend, coach and partner.

Now back to the race- the highlight of the race was to meet athletes from all over the world and getting any opportunity to compete with them with the Canadian colors on our uniform and Canadians cheering all around us! This experience involved meeting up with fellow Canadian team members and participating in the "Parade of Nations" in downtown Ottawa.

We had a team photo shoot in front of the parliament :

You guys may not know, but Parichit and I completed our Bachelors of Engineering in Ottawa, so we were able to walk down memory lane in the city and meet some of our university friends. Our specials thanks to Cindy and Stephanie who watched us race, hung out with us pre and post race and were able to spend quality time with us!

Race morning was exciting and nerve wrecking at the same time, so we decided to take some goofy pictures to ease our nerves and have some fun. I started much earlier than Parichit and so was fortunate to be able to see him cheer for me during my first run segment of the race

The ladies in my age group were extremely fast runners, I couldn't believe how fast they took off! I looked back to make sure I wasn't last and was a little relieved to see I wasn't!. The first run segment was over soon enough and went smoothly, minus the missing km markers (you can see Parichit's blog where he is complaining about this too!). I did my personnel best on this run, mostly due to missing markers and was quite pleased with it.

The supposedly fast and furious bike course was more like slow and furiously windy course. I realized the wind was going to be my enemy on my way out on the bike and was hoping to gain some time on the way back with some tail wind, but boy was I wrong! I felt head wind on majority of the way back too....
(question for your wind scientists out there - can wind be blowing in two opposite directions at the same time????). Biking being my favorite part of a race was a big disappointment.

Now back to running- this time I was more prepared for the missing markers and happy that I will be done soon! Don't get me wrong, this race was a amazingly great experience but it is more fun once you finish the race and not while you are actually racing...hehehe.

So dear readers, I may have mentioned my fear of coming last in my age group was very real, it was becoming even more real in the last part of the race when I wasn't able to see any female in my age group within sight. I was preparing myself mentally to cross the finish line and the announcer saying "and here is the last female 25-29 age group athlete across the finish" But fortunately when I did finish I found out I wasn't last!!!! yays.....relief!!! It was amazing to see the number of spectators who had come out and were cheering for the us all, it was almost like a energy boost every time someone cheered for me, who needs energy gels?!

I met up with some fellow female Canadian athletes, ate, drank and went on to the finish line to cheer for the remaining athletes close to finishing. We were waiting for our respective friends/boyfriends etc to finish and in the meantime were cheering at the top of our lungs for other Canadian athletes ....... cheering them to sprint (man, we were loud...very very loud...if only I was able to utilize all this energy during the bike, wouldn't that have been great?). I would like to believe that we were able to push some Canadians up in the ranking with our cheering and almost forcing them to out-sprint their competition. Then we saw Parichit (I recognized him from his cap)....and we started yelling when he was just within sight! We were shouting so hard for his to sprint that he almost thought that someone was catching up behind him. He finished with a strong sprint...mission accomplished.

Post race activities (drinks and dinner) was even more fun. We were all done, we could eat or drink whatever we wanted. There was no more competitiveness which meant a lot more flirting amongst athletes from different countries lol.

Final note - I am so grateful to be a part of this experience and would cherish those moments for the rest of my life!

My race results:
22nd in my age group (F 25-29yrs)
Run 1: 10 km -  49m 39s
Bike: 40 km - 1 hr 17m
Run 2: 5 km - 25m 14 s


  1. I'm so proud of you baby!! :D
    And yeah, Sunny bhaiya's version was a bit boring (I skimmed through most of it, don't tell him :P )
    You lifted the Takyar family's (big) nose!
    Tune hamara naam rosan kar diya! XD

  2. Duh. Its my blog, too, you know! I'm bound to find out!! Don't blame you, though. Architects are afraid of numbers anyway...