Riders: Andy Douglas
High terrain events duathlon – 6.5km Run, 24km Bike, 6.5km Run
Photos by high terrain events
On Sunday I competed in my second duathlon. I’ve been looking forward to this race, with it being hilly, technical off road riding in the Lakes. It definitely didn’t disappoint.
I was tempted with a start-line psyche-out-the-competition joke commenting aloud about looking forward to the swimming section but thought against it in the end. I set off on the first run in about 10th trying to hang on to the fast paced start with some tough looking competition surrounding. It was a fell race type course heading sharply up a slippery, rocky climb to about 330m then coming back round to descend a slate double-track where you really needed to watch your toes for fear of tripping. I made it round the first run feeling alright but keen to get out on the bike and give it some hammer-time (as MC hammer would say if a mountain biker). This was the first race on my new epic 29er and it turned about to be a perfect course for it- lots of jagged rocks and bumps that would have normally sucked loads of speed from my 26er HT.
I gradually overtook some riders on the tricky switch back climb until I was just with one other rider- we stuck together for a little on the fire-road and had a quick chat.
“I think we’ve got a good lead” he said. “What? How many are ahead of us?” I asked. “None” he replied. I couldn’t believe we were at the front. I got a bit carried away and properly flew down the rest of the downhill into transition with the bike smoothing out seemingly anything in it’s path.
I came into transition 2 and fumbled embarrassingly with my laces, showing my naivety at these run-bike transition sports. But I had the lead by about two minutes and was pumped to try and stay out in front.
My legs had other ideas though, and my quads sparked with pain on every step for the first 10 minutes of running. I just thought to myself “You can’t stop if you’re in the lead!”I pushed on up the hill and was still ahead at the top. I thought I could maybe hold it on the down but Tom Gibbs was too strong in the end and managed to pull and hold a good gap down the increasingly difficult last downhill to the finish.
A quick lie on the floor and a cup of tea and I couldn’t have been happier with second place. It was an awesome race with a really good course and atmosphere.