Race Review by Mark Payne
I’ve done a few short training duathlons to get used to the format, but nothing even close to the scale of today’s race. To prepare for the cycling, I’ve started cycling to work once a week ~35Km each way. For the running I’ve been hitting the hills around East Cleveland, but I’ve been limiting my run frequency because of tight hamstrings.
I had no idea how to pace this race, so my plan was to go as fast as I could and see how long I could hold on.
I held on pretty well in the first run, setting a 5K pb and likely a 10K pb if the route had been 600m longer.
The bike phase was a little windy, my poor aerodynamics help me catch the wind like a sail which gives a good opportunity to rehydrate on the sections where the wind is pushing from behind.
Seriously impressed with the speed of the TT bikes, not so impressed with some of their cornering speed. Got block passed on several corners, but since the drafting rules don’t apply at pinch points, I took my place back and made them work hard to take the place again. Had a mini panic when I emptied my first drink bottle during the second lap, but then remembered the gels I’d taped to the crossbar. After the second lap it started to get busy on the road and harder to make progress without appearing to draft. I decided the fast bends and roundabouts were the best place to take places, saving some energy and keeping out of the drafting zone on the short straights. As expected I lost count of the laps and wasn’t 100% sure if I was on the last lap, my distance seemed short, but I was sure if I did another lap, I’d be well over 40K.
The first few 100m of the run were a bit tough on my calves, they felt on the edge of cramping, but with the help of a gel I managed to run through it.
Had nothing left for a sprint finish and lost a place a few metres from the line, but was well pleased with the time 2:12:40
I’ll sleep well tonight…