Monday, 3 April 2017

Challenge number 30 - The Diss Duathlon.

Challenge number 30 – Diss Duathlon.

With the start of April came my next challenge in the form of the Diss Duathlon.  Although I have taken part in plenty of running races, this was something completely new with transitions and road rules to worry about.

It was an early start and I was expecting protests from the children as I woke them to come and support me on the first Sunday of the holidays but they were fantastic and we made it to Diss in plenty of time to sort my bike and for the nerves to really kick in!  There were a couple of ladies at registration who were also duathlon virgins and it was nice to know that I wasn’t the only one.

I was in the first wave of runners and we set of at 9.30 on the dot!  I tried to hold back and not go out too fast as I knew there was a long way to go.  I was aiming to run the first 5K in around 30minutes to make sure I kept something in the tank for later but running is what I know and it was a lovely down hill start and before I knew it I was heading back to the transition area to get on my bike.  Phil had been drumming it into me all week to put my helmet on before I touched my bike and I managed this simple instruction!  A quick slurp of lucosade and I was off for the 30k bike ride. 

The bike ride was 3 laps, I estimated I came in from the run in the top 20 but it didn’t take long for cyclists on their fancy racing bikes to come whizzing past me.  I’m sure some of the designs are made especially to intimidate as they roar past!  I knew that cycling was not my strength and was determined to just do my best and enjoy the ride, I bought my bike with money that my Gran left me in her will and I though of her as I cycled.  Everyone was so supportive and encouraging as they overtook and I had to smile as Phil Hurr lapped me as I was finishing my second lap, knowing what a good runner he is I worked out that he would finish before I started my run!  By lap 3 I knew the course and was able to appreciate just how beautiful the Norfolk countryside is as we cycled past farms, fields of oilseed rape and pretty little churches.  Before I knew it I had reached the end and headed back past the children and my friend Georgie to park my bike and head out on the last 5k run.

My slow cycle had put me way back in the pack and there were people finishing their run as I set off but I didn’t let this get to me and was determined to just do my best.  My jelly legs had other ideas as I wobbled out of transition!  I could see several of the people who had come past me on the last lap of the ride up ahead and my runner’s legs kicked in.  Running is what I do and I started picking them off one by one and after about a mile felt that I could run properly!  It was a great feeling to overtake people and kept me going.  The finish line was a very welcome sight and I even managed a sprint finish and received my medal with pride!

I would never have put myself in for a duathlon and these 40 challenges and treats are getting me to try new things and ironically I am probably fitter than I was when I was 30!  I’m still not convinced about the open water swimming coming up but hopefully my blog afterwards will be as positive as this one.  Today I start my ultra marathon training but I’m going to try to keep cycling too.

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