I’ve really enjoyed training on my bike over the past couple of months, and although apprehensive, I was looking forward to the race. That was until I woke up on Saturday to the hottest day of the year so far! We left at 7.30 to cycle to the race (only about 10 minutes!) and it was already sweltering. We decided to take it easy on the first run, and ran it at a comfortable pace, and finished the ‘5km’ course in around 22 minutes - a 7 minute improvement on my 5km PB ;o)
Then onto the bike section. My mountain bike wasn’t the most ideally suited for the tarmac based route, my only goal was to complete the distance in under an hour. The cycle route was four loops, so it got a bit boring after a while, and with two 180 degree turns per loop, it mean slowing right down eight times over the course. Was very annoyed at completing the course in 62 minutes, but as I my average pace was around 14 miles per hour, I suspect the distance was a bit longer than the 20km advertised. Boo :o(
Cycling away! ((C) 21C Photos)
The second run was not fun, my legs were tired, and by this point it was about 1000 degrees (no really!), but it was nice knowing that I only had 3.5km to run rather than 5! I didn’t take anywhere near enough to drink with me, and was starting to feel quite weak half way through this run. After some walking, and stern words, I finished. My overall time was 1:48:05. Not really sure how I feel about the time as my goal was to finish in under two hours, which I wouldn’t have done if the distances had been correct, but it’s a PB nonetheless! :oD I also came third in my age category (whadya mean how many people were in my age category?!)
Finished! (At last) ((C) 21C Photos)
Overall a good race - brilliant for first timers (like me) and the option of two distances was nice as well (5km/20km/5km or 2.5km/10km/2.5km), just a shame about the distances. The race was well organised - everything was well explained (as for the majority of the entrants this was their first duathlon), free massage before and after was a nice touch and there were a fair few marshalls too - all of which were very encouraging and supportive. The goodie bag was really good (perhaps where the £36 entry fee was spent!), including a medal, t-shirt, magazine, keyring, pen and several food samples.
Not sure I’d be in a hurry to do another duathlon, but am pleased I can now tick it off my list. A certain someone is trying to persuade me to enter a triathlon next, but I think I’ll save that for next year!