Chris has been having a bit of fun competing in an off-road duathlon before the serious training starts in January. Announced as a race series of 5 off road events, this was the first in the series named the ‘IceMan’. In spite of the name, there was no ice to be found on race day; in fact it was rather warm despite us being well into November, hooray!
Here’s what Chris had to say: “It had been sometime since I last raced a duathlon and as such I was a little apprehensive the morning of the race with regards to pacing. I decided just to go by feel for the first 10k double lap run, starting off comfortably due to the nature of the hilly course. I was well out of my comfort zone for most of the first lap. The sheer gradients we had to climb and descend on the run were ludicrous, but I harbour a secret love for this. Onto the second lap, a couple a few runners had gained a lead but I knew this could be short lived. I kept my pacing knowing I could ride off of it; although exactly how well I wasn’t certain of. Running just in front of me was Richard Stannard, a strong athlete, so I knew my pace wasn’t too bad. Into transition in 6th place, the second lap of the run had whizzed by. Time therefore for biking fun.
Straight into my rhythm and onto the first of the 3-lap bike course, I tried to stay with Richard but he was gradually edging away from me. No point chasing as this would leave me wrecked for the subsequent laps. Onwards I trundled, feeling pretty solid – great stuff. Catching a couple of riders along the course brought me up to 4th position and I was loving it. A few swigs of magic TORQ energy and I was already onto the second lap.
Just past transition I noticed one of the athletes ahead of me had punctured leaving me in 3rd place, although this was short lived as a chasing athlete had caught and passed me returning me to 4th position. Using Jim McConnel as a pacer, I rode on for the remainder of the lap.
I finished the bike leg in 4th place about 20 seconds down on the 3rd placed athlete After a great transition, this was cut down to 10 seconds. Chasing hard, very little progress was being made and I was somewhat less enthused with the ascents and descents to come. Onto the first of 5K and I had almost caught my target. A sharp descent followed and onto the second ascent I managed to pass him and caught a glimpse of the 2nd placed athlete, so it was time to man up. 3K to go and pushing hard, I was making ground up, but not as quickly as needed. About 1k to go and undulations out of the way, I increased the pace pulling everything out of the bag to catch Colin Dixon, but alas I rounded the corner and he was across the line. I had to settle for 3rd, but I was pleased with that in the off season.
Not bad for my first duathlon in years. I am already looking forward to the remaining races in the series. It was a tough day out, but well worth doing with good progress being made in my weaker 2 disciplines. The next race I’m doing is MudMan, exciting!”
Thanks, as ever go to our wonderful sponsors:
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