The Funk & Janel Duo do the Wrentham Halloween Duathlon

A few months ago I caught the multi-sport bug when I completed my first triathlon. I loved the event, and even the training that went with it. Apparently Funk caught the bug watching me train and compete and we both decided we wanted to do an event like that together.

Since we both love cycling and running, we figured a duathlon would hit the spot so we signed up for the Wrentham Halloween Duathlon sometime in the summer. This event is a 3 mile run, followed by an 11 mile bike, and finished with a 2 mile run. I like that duathlons don’t involve swimming, which is the hardest sport for me and of course October is too chilly to swim outside!

I wish I could say we trained hard, but a busy fall got in the way along with some hindering injuries and we went to the race with a fun, do-the-best-you-can-do attitude.

We couldn’t have had more perfect weather on race day. The sky was blue, the sun was out and halfway through the race I was peeling off layers as the temperature got warmer. There were 300+ participants in this race, which seems tiny to me compared to the 3,000+ in my triathlon and 7,000+ in my recent 10k. You could tell there were some fierce competitors in the event as well as people in it just for a day of fun. It was entertaining too, to see some participants dressed in Halloween costumes. I considered wearing last year’s Ketchup costume but thought it wasn’t very aerodynamic. It was obviously a co-ed event which got my nerves up a little. I prefer all-female races that always feel so empowering. But let me tell you, running by men on the road and whizzing by guys on the bike was also pretty empowering too!

I also found myself running along side the Hoyts during some of the race. Know them? They’re an inspirational father-son duo who have competed in over 1,000 races together including triathlons and Ironman.

Rick has been afflicted with cerebral palsy from birth. In running events, Dick pushes his son in front of him in a specially designed wheelchair. In cycling, Rick rides in a carriage attached to the handlebars. In swimming, Dick pulls Rick along on a raft strapped to his waist. Check out the Hoyt’s website to learn more.

I’ve seen them run a few Boston Marathons, but it was amazing watching Dick bike with his son sitting on the bike as well (I could hardly bike myself up those hills let alone another person sitting on my bike!). One word: wow. Dick is nearing 70 years old and isn’t ready to quit. As I ran next to the Hoyts I said to them, “You’re an inspiration. Thanks!” and spent the rest of the race reminding myself how lucky I am to be able to run and bike and be active.

Funk and I both had a fantastic race. The run portion was flat and short, while the bike portion had some of the most extreme hills I’ve ever ridden on. I actually started to get more daring on the downhills instead of riding the breaks like I usually do! For me, I can kill the up-hills, but it’s the downhill part I’m a wus at! Funk rocked the bike portion too, even though his chain came off the bike twice.

We both finished strong and feeling good. Funk came in at about 1:15 and me at 1:19 with our parents cheering on the sidelines. We’ve already been thinking about future races to do together, possibly as a relay team, or rather duathlon duo.
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