The sun was well and truly shining for the first votwo Sprint Duathlon (5km run | 20km bike | 5km run) of the year at Dorney Lake on Saturday 24th April and with temperatures creeping above 20 degrees it was definitely the hottest race of the year so far and fluids were consumed in abundance!
The days leading up to the race I had felt quite tight in my legs, probably as a results of some increased training I’m doing now that swimming season has started again and with that in mind I wasn’t expecting a massive amount from the race.
The gun went off at 10am sharp to release the very competitive field of 100+ competitors onto the first 5km run. Unlike normal events which are usually spread out, everybody bundled for the very front of the start line to hear the gun with the first 100 metres being a free for all. I eventually found some clear space and pushed to the outside of the crowd making my way up to 3rd position over the first 500 metres, a position I held for the duration of the first 5km run, completing it in a race PB of 0:17:54.
Coming into T1 I felt strong and a solid 28 second transition saw me head out onto the 22km bike route in a solid 3rd position. A new bike route lay in-store for us at this race as the Olympic rowing venue was holding a large scale training event (the build up to the Olympics) so the usual course was being used by the coaches of the rowing teams.
The new bike course was unforgiving and although my Focus Culebro Tria is a good straight line speed bike, it’s Aluminium frame doesn’t cope well with winding circuits and this was evident more so on this course than any other with the full carbon frames in front and behind me coping with the bumpy and winding circuit a lot better. I kept pushing though and came into T2 in 4th position having completed the 22km course in 0:38:30.
Another lightning fast transition (22 seconds and quicker than the 3 competitors in front of me) saw me head out onto the 2nd 5km run holding on to 4th position with a lead of 3 minutes over 5th place.
The start of the second run was hard work and the tightness in my legs had started to worsen with the first km being a real struggle. I lengthened my stride though and managed to stretch my legs out which actually increased my 1km split pace. Heading onto the 2nd of the 2.5km run loops I was eventually down to 03:35km pace and catching 3rd position at a fast rate, the run was just too short though and I crossed the finishing line in 4th position, 53 seconds behind 3rd and maintaining my 3 minute advantage over 5th place in a total time of 01:16:53.
Another fantastic result given the tough bike course and competitive field and one that I’ll be aiming to improve on at the next duathlon.
Next race – 12th May 2010
For a full results breakdown, visit the votwo results page at http://www.votwo.co.uk/votwo2007/docs/DDuApril2010_results.pdf