Chennai | Gear up for WCCG Aalam Deepam Duathlon to run, ride and take home a medal

Participants at pervious editions of the WCCG Aalam Deepam Duathlon

Participants at pervious editions of the WCCG Aalam Deepam Duathlon
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

When the fourth edition of WCCG’s (Chennai Cycling Group) Aalam Deepam Duathlon took place in 2023, the city was still reeling from the grips of the pandemic. Participants who had registered for this event, raced virtually and solitarily to the whirr of their cycle chain.

They sped down familiar lanes, huffing and puffing to finish the first leg — the run, and eventually completed with what they did best — cycle. “One could’ve been in Timbaktoo and participated in the race. All they would’ve had to do was upload their statistics from a preferred fitness tracking app,” says Priya Arjun, a member and coordinator of WCCG.

One year hence, this fitness event is back in Chennai. This time, participants do not have to ride solo. With their colourful helmets, hunched backs and sipper bottles, the athletes will have the opportunity to line up outside Mayajaal on the East Coast Road on March 10 for their first in-person race.

“Last year, the WCCG chapters organised mini races for themselves. This time, they can run and ride in a larger race with the larger cycling community. The race will lead one back to Mayajaal,” Priya says.

The categories this year include a five kilometre walk/run followed by a 20-kilometre ride titled ‘sprint’. The Olympic category involves a 10-kilometre run followed by a 40-kilometre ride. Participants can choose to tag along with a teammate for both these categories where one will be nominated to run, while the other rides.

A participant who cycled in the UK to complete the virtual WCCG Aalam Deepam Duathlon in 2023

A participant who cycled in the UK to complete the virtual WCCG Aalam Deepam Duathlon in 2023

Running tends to be the less preferred choice for cyclists. Training has hence begun well in advance to ensure that everyone’s cardiovascular health is high, says Priya, adding that those who are pressed for time should try the sprint category to begin with.

During their edition in 2023, a woman part of the OMR chapter took part from the United Kingdom as she was travelling. The coordinator says that they do not want to deter such committed participation. Hence, the virtual races will continue and must be completed within a day on either March 8, 9 or 10. The virtual ride will be tracked and verified on the backend through Strava (a fitness tracking app). All those who complete will receive a t-shirt and a finisher medal.

The proceeds of the event will go towards the Humans of Cycling initiative, started by WCCG during the pandemic in 2020, where cycles are given to working adults and students from disadvantaged sections of society. Last year, 125 cycles were distributed.

“The duathlon promotes two things — doing something to feel good about oneself and doing something to better someone else’s life,” she says.

The last day for registration for WCCG Aalam Deepam Duathlon is March 3. The event takes place on March 10 at Mayajaal, ECR. The registration is priced at ₹649 and ₹1,199. Register at and contact 97899822110 for details.

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