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 to
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.
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.
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) =
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
Thanks to DB Max for
putting the race on.