Kirsty reports from her winter race scene that also involves running...
It’s 6.00 on a Sunday morning. It’s cold, wet and muddy outside, and there are flood warnings across the country. No-one in their right mind would even contemplate leaving the warmth of their duvet. Anyone for duathlon? Oh all right, go on then!!
I really enjoyed Sunday’s race. I can’t honestly say that the 8.30am start time appealed to me, but once I’d actually hauled my a##e out of bed it was worth it, and I was rewarded with a beautifulsunrise en route to the start.
The event itself was well run with friendly marshals and a nice low-key atmosphere. Granted the course wasn’t technical, but the mud and bog made it suitably tough – and the event organisers seemed to accommodate the local flooding with minimal fuss, with changes required to run 1 to avoid the need for wetsuits (which I believe would technically make it a triathlon). The venue is going to be used for the inaugural English Off-Road Duathlon champs next year, so let’s hope the conditions are a little more favourable!
I had a decent warm up – 10-15 minutes spin on the bike, sign in and rack the Cotic Soda, do a bit of a build, then bounce up and down on the start line to keep warm. Not totally structured, but it seemed to work as I started the run strongly and put a clear gap between me and the rest of the girls right from the start. Leading into transition 1 was a first for me!! In transition, my hands were so cold that I struggled to get my spd shoes on and someone caught me up... I was not having that!!! I jumped on my bike, regained the lead in the first 50 metres on the bike, and never looked back. 2 laps of muddy singletrack, boggy fields and gravel path. Nothing technical, although the mud made it fairly hard-going. Ease off towards the end, spin the legs out ready for the second run.
The second run was exactly the same course as the first. Except it was harder, much harder. My legs were drained after the bike loop, and I suddenly noticed the hill up to the finish! Suck it up!
I was rewarded at the finish by 1st place, a cool medal and a chocolate brownie (thanks Matt!!).
Definitely a race I would do again. And the best bit is, it’s finished by 10am – in plenty of time for Sunday lunch!!
For a photo of Kirsty in action, see http://www.tri247.com/article_10910_Essex+Off+Road+Duathlon+report.html?region_id=&category=