The January Duathlon had to be postponed due to adverse weather conditions and was rearranged for the end of January, but that had to be cancelled for the same reason. This February event was my first duathlon, although about 10 years ago I did a run and cycle race only at Meadowfield without the final run. I drove by car in the dark round part of the route a few weeks ago but took a wrong turn as I did not realise that part of the route doubled back. I then cycled the bike route the week before the race with no problems.
On the day itself, I cycled from home to the start, so had a bit of a warm up. The event involves a 3 km run, an 18km bike ride and a 3km run. We were not sure if the race would go ahead as the morning started off very frosty and there was ice on part of the running route. It was only when I got to registration (fee £3) that we knew that it was going ahead.
I was asked to give the time of a recent race which I had done, so I gave my time for the Brass Monkey in York last month. This was used to calculate my handicap, as a result of which I started off in the first group of two and was given number 1. The next group started off 3 minutes later. At the end of the first run, I was still in the lead and it was only after several miles cycling that a few cyclists started to overtake me.
I cycled as fast as I could, but not fast enough. One of the cyclists caught me up and we cycled along together for a short distance and had a chat, but then he pulled away and 2 other cyclists went past as did a few others later on. Shaun was also competing but I did not see him after the start until he came in running strong at the finish.
My thighs were aching a bit (more of a burning sensation) towards the end of the bike ride as I approached High Shincliffe, which was the only steep hill on the route, the others being more gradual. I actually caught a cyclist up at the top of the hill, just before the finish.
The hardest part was running after cycling, but there was a transition area which was where I parked my bike before and after the cycle ride. Because it was icy, we had to walk round the transition area with our bikes before setting off running, which helped a bit. On the bonus side, when I was running after the cycling, I ran past one of the faster cyclists who had overtaken me on the bike ride, which felt good.
My bike is a hybrid, but if you want to achieve a good time on the bike ride you need to use a road/racing bike. I did not take any wrong turns on the run or on the cycle ride. After the race I then cycled home with Dave Shipman who had come to observe.
I was slightly disappointed with my overall time, as although only a few cyclists over took me (they had started after me) my time was fairly slow, but I am pleased to say that I was not the last. There were 31 starters, but only 30 finished. However, on checking my handicap time, I see that I was fifth.
A very enjoyable morning, well worth doing. The next club Duathlon is on 21 March. I have also entered for the City of Durham Duathlon on 18 April, which involves a 5km run, a 25km bike ride, a 5km run and a lot more hill work. [Link on right, under “Coming soon”. Ed.]
|Pos||Name||Run 1+T1||Bike+T2||Run 2||Total|