British Senior Elite Duathlon Championships
Wow three blogs in about the space of a month?! Aren’t you lucky!
So on Sunday 30th March it was the first race of the season, my first ever elite British Champs, first ever draft-legal race and first duathlon for at least three years…and also my birthday!
The race (5k run, 20k bike, 2.5k run) was held at Rockingham Motor Racing Circuit in Corby. It was lovely to have my cousin and aunt come and watch as well as my mum and dad. I was pretty nervous going into this race as I had never done anything like this before. I knew I had had a good winters training and that my run form was better than it ever has been (minus a little achilles niggle that put me out of running for 4 days at the start of the week!) but I didn’t know how that would place me with my competitors and it was the bike that I was really worried about! Some last minute cornering, dead turns and transition practice on the Saturday made me feel a little more confident!
The venue was great, I sorted out all my bits, had a look at the course and transition, racked my bike and had a nice warm up. It was even warm enough just to wear a trisuit with no extra top underneath, what a luxury! We lined up on the start line, with the seniors and juniors racing together it was a fairly big field, and set off on the 5k 2-lap run. I found it quite congested at the start and looking back should have made sure I was on the front row (lesson learnt!) as it took a while for the field to spread out. I made sure I didn’t lose sight of the front group and gradually picked off runners and was in 8th place running on my own for most of the run. A gap had opened up between the front pack of 4, the chase pack of 3 and then me! I knew I needed some company on the bike so just held my position and felt comfortable running into T1.
Out on the bike I got going and was quickly caught by a girl, I sat on her wheel and managed to lead for a bit before we were caught by another. We both managed to stick on her wheel as she brought us up to the pack of 4 ahead. We formed a group of 7 which became 8 after we caught 3rd place up. The girls on the front did a great job of keeping the rest of us going (or hanging on!), I sat at the back as I was definitely not up to the pace of the girls at the front. It was a fast and technical bike course with a fair few corners, turns and plenty of accelerations. On our last lap of 5 we were caught by a big chase pack, I don’t think any of us had realised they were closing down on us! The first two were well ahead working together but third place was up for grabs for anyone from our pack. We went into T2 as a huge pack of about 20 which meant it was pretty busy with bikes and runners everywhere. I tried to get through as quickly as possible and caught a few runners as we headed out on the final 2.5k run. I crossed the line finishing 6th senior in a time of 1:02:10 which I was pretty chuffed with to say the very least!
I wouldn’t say duathlon is really ‘my thing’ so to come away with a result well inside the top 10 against a field of very strong athletes is more than I could have asked for to start the season. Given how nervous I was as I really didn't know what to expect, I really enjoyed the whole race and loved the experience. I can’t wait to get going with the triathlon season and add a swim into the mix! I’ve got a fairly quiet month or so coming up now to crack on with my next block of training (with a week in Portugal with Tri Training Harder) so I am all ready for my races in May and June.
Big thank you to Richard for lending me his race wheels – massive help! Also to Sense of Nutrition, Better You, Bounce Balls, elete electrolyte, Evolved Clinic and Bonk Triathlon for all their support.
I am really excited and very grateful to now have support from elete electrolyte - elete is a blend of concentrated electrolytes and minerals that can be added to any drink or food to make sure your body instantly gets all the important electrolytes it needs like potassium, magnesium, sodium, chloride, and sulphate. It is 100% pure and natural, has no sugar, no calories and no additives – what more could you want!? I usually just add elete to my water for use during training and competition and to help me recover, it hardly alters the taste which was my key reason for choosing it as I can’t stand the big branded sports drinks!