National Age Group Duathlon Championships 2017

So for those that didn’t know I have been down the Age Group road before.


Bronze at the British Champs in 2011, followed by a trip to Ireland for the Euros.


Given certain things in life I never even stayed for the presentation as didn’t expect to win. I just rushed home.

I stopped after this for a few reasons:

  1. Cost – it does seem a lot of money to do an event that in some ways is no more competitive than a good UK National level race.
  2. I still wanted to be a runner and had used the bike to protect myself after the injuries in 2009.
  3. Mainly though I didn’t really like the atmosphere at Age Group events. There are things I’m still not sure about but times change.

It has taken a while but sometimes you just need a little bit of time to come round to things. I think in effect I have been in denial. In some ways desperate to be accepted as a cyclist and not a runner on a bike.  I love CX, enjoy racing and get some satisfaction from a good time trial but fun and coaching has had me playing with triathlons and duathlons over the past few years. Triathlon is funny given I can’t swim but there has been no getting away from my results with 2nd overalls locally and even a high placing at a middle distance event. In Duathlons that has meant Age Group wins every time I line up and last year I won my local event overall.

Given all that I concluded that 2017 was to the year I got back in with the big fish.

First up was the Sprint Worlds qualifier at Oulton – 17th overall and 1st V45 – Seems I still have it, there is a blog about this one :¬)

Secondly I used a low key event as a tune up so still short runs but a longer ride on the TT bike – 2nd overall and 1st V45 – Really only wanted the effort and expected to be near the front as this was a local level event.

Finally onto the National Duathlon Age Group Championships at Bedford. This was to be the final part of “Is Gobi still competitive?”

We travelled up the night before which allowed us plenty of time to relax, eat etc and make sure there was enough sleep.

Steak for dinner was well received as was the reasonably early night. Sadly the 8am start still meant being up before 6am but this is where preparation matters. We had travelled with bread, a toaster, proper coffee and a cafetière set the alarm for 0545 and by 6am I had eaten.  Coffee I can pretty much drink at leisure until about 30 mins before the start.

We drove over to the track and the first surprise was how far parking was from registration – Oh well, turned out to be an excuse to test the bike. I did a few rides so called it a warm up.

Bike into transition and some shoes, I’m not a drama queen in transition and just put in the minimum, check in and out and then just leave. No shoes on bike, never learned to mount into them and no markers needed. I guess bright coloured bikes and common sense go a long way.

I don’t know about others but my primary goal before I start is to visit the bathroom for a final clear out. This was a good day with the last visit being close to the start. The strange battle was with the weather. Up until 5 mins before the start I was thinking base layer, gloves and arm warmers but almost last minute I stripped right down. This was a great move as come 0815 I was feeling great.

So that gets us to the first run – 37.10

My plan had been 36.40 so 3.40 a km and so I watched everyone run off again, a few kms in and I started to make progress which was great, what wasn’t so great was my pace which after 4kms had dropped off a little. It was windy but not that bad so I wasn’t that happy. Not for the first time though it dropped and stopped so in effect pretty even pacing just a little slower than I wanted.  I ran with another V45 for a lap and a bit and there is no doubt we kept each other on pace. Importantly I hit T1 feeling fine.

I’m not a stresser in T1 and I guess the one plus about doing a lot of events many years ago is I have a plan, never rapid but solid. Jogged out in my shoes and did a flying mount onto my bike, now it was game on.

Bike time – 56.09

The course had a few sharper bends and wind but again nothing to be bothered by except erratic riders :¬)  My laps were all within about 8 seconds fastest to slowest and with the exception of MattB passing me like I was on a shopping trolly all was ok. The only thing of note to happen on the bike was a strange pain in the side of my left knee, not sure on others but all I did was laugh and think “that’s a new one” while I carried on at pace. I had calculated my laps and peeled off but as soon as I headed to the pit I thought I had come in early.

Even less stressed in T2 as this is shared between triathlon and duathlon so even more trained. Silky with the only concern being a little pull in the knee.

Run 2 – 19.52 – pretty horse really and only consolation is how long it was

I didn’t exactly hobble out the pits but this was a very cautious run with me stressing about coming in early . The strangest thing happened though, my first mile was SLOW and I mean jog slow but as I went through the first mile everything went loose and I was down at 6mm, final stress as I passed the pit and saw MattB come out(turned out he had done too many laps and I had done enough). The second lap I was running faster than the first 10km and really chasing people down which is brilliant and frustrating at the same time. Stormed the line, under 1hr 55!!

Final result – 17th overall and 3rd V45 – another Bronze

Now I raced here with no idea where I would finish so of course I was very happy that my legs held up which given the issues I had had in the other 2 races was not a given.  The first thing  I wanted to know once I believed I had done enough laps was how far I was from the overall winner and the Age Group winner.

An eternity from the overall but close to 2nd and 1st in my AG, within hours I was anlysing where I failed. Failed is a strong word as this was a good race but I wanted to understand if there were things I could do better.

It has taken me a while to write this as I wanted time to reflect on my result, I stated before I didn’t appreciate it the last time I did it but this meant something to me.


What it means is this.

I am a duathlete, there I said it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In this type of racing I am competitive at National level events.

6 years since my last National Level events and I finish with an Age Group win and an Age Group National Championships medal.

There you have it I am still competitive :¬)

Now I can have a little fun. Interesting ideas around fun I am considering longer events so have entered Little Pig in June – 7 weeks is enough time to prepare myself isn’t it ?

Watch this space I am sure there will be a blog


1 Response to “National Age Group Duathlon Championships 2017”

  1. April 24, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Nice write up and congrats on still being competitive.

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