2018 Metasprint Duathlon

The YPO Global Leadership Conference (GLC)/EDGE brought Debbie and me to Singapore for the second time. We were last here in 2012, when the event was last held in Asia. It’s typical when we travel for us to look for an event to do.

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On prior conference trips, we have done the Cape Town Cycle Tour and the Six Foot Track Marathon. The last time we were in Singapore, Debbie ran a 10K road race. This year, she opted for multisport. Today she did the Metasprint Duathlon.

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She had never ridden a true road bike, so we rented a Merida (Shimano Ultegra drivetrain/Mavic wheelset) from a local bike shop, on the recommendation of our friend, Tim Cosulich. The day before the race, a bellman delivered the bike to our room at the Marina Bay Sands. I’ve never had a bike delivered to my hotel room before! On Saturday, I rented an ofo city bike and rode with her, giving her some pointers on how to handle the bike, how to corner, how to shift, how to dismount/remount, and other tricks.

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Today, she did her first road duathlon and it was a lot of fun. I was planning to do this race too, but the broken leg I suffered at the USA Cyclo-Cross National Championships in January has been a setback. I only ditched my crutches a week before our trip and have been increasing my workload each day. On this trip, I’ve hiked, swam, and now ridden outside to go along with my daily stretching/strengthening regimen. However, I can’t run and don’t plan to for several more months.

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In contrast, Debbie is in good shape right now, and building towards her first ultra of the year, the Mt. Tammany 40 Miler in the Delaware Water Gap in two weeks. Today’s race was over in 66 minutes, which is considered a sprint especially for her. She had a great result, finishing second in the 40-44 age group. The format was a 3 kilometer run/18 kilometer bike/3 kilometer run.

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The run course was a narrow loop along the Kallang River, finishing on the bike path before it reached the transition area. The bike loop was also narrow with a few turnarounds, but at least it was on completely closed roads. Both were dead flat, given that Singapore is a low-lying island with no real elevation. Part of the course is shared with the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix course.

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Tim raced in the Elite Men field. He is a talented triathlete and won the Aquathlon which kicked off the Metasprint Series last month. The trilogy completes in April with a sprint triathlon and he should be favored with his strong swimming ability. He was busy with the YPO conference all week and out late at night (like us), but he managed fifth overall and fourth in the tough 35-39 age group.

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We had a momentary scare last night when Debbie was organizing her gear and reading the race materials on-line. She found a page where it said that packet pickup was last Tuesday (in person) and that there was “strictly” no day of race bib number pickup. This concerned her because she hadn’t received any confirmation emails or race instructions, though she did find her name listed with the starters. She slept restlessly, but was relieved when we arrived at the venue and there was an area for Overseas Athlete Kit Collection. No sweat. She submitted her medical form and she was ready to go.

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The weather in Singapore is pretty much the same year round. It rarely dips below 74 degrees Fahrenheit and day time temperatures usually reach the high 80’s. The humidity is omnipresent and typically in the 70% range like today. At 6:30 A.M. when the first wave went off, we were already soaking in sweat…and the sun hadn’t even come up yet.

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Debbie had a really good race. Her only problem was a rookie mistake. She was leading her wave after the first run, but entering transition, she couldn’t remember where she racked her bike. The racks were numbered, but in her mind, she transposed her bib number. She thought it was 1828 instead of 1282. She had placed her bike in transition when it was dark and when there were few other bikes in the rack, but in the race, this led to confusion and cost her 30 seconds as she searched to find it.

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Aside from that, things went smoothly. If she does this again, she will have to learn how to use aero bars, since they make a big difference. She much prefers the trails and XTERRA style races, so her road duathlon/triathlon days may be infrequent. Time will tell. We are already thinking about our next foreign adventure. The YPO conference returns to Cape Town in 2019.

Race Results

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