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Chilly Nov 08

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It's all his fault!  November 23rd, 2008.  The day dawns grey, wet, and chilly.  Indeed, snow is reported in London and, as I return home afterwards, I hear of snow in Reading.  So it's of no surprise to learn that todays 'Chilly Duathlon' at the Castle Combe Race Circuit more than lived up to its name!

Seeing as there are only two events  running and riding, training for this has been quite easy to achieve.  Just start on a treadmill, run for a while then transfer onto a static bike, pedal for a while and then go back to the treadmill for a while longer.  Simple, innit.

The 'Chilly' consists of a single circuit on foot around the perimeter of Castle Combe, some two miles, before swapping to the bike for five laps - 10 miles - of the race track itself.  Finally of course, another 2 miles.

So for training purposes, those distances equated to 3.2 kilometres, and 16 .1 kilometres.  Did I say easy?  Hmm....

After a fashion, it was.  So much so that prior to the event itself, I had got the time down to 1:02:55.  Needless toStop smiling son, it ain't started yet! say I was pleased, until Kevin, my new trainer at the gym announced a 58:30.  He is much younger and fitter than I am, and I'm carrying considerably more baggage (especially around the middle!).

Fortunately I'd said to Kev before the race that I'd be happy with a 75 minute finish.  Good thing I did, as you'll read later.

Like I said, it was not the best of days, so I opted for a long-sleeved top.  I had my Swindon Tri shorts on, but had a pair of Ron Hill leggings on, primarily for warmth beforehand; in the end I kept them on for the duration, seemed like a good move at the time, but will have to think about it as my legs felt heavy during the second run.  A lot of the guys - and girls - also went 'long' but there were a hardy few in shorts and off-the-shoulder numbers.  Mad fools, the lot of them!!

We started a little late, but not so late that it was dark by the finish; I was in the leading pack for around five seconds and slowly made my way through the field to be one of the back markers.  I was happy staying there, running at my own pace and finally got around to T1 in around 18 minutes.  Because I'd elected to stay in my runners, the bike had a slight modification on the pedal front as I'd fitted the pedals from my mountain bike - complete with muddy toe clips.

It says here 'steaming'; really?I think this was a good move as I lost very little time in transition and was soon out on the circuit, speeding clockwise around the famous tarmac (though, let's be fair, not as fast as some folk).  The first lap was a bit of a loosener after the run and, by lap two I'd worked out the circuit, where to cut corners and play with the gears (though looking at the splits you wouldn't think so!).  The only really tough part of the circuit was in the south-western section as the wind really howled into our faces.  So we all had to work a little harder.

The finish/start straight was great; had a full head of steam up and could hear the cheers from Kev's partner, Nicola - much appreciated!

All too soon the ride was over and a 180 degree turn into T2 soon saw me heading out onto the final lap.  This was hard going, given the events of the previous 50-odd minutes but I soon developed a steady shuffle and tried hard to a) maintain a pace and b) not let too many people run past.  Achieved one, but not the other.

Last few yards....And then it was over, big thanks Kevin and Nicola for the cheers as I ran in.  I did have a little burst of speed over the last 100 yards or so, and finished in around 1:10:30 (see below for the final timings).  In returning my timing chip I was presented with a nice little memento of the day and, even better, a lovely drink of water!

As usual the camaraderie was great queuing to register, in transition before and after, and on the start line.  It was also a pleasure to see the boys from my local tri store - The Big Adventure Store; glad you had a good day lads!

As of Nov 25th, timings confirmed as follows:

Run 1 - 17:55
T1 - 1:22
Bike - 31:40.8; splits - 6:16.7, 6:23.5, 6:20.3, 6:14.2, 6:26.1 (33:02.764) = 267th!!3
T2 - 1:09.5
Run 2 - 18:31.8

Total = 1:10:39.1

Finished 352/419 (+5 DNF); in age group 40-49, 65/74 (+1 DNF).

By the way, Kev finished in 1:00:05, so close to breaking the hour barrier.  We've talked about it and will be coming back next year to, hopefully, improve on our times.  And we're thinking about returning in March, the Swindon Duo in April and more besides - watch this space!

Thanks to DB Max for putting the race on.

Last updated: 01/03/2009 23:41:22
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