Eleanor bags her first win of the season, during her preparation phase of Ironman…
With Ironman South Africa looming (now only a few weeks away), March the 1st saw Eleanor’s first competative opportunity of the season.
I was keen to stay fairly local, so as to minimise my travel time and found MyTriEvents were putting on a Sprint Duathlon near Carnforth. Despite being a bit further West than my usual training ground, my previous cycling excursions had provided some familiarity and I knew the terrain would be interesting and lumpy, which always suits me. Admittedly civilised start time of 10a.m. was also appealing! Thankfully, I read the race instructions the night before and realized that the run was off road, so I dug out my fell/trail shoes.
The forecast was for rain, but it thankfully stayed dry, despite blowing a hoolie (certainly not a day for deep section wheels). This suited me well, as the blustery conditions would be perfect preparation for South Africa – I gather it’s a windy bike course! With a bit of recent training fatigue in the legs, the first run was a baptism of fire. I always struggle to run “cold”, despite a turbo warmup and a quick trot about. We headed out on course – along a muddy track, then up a grass field and into the wind. At least it was flat and downhill along the Lancaster canal. I think it will take a bit more work here before anyone can navigate through the locks! After exiting the canal up a mean flight of stairs (managed two at a time, under pressure from the queue of guys behind me), the next hill was a lot longer than I bargained for. We then headed back downhill to the transition, which meant going through the mud again – the only rest for the legs before the bike section.
The bike route was on nice quiet lumpy roads, where the bumps and strong winds added to the fun. It was quite painful trying to find that ‘Sprint’ Distance gear in my diesel tractor legs and I definitely made my gains later in the ride rather than earlier!
Back on the run course, I was really glad I had brought my fell running shoes, as there was plenty of sticky farmland mud. I would certainly have had real problems if I had been wearing my normal road shoes, especially once the legs were screaming. As my shoes provided a good grip, it was just down to “how much are you prepared to hurt” to get through it? After leaving the canal section via the farm yard, this time the large spectating horse had been replaced by two emus, which entertained me slightly! Thankfully, I had built up enough of a lead on the bike, which meant I could relax after the top of the last climb.
All in all, a great tough wee course, and fantastic to see a good turn out. Now time for a quick rest, followed by the TORQ team weekend, before getting the last block of training in for the Ironman.
Full credits to James Kirby for the excellent photos www.jameskirby.me.uk
A big thank you to our sponsors for making it happen:
www.wilier.it – Triathlon Frames
www.ffwdwheels.com – Race Wheels
www.huubdesign.com – Wetsuits
www.schwalbe.com – Cycle Tyres
www.ismseat.com – Saddles
www.invisciddesign.com – Speedfil Hydration Systems
www.lezyne.com – Pumps, Tools, Bottle Cages
www.zyro.co.uk/altura – Triathlon and Cycle Apparel
www.fenwicks.info – Lubrication
www.camelbak.com – Bottles
www.tifosioptics.com – Sunglasses
www.limarhelmets.com – Helmets & Glasses
www.lakecycling.co.uk – Cycling Footwear
www.jagwireusa.com – Cables & Housing
www.swansuk.co.uk – goggles
www.shimano.com – Groupsets
www.amphibia-sport.com – Transition Bags
www.stagescycling.com – Power Meters
www.racewaredirect.co.uk – Custom Garmin Mounts