Disappointment to Victory

Em went running and I drove to the bike shop to collect some stuff and tell Morgan it was off. Obviously we were both disappointed.  I think I was less bothered because I have done a lot of races and had only really done a small (7 weeks) period of training for the event whereas Morgan had done 3 months and they had arranged a child free weekend in Wales with a lot of outlay for the hotel. Gutted !!!

Off for a jog and then some pancakes before returning to the bike shop. Morgan and the lads at Banjo are great and me being me needed some work doing on the bike. So Morgan fitted the new stem and bars for me. While all this was going on I contacted Ellie Barnes at Barnes fitness who organises a number of local events, not sure why but I just had a hunch she had a race on. Turned out to be the Dinton Duathlon and I could enter on the day.

SWEET although doing a 5.25km 20km 5.25km race is not ideal when you have been training to race for over 5hours !!!!

Sunday morning and having not ridden the bike in the new set up I rode the whole 5 miles from home to race HQ, the bike felt quite normal really which was an encouraging sign. Registration done, bike racked and I was ready. I decided to use the HotShot cramp “cure” that I had imported from the states, lets face it I have had issues at 3 out of 3 duathlons this year and none were that long. As usual I had done my homework to understand transition and see how many nice bikes there were. The bike makes a huge difference and a rider has to be very good to hold off a marauding TT bike over 12 miles or a different league of runner. From this little research it was obvious there were about 8 people who could be in the mix.

Run 1 – From the gun it became apparent that 8 was in fact 4  as we drifted away from everyone else. If I can say settled then I settled in behind 2 lads and we were all some 10/20 metres behind the lad out front. Working hard saw a sub 5.40 first mile and then it calmed a little. When I say settled I was running at about 95-99% effort, the difference between this and a flat out 5km is very small if you want to be at the sharp end, almost comes down to not going all in for the last km really. I must admit I have developed a belief that if I can stay close I can out ride people. If someone then rides away from me they were simply better.

T1 – came in 4th and went out 4th no real drama. I have a system it is calm and I stick to it.

Bike – as I mounted I was already up to 3rd as the lead guy of the run had some issues. Personally I had trouble clipping in, not sure if I had grass in the cleat or the toe cover had moved but time was certainly lost.(For next year I must learn to mount into my shoes already on the bike. I caught 2nd quickly and discounted him as he wasn’t on a Time Trial bike(turns out he was quick but does draft legal sprints) and within a few miles I had caught and passed the leader. I then set about just riding the course and was slowly but surely getting away from the rider in 2nd who was on the same bike as me :¬)  Sadly I got stopped at the temporary light and for rather a long time. Now I know he was eventually also caught up but I admit I had trouble getting going again and I guess he worked harder to stay with me as we arrived at T2 together.


T2 – a clusterfuck of the highest order, failed to remove both feet from my shoes as the dismount line came up faster than expected so limped into transition. Once in it went fine and we left T2 together.

The final run – so I had problems from the off,  firstly in my head, I knew he was faster and had set myself up to be well clear on the run. In theory you get far enough away that people settle for 2nd place but here I was now being dropped by someone who knew he had to gap me but had no idea by how much. The other issue was a small twinge in the left calf which I think was caused by the shoe mistake and I am delighted to say it didn’t cramp. Now was this because I had used HotShot? Who knows but I was able to just run and I was fine. After a while I think the gap stopped growing but all the way to the line I had no idea if I had won.

The result was I won by 6 seconds and broke the course record in the processDintonTrophy

The good news is I know I can go faster but then so does 2nd place. It was sad not to have the joy of crossing the line 1st but Ellie and her team can’t be accountable for the local road people :¬(

It wasn’t the Pig but the effort was off the chart physically and I was very aware that I had not been training for that sort of effort. I was in great shape but this just bloody hurt.

Thanks Ellie and team for a well organised race, actually just enjoyed the atmosphere before and after.









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The Dark Lord Speaks


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