If you’re not a great swimmer, then you might opt for a Duathlon which sticks to just the running and cycling. I tried Open Event’s Duathlon at the popular motorsport location of Oulton Park, Cheshire.
When your first mile is a PB you start to wonder how the race is going to pan out. With a 7.31 for the first mile of the run I took the wise move of slowing my pace a little, and by the time I’d completed the 1 lap run I was glad I did. Approaching the transition area I was unsure of whether I’d be able to get on my bike at all. My lungs were running at max effort!
With a stress-free transition it was time to do 5 laps on the bike. Despite Time-Trials being his discipline, Ryan had said it was common to put tape on your top tube to help keep track of how many laps you’ve done, so I opted to go for that tactic rather than trying to keep track myself.
I’ve not actually done much cycling straight after a run so the first lap was to ease my legs into it, although the cycling gave me a much needed recovery period as that’s what my body is more use to doing. I could also refill my body with the fluids to try and get rid of cramp near my ribs (it worked for me anyway!).
Oulton Park is a lot more hilly than I was expecting. With a gradual decline to Shell Oils Corner there were a fair few climbs to get back to the Start/Finish, whilst trying to make sure it didn’t look like I was ‘drafting’ at all…it took out a lot more of me than I thought it would. However, to later find out I was averaging 18mph I’m not really surprised….
The closer I got to finishing my 5 laps the quieter the bike side of the track got so I found I could go a little bit faster. With competitors already on the last run I made my way into transition to put my running shoes back on…and my legs felt numb! It was a very odd feeling and I just needed to ease myself to the finish. However, looking at my watch and deciding I could potentially get a sub-hour and a half time I soon had other ideas. With the plan of action being to get the biggest climb out of the way and then up my pace to the finish I had work to do.
Crossing the line I was unsure if I’d managed it or not but I think I was just glad to make it to the finish. Handing back in my timing chip, grabbing a finish bag and any food I could find I just needed somewhere to sit and re-hydrate. Probably not making much sense whilst trying to talk to Ryan, I was so glad he was there. Partly because I’d probably still be wandering round Oulton Park after heading in the completely wrong direction to get my bike from transition….
Thanks to my Dad & Ryan for the photos and for Ryan letting me borrow his go-faster wheels! Xtra Mile Events held a great and well-organised event…I can’t wait for the next one.