This event took place at Dorney Rowing lake. It’s a 5km run followed by a 20km ride and then another 5km run. This is a good early season event to test your fitness for the coming Triathlon season. It was the last race in a series of three run in Feb, March & April. The course is flat with a two loop 5km run out and back along one side of the lake and the bike is a 5 lap up and down the other side.
I raced all three of these events last year. The 1st one was my first multi sport event. So this race would give me a good comparison and see if I had improved over the previous year and the winters training.
Gone was the pre race panic of last year. I knew I had my bike shoes, race belt, tyres were pumped up, I knew what to wear and what was about to come. I felt like a seasoned campaigner. This was a bit different from last year. I could almost enjoy it, almost, I arrived about 40mins before the start and signed in, racked my bike and set out my transition area. I met up with the other Berkshire Tri Squad (BTS) guys and talked over the race. Number one fan was on hand to take some photos and offer support (Betty).
I was using this race as training race and to see how I compared to some of the other guys in the club. So decided to take the first run at a steady pace, push hard on the bike and then see what I had left for the second 5km run. Looking back on last years efforts I could see that I had improved race on race but still struggled on the second run.
Times from last year were:
Date 5km 20km 5km Total
18/02/07 00.25.20 00.48.33 00.35.48 01.49.41
18/03/07 00.23.59 00.47.35 00.30.48 01.42.22
15/04/07 00.25.41 00.38.37 00.27.52 01.32.10
The improvements came as I become fitter and it was now time to see if I could continue the trend.
The race brief had taken place and we were approaching the start. I decided to hang back a bit not wanting to get involved in the mad rush away from the line. I had my Garmin on and was aiming to get my heart rate up to 165ish and hold there. The starter fired his gun and we were off. A nice steady pace away from the start and before I new it I was at the turning point still feeling comfortable, back to the start and then the second lap to complete the 5km. I was running well and managed to stay within about 100m of two of the guys from BST (Ian and Tom). I was pleased with this as running is by far my worst discipline of the three triathlon disciplines.
A quick note here on Michael from BTS he was flying around the course completing the first 5km in just over 16min and was in front. I’ll come back to Michael later he had a strong bike just getting caught by the second placed racer but Michael ran him down in the second run and won the race with, a great effort, well done Michael.
I ran into transition put my helmet on, off with the running shoes, and into my bike shoes. It went very smoothly and later checking show my T1 time was under 40 seconds. Grabbed my bike and jogged to the mount line. This is a good place for the spectators to watch and offer support which they were doing. Anybody who has raced will know that boost you get from the supporters (thanks very much). Into and out of transition is also when you see most people struggle with their kit and some spectacular falls. I fell of my bike last year coming into transition trying to swing my leg over the bike I had both clips out didn’t get my leg high enough to clear the saddle and crashed to the ground (looked like a right plonker). I mounted the bike and was off. Five laps straight up and back along the side of the lake. I was feeling strong and was passing a quite few of people. It’s difficult to tell if you are gaining places as the sprint event (2.5km 10km followed by 2.5km) and the main race start at the same time so we are all mixed up together. The wind was strongish and blowing across the course but it made the bike interesting. 20km later and I was approaching transition and came to a stop before trying to dismount. Straight into transition and off with the helmet slipped my bike shoes off and bent down to get my running shoes back on when my right calf cramped so bad I couldn’t slip my running shoe on I had to untie the lace and open the shoe right out to get my foot in. This slowed me down a bit but as I jogged out of transition the cramp eased off and I was running OK well (not bad for me).
I felt quite good and was quite looking forward to the second 5km. This type of course is quite good to be able to tell how far people are in front of you as you turn around the far point twice and the start finish line once. I could see Tom was too far in front for me to get anywhere near him. I had a brief thought that I might get close to Ian if I could speed up a bit. As I tried to up the pace signals went from my brain to my legs.
Brain to legs – Get a move on Ian is only about 500m ahead.
Legs to brain – You’re having a laugh mate, stop messing about and stick to a steady pace and we will to the finish.
Brain to legs – Listen we can catch him his only 500m in front, I know we can do it.
Legs to brain – Sod off, you don’t know what it’s like down here.
Brain to legs – Come you lazy gits go for it.
Legs to brain – Do you want Mr Cramp to come back?
Brain to legs – OK you win, we’ll cruse in from here.
2.5km later the finish line approached and I usually try to put a bit of a sprint on for the last half km. Not today though I had noting in the legs so just paced it to the finish line.
I checked the finish times the next day and it showed that I was over 7mins quicker than my fastest time last year so I am still heading in the right direction.
Date 5km 20km 5km Total
13/04/08 00.22.30 00.38.32 00.23.23 01.24.25
Next race is Eton Super Sprints on the 17th of May last year I did it in 1hour and 9 mins. A race report will be posted soon after the event.
Photos of the Duathlon can be found here.
|F3 Duathlon April 2008|