This was my first Duathlon and I wasn’t expecting too much as currently my swim is my strongest discipline. I really entered as it was two weeks before my next triathlon at Hever Castle and I thought it would give me another race experience.
The event is run off the back of a sprint triathlon that happens in the morning with the junior duathlon taking place in the afternoon. The duathlon takes place completely off road with the run starting along the sea front and the cycle around an open grass area. The transition area was well organised on the grass area at the top of the cliff with a marque for registration and racking set up for the cycle transition.
I was in the tristar 1 race which consisted of a 1.2km run, 2km cycle and 400m run to finish. The run started about 500 metres along the seafront below transition on the cliff, so we had a little walk to the start. We started by running away from transition and then after 400 metres we turned back on ourselves and up a slope to the top of the cliff running back towards transition. I didn’t get the best start and lost a little time getting off the line but I was soon over taking other runners. I felt good and my running was smooth and flowing nicely.
I headed in to T1, put on my helmet and got my bike down off the racking. This is always a little difficult with my bike being smaller meaning it doesn’t touch the floor so it is bit of an effort. I wheeled my bike out of transition and to the mount line leaping on to my bike. My feet were straight in to my toe clips and I was pedalling away. I had spent a bit of time in the week leading up to this event working on my mount technique and setting up my pedals with elastic bands so that it was easy to get my feet in quickly.
(You can read about my bike transition here)
The bike was a large off road section around the grass field which was pretty uneven and then a small loop on tarmac that consisted of a downhill and then uphill. Each lap was 1km so I had to do 2 laps. I was a little slow on my first lap but my second lap went better. I still need to work on my bike as I can still make up a lot of time here.
Once I had completed the bike I was back in to T2, I racked my bike and took off my helmet and I was off on the run. As the run was an out and back 400 metre loop I ran out at a steady pace increasing my pace at the turning point and sprinting from 100 metres out.
I enjoyed the race and found that it helped me discover a few more areas for improvement that I can work on over the winter season.