A duathlon is dual in nature. Sometimes, it is running; other times, it is biking. Half the time, it is fun; the other half of the time, it is not fun (in fact, its downright torturous). It is about participating but, more importantly, no matter who tells you differently, it is about winning. I win sometimes, and sometimes (see: all times) I do not win. So that’s how it goes. That’s a duathlon in a nutshell.
Let’s review that very short paragraph. A DUATHLON IS:
Now, part 3 is the tricky part. Because, while it is true that a duathlon is both running and biking, it is also a third thing. A DUATHLON ALSO IS:
- MORE RUNNING!
Indeed. Well put second number (1). If you noticed, number 1 is very similar to the second number 1, insofar that they are both RUNNING!. However, there is a slight difference between the two, despite the fact that the two words I have written down (referring to: RUNNING!) are very similar to one another. The difference is in time, that nonstop, abstract idea that no one has been able to see, manipulate, or hold. In the first RUNNING!, the time is usually shorter than the second RUNNING!, despite the fact that the “distance” is the same. Let’s review the key terms:
- RUNNING! – This is an activity (something you do, often for fun) that involves moving your legs (hopefully) faster than you normally would when walking.
- Time – As we discussed in the previous paragraph, “Time” is an abstract (existing only as a thought or idea, not as a concrete object) measuring tool for the passage of our lives. Time is constant and never changes speed, though certain activities seem (appear) to make “Time” go faster or slower. (for more on this idea, go play video games for an hour followed by an hour of sitting and staring at the wall).
- Distance – Like the aforementioned “Time”, “Distance” is also a measuring tool, but instead of being abstract, “Distance” is more easily understood as the collection of space between two different objects (for example a tree and another, completely different tree).
Now, back on track. So, a duathlon consists of two different RUNNING! segments, with the second RUNNING! segment being equal to the first in “distance” but unequal to the first in “Time”. There is a perfectly good explanation for this, despite the fact that on the surface, there would seem to be no plausible explanation at all. However, there is. The explanation is two fold:
Biking (often called cycling by true bikers (cyclists)) is an activity that requires a human being to use both of their legs, often at the same time, to pump small pedals that turn a large circular, jagged edge circle with a chain attached to it. This chain then turns a separate, but related, circle with jagged edges, which, when enough force is provided by the human being’s legs onto the pedals, a much larger wheel with a rubber exterior to turn. This propels the bike forward. In case you missed the main idea here, it is that a single human being is responsible for propelling himself forward on a wheeled contraption. An effort that often causes, you guessed it, FATIGUE!.
FATIGUE! is a phenomenon not unlike the feeling you have before bedtime that many people call “The Sleepies”. While “The Sleepies” are often annoying and dangerous, they are different from FATIGUE! and should not be confused with one another. It is possible to have “The Sleepies” and not have FATIGUE!, and vice-versa. However, the similarity between the two is that they make normal body functions more difficult and strenuous. “The Sleepies” often affect the human being’s ability to concentrate on certain tasks, such as reading a book or doing a crossword. As you can see from these examples, “The Sleepies” most often affects the mental capacity of the inflicted. However, FATIGUE! usually affects the physical ability of the inflicted, which often leads to dangerous, and possibly deadly, side effects. (since we have come across the two words now, we shall point out the difference between “effect” and “affect”. Quite simply, “effect” is a noun, and “affect” is a verb. You can’t effect someone, but you can have the wrong effect. In contrast, punching someone in the face may very well affect their beauty, and such side effects could include drowsiness and a runny nose).
- RUNNING! takes a human being through “Distance” and also takes up “Time”, which is often followed by BIKING! which, though fun, causes a serious condition named FATIGUE! and it too takes up “Time” while allowing the human being to cover vast “Distances”. Then the human being, while experiencing FATIGUE!, has to once again partake in the act of RUNNING! where the “Distance” is exactly the same as the first time they went RUNNING! but it tends to take up more “Time” because of the aforementioned FATIGUE!
So now you understand why my second RUNNING time is much slower than my first RUNNING time.
Also, I got 2nd in my age group and 16th overall (someone got disqualified). Enjoy! (Head shots by Lindsay)