Tri Challenge: My Father's Day duathlon
June 24th, 2011
12:18 PM ET

Tri Challenge: My Father's Day duathlon

All the hard work and hours of training for the NYC Tri were tested like never before on Father's Day weekend. A fitting holiday to challenge myself because my children were the reason I entered the Tri Challenge.

My coach was out of town and so was my wife with our two oldest daughters at Dance Nationals in South Carolina, so I dropped off my youngest daughter at her abuela's house, grabbed my super powered CNN jersey and went off to the race.

As I pulled out of the driveway I remembered the words of my coach Eric, "This is a gift to yourself" and immediately I felt a rush of excitement run through me as I drove toward Moss Park.

I arrived, checked in and got my race kit. My first duathlon was about to begin. The run was on dirt roads in the woods and the ride was completely flat but I learned a ton of do's and don'ts as a newbie.

The top three things are be prepared, be patient and be ready to adapt.

Newbie Tip #1: Know the course before you race
I had no clue which direction the course would go which added a lot of extra stress and took most of my mental energy as I focused on  staying on the right course. Next time I will be prepared.

Newbie Tip #2: Pace yourself
At the start of the race everyone took off. I had to realize I had my own pace which built up as the race went on. I had to be patient with myself and my own pace.

Newbie Tip #3: Go with the flow
The ride was flat and the run was on dirt. This is the total opposite of what I had been training on so I had to adapt quickly.  It was a change in the landscape and I had to go with it.

Overall, I finished strong. I won second place for my age division which was a total shock. I have my coaches to thank for the great advice and preparation over the past few months.  I felt great and realized all the hard work is truly paying off.

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soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. Wirenut

    Glad you finished strong. I've done the Moss Park Tri course a couple of times. Good lake to swim in, no traffic on the bike roads and nice peaceful run on the park roads to finish. A great flat rural course just outside of Orlando.
    Good luck in NYC.

    June 24, 2011 at 13:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Rick

    Congrats on the duathalon. I am training for my 3rd 50k ultra

    June 24, 2011 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Rosie

    "Pace yourself" and "Go with the flow" sound like pretty contradictory advice to me (at least without more context).

    June 25, 2011 at 00:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Marty

    Congratulations that is great. My fitness goals include doing the 3 legs of the ironman tri on 3 different weeks. Doing all of them on the same day is out of my reach. Unfortunately we lost our 21 year old son Jack about 2 years ago so I do these events to help raise $$ for kids in need and it also help keep me sane by giving back and all of the exercise. Great Job – Marty

    June 25, 2011 at 07:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • becky

      So sorry for your loss, Marty. What a wonderful tribute to your son Jack (I also have a son named Jack). God Bless You.

      June 26, 2011 at 08:13 | Report abuse |
  5. Jennifer Geno

    Joaquin, you are such an inspiration to working parents wanting to focus on healthy habits! Keep up the great work. Can't wait to hear about the triathlon in August. Best of luckl!

    July 7, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Juan Romero

    Joaquin, not only are you doing a great job at challenging yourself everyday while inspiring others like me but also the training tips you provide from your perspective are very helpful!! Keep going strong!!

    July 8, 2011 at 11:09 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.