So I did my first duathlon...

… and got ran over by a reckless cyclist but that’s not the point.

It’s quite fun actually - definitely recommended if you’ve some interest in running. I did a sprint distance - 3km run / 15km ride / 3km run - with the ride done with a 29" with 125mm cranks (I was led on to believe that the terrain was hillier than it is. Must remember that the definition of ‘hills’ here is different.)

I don’t think I’m that fast a runner BUT I think I can outlast people over distance so a 5/15/5 would really be optimal. A longer run would also tire people out before the cycling race so the top speed differences would not be THAT obvious.

My tactic was to do a moderately fast run, ease up with the cycling (mainly because I heard there were hills) and recuperate enough during the last few km to do a normally-paced run. My times were along the lines of 16.5 min/1 h / 18.5 min sans transitions. I ended up dead last after the cycling by 5-10 min and finished 2nd or 3rd last at the end of the run.

I’ve learnt a couple of lessons throughout.

  • Uphills are GREAT for unicycles. The uphill portions are about the only places where I could keep up or overtake the weaker cyclists. Ditto for U-turns (we did 2 laps) where everyone was forced to slow down.

-However, overtaking bikers does have the opposite unwanted effect of spurring them on, making them faster than they would have been were you on a bike.

  • When I was crashed into, my first reaction was to lift up my feet and try to fall back from my uni to a feet-on-ground stance. I think that saved me quite a lot of injury because were I to fall with my uni, I’m end up being pulled forward and scraping all of my knees. My uni flew, the bike behind me hit me, then skidded away and I landed on my feet, then butt. Or something like that.

  • The last run was a lot more tiring than it should have been. I’m still convinced I shouldn’t have a bottle on my uni over such a short race BUT I should have been hydrated at the start of the cycling leg. I was cramping (prob also partly caused by the crash) from about the middle of the cycling leg til the middle of the run leg when I got a drink.

I’m definitely doing the same race again next year but I think I’ll be a lot more competitive instead of coming in bottom and having the sweeper vehicle chase me into the transition. It’s not a fast race at all - most cyclists were clocking times of 30ish minutes. I think a 35-45 min ride isn’t impossible on a uni.

Anyone with experience to share? I read a couple of triathlons done on a uni here…

edit On a tangent, I see some rather negative threads about a ‘circus clown’ on a unicycle at the duathlon on a running forum. People can be such pricks.



EDIT: Looked like a fun experience none-the less.

A Biathlon is typically skiing and target shooting, so the term Duathlon usually refers to two other disciplines, such as running and cycling or swimming and running.

Silly me…

I actually do biathlon, as well as summer biathlon which substitutes cross country skiing with running or mountain biking. It’s an amazing experience, and if you happen to live anywhere near a biathlon range, check it out! Or you could start out with a summer biathlon if you’re shaky on skis.

And the story continues. I’m still very very pissed off by this incidentally.

Apparently the guy who rammed into me lodged a complaint about ‘the person on a unicycle who caused an accident’.

Hm I can’t edit.

There you go. I caused someone to be hospitalised because I got hit by him.

Flux, congrats on the duathlon!

On the subject of getting hit by the biker, were you on the right hand side of the road/track?

I could see bikers considering you a hazard even if you stick the the right hand side as you said that they were averaging about twice as fast as you, road bikers are not used to having to quickly alter their line like mountain bikers, especially when racing.

Sheesh, that guy sounds like a real “tool.” Doesn’t he understand that it is the overtaking rider’s responsibility to not run into the other cyclist when passing? Obviously the person being overtaken needs to be careful to not cut anybody off but jeez… I think he was more upset about his car being bumped into than anything else… hope everything turns out ok.

Fortunately I had a much better experience unicycling at a local “sprint” triathlon (twice now once on a junk 26er and last year on my 36er). Both times I got permission of the race director and I had no issues with anybody. That being said I will say that I was real conscious about where I was riding and tried to keep out of the “best route line” to make sure all speeding cyclists could easily go around me. I also had it easier since the triathlon I did started with a run which had a wave start based on estimated run time (for 3 miles). I’m a pretty fast runner so I was near the top of the first wave and so I really didn’t have a whole lot of traffic when I was riding. Obviously everybody in the 1st wave passed me on the 6 mile bicycle portion (or nearly) and then I had a good break before some of the 2nd wave people started to catch me, but that was almost before I finished that leg. The funny thing is that even on my 36er I still finished in the top 20%!!!

As said above, I kept to the left AT ALL times, keeping the curb/barrier no more than 25cm away except when passing. I went at a MUCH slower speed than I would usually have because I didn’t want to risk falling and causing a pile-up.

The guy who was trying to overtake me was obviously not going too fast because the male race started 10 minutes ahead and given that headstart AND the fact he’s on a bike, he can definitely avoid me if he weren’t daydreaming.

Really, I don’t see any difference, as far as the overtaking cyclist is concerned, between a slow moving unicyclist and a slow moving bicyclist? What difference does it make? I passed numerous people on mountain bikes and bmx bikes during the triathlon I did! So the fact that you’re a unicyclist and not someone riding a bmx bike shouldn’t make any difference? Granted it you can’t ride in control, i.e. having difficulty holding a line, then you shouldn’t be out there but you should have seen these kids riding their little bikes out there; all over the place!

Some people…They don’t know how to take such talent.

I can’t help but think that the car dent was karma for his douchebaggery during the race. As he said, there were racers going all speeds. I wonder who the mysterious hospitalised rider was? Did you recklessly cause any other incidents, or is he making stuff up? I notice he doesn’t have any replies to his whining, don#t let him get you down.

Good on you for doing this and it’s great that you didn’t come last. How much time do you think you would have cut off if you’d had a 36er?

The difference is that the unicyclists are attention whores while bicyclists are just… bicyclists.

fluxusmaximus, I’m glad to hear that you weren’t seriously injured (though you must have a really good UPD technique - to manage to finish the duathlon despite “a number of people crashing on top” of you!). Thanks for sharing your experience.

I’ve been thinking about attending bike events with my uni. My goal would be to beat at least one or two cyclists, just because it would be fun (however, I would be noncompetitive). But first I need a lot more training.

I did our local Duathlon last year on my KH29, the Nairn-Shire Challenge. It is 13 miles of hill running, then 18 miles road cycling. It was really good, I got good feedback and encouragement from other competitors. I have done the event loads of times on a bike, my normal times are about 2 hours 50 minutes on the bike, and I was 4 hours 16 minutes on my unicycle. There were loads of cyclists after me, so I was happy with my results.

The organisers were really happy to have me competing on my unicycle, as it is more in the spirit of the event, that has been becoming more serious as the years have gone on. I am competing on a tandem this year.

I hope you have a better time the next time fluxusmaximus, you don’t seem to of had as friendly fellow competitors as I did.


Just saw this on twitter

“has just heard the girl doing the duathlon on unicycle caused a crash which hospitalised one person so maybe that wasnt quite so cool”

Not even sure if it’s related but sounds very possible.

Of course it would help if I read the other comments more carefully as this has already been covered.

So I may not be very well liked on this forum after this, but if you read the Tri-guy’s rant I don’t think he was involved in your accident he was only complaining that you were allowed on the course. Here’s the unpopular part he was right to complain and the race director was wrong to allow you out there.

You said yourself that you were in the first wave because you are a fast runner. There is a reason races send off the most competative racers first, especially if there are laps and a narrow course, congestion and passing are dangerous in any event but particularly with bikes traveling at 20 or 25 mph.

You started at the front and finished at the back. This means that nearly every racer had to pass you at some point. Traveling at less than half the speed you presented a hazard and in fact likely caused the crash.

It is great that you are trying to incorporate unicycling into a different event, it just sounds like this course and event were not the time or place to do so.

I was recommended to start in the first wave. I started in the 2nd wave. There was only 2 waves. No, the forumer is unlikely to have been involved, he’s likely to be a friend.

The race was open to people of all skill levels. You could go on a rental bike if you wish. Because of the nature of the course, the winners averaged speeds of about 30km/h. I don’t think it’s a fast race at all which makes it an even better race for unicyclists.

The course was a 2 lane single traffic route. I stuck no more than 25cm away from the leftmost. At the time of accident, the road was almost completely cleared.

I don’t believe the guy is hospitalised because I saw him get him, check out his bike, walk around and THEN overtake me after I rode off.

I don’t believe I had the potential of causing a crash any more than the slower riders on a bicycle. What I was riding is irrelevent.