My First Duathlon – The Bedford Duathlon
Hi, my name is Isabelle and I joined ELT late Spring 2017. Each year the club creates a list of events that they wish to race called the Grand Prix. I dutifully entered the Bedford Duathlon, immediately forgetting what the distance was. Shock and horror, with about 4 weeks to go I realised I had not entered a sprint event but the standard distance event….
I kept a brave face when people reminded me that it consisted of 10k run/40k cycle/5k run. I do like a challenge me!! Over the winter I ramped up the running to about 20k a week, I used my indoor cycling solution and took any opportunity to cycle when the roads were not frozen over!
Was I ready on the day? The answer was: to a point! Adding to the fact that work had been hectic with financial year end and we were losing an hour sleep with the clocks going forward… So my lovely partner, a friend, and I arrived suitably last minute in a state of dazed panic. What do you mean I don’t have the time to go to the loo?
Before I knew it, the race had begun!
My aim was to go steady throughout and finish! A few days before the race, I had downloaded an app compatible with my Garmin watch, so I could keep an eye on my pace and the distance ran/cycled. I have to be honest, I very quickly felt lonely on the track. As one of the slowest competitors, soon the elderlies and the birds were my only companions. I was overtaken repeatedly by super-fast athletes but still, I stayed in my zone and finished the 10k pretty much at target pace.
The transition to the bike was quite shocking; I couldn’t find my shoes, my helmet had been moved to another bike and I ran in my socks to the start line and got my feet wet before being on the saddle, yay! Once on the bike I just carried on a 25k/h pace or more when I could.
In hindsight I should have put more clothes on for the bike leg. There were parts of the circuit exposed to a strong icy wind which was unpleasant and made my feet like blocks of ice on the transition to running.
In short, I am proud of myself for taking part in this. My time was 3 hours and 8 minutes, not too bad for a first shot. The first person in my age group managed in 2h16! So I will aim to be closer to this next time.
Lessons learnt: it is better if you can compete alongside athletes of similar abilities and I need to be better prepared for transitions. I am going to be 50 in May… next event the ELT Dragon Slayer.