So, I was in a relay team for my first duathlon today and I am really excited! The duathlon (a running and biking competition) was made up of a 5k run followed by a 20k bike and another 5k run. I was the designated runner and my teammate the elected cyclist for Team Azul (the Blue Team). In all honesty, I have been flirting with the idea of doing a duathlon solo for over three years, however, I still haven’t come to terms with conquering my fear of cycling on the street vs the park. Well…. not until today when that feeling of exhilaration caused me to ponder that with some upright training, I should be able to take that leap before the summer. Here’s a taste of an absolutely thrilling event where team work and lots of fun were the order of the day! 06.45 Alarm goes off and by 7, I take Luna for a vigorous walk. 08.00 Ready to get on the road after my high fiber breakfast and mental preparation. 09.00 At St. Raphael Resort in Limassol where I see a lot of familiar faces (all smiling!) 10.00 The race starts with a challenge…the wind was blowing so hard that at some point I felt that I was going backwards! My nose and ears were filled with sand and an allergic cough took over my breathing…. For an instant I thought of going back, but my runner’s spirit instantly wiped out that thought. I run up that first hill and turned right, having a stunning seafront as my backdrop. ‘Who can beat that?’ I thought and continued running with a grin. Minutes later, I started contemplating on something which I said a few months ago…. That ‘people who are presented with a health challenge, have no choice but to keep ‘walking’….’ Having dwelled on that thought many times, I told myself that, just like them, I cannot stop running just because there are some hurdles on the road!’ I kept running for the wonderful Team Azul as I soaked up that dazzling blue energy of the sea and sky. As with most races, I run in an effort to bring into light, my best of energies for people I truly care for. Today’s race was dedicated to three friends of heart, who continue to ‘walk’ as true warriors of life, despite the health challenges in their path. As I was finishing my first lap, I caught a glimpse of two dear friends. ‘My lovely BABORians are here!!’ I cried with such enthusiasm while they were cheering for me. I often use the phrase ‘smiles of heart.’ Well, today there was a plethora of these smiles of heart! Thanks to my BABORians, the team spirit, my wonderful running buddies and dear friends of over a decade, and the incredible feeling of finishing the race, and getting a medal too!