Tried my first duathlon today. It was being held in Morpeth and the main street was closed for the occasion, so, for the town, it was a proper big event. A few of the club mates were also doing it and as we listened to the organisers instructions and then lined up in the main street. There were around 200 in attendance for the sprint event that comprised a 5k run, 24k ride and 3k run. I knew all the route intimately, with both runs and the bike course being in the vicinity, so there was no problem there. All I had to do was remember the procedure in transitions and the rest was in the hands of the gods. Jim Alder, the local sporting personality started the race with a klaxon, As he pressed it, it phutted and died and, as I ran past him I heard him say 'that was a bit limp, eh?!' which made me smile.
I was soon out and about on route. The sun was up and I had my shades on. I didn't bother with anything that was going to complicate matters, so the garmin was binned and I opted for my cyclo cross shoes rather than the road shoes. I had a decent 5k run and cracked on up the high street on the bike.
On the way out we had a cross-headwind and I was passed regularly by guys with tri bars. Some were really moving. After 10k or so we hit the big hill near the turn. I was out of the saddle and pedalling like Robert Millar (we'll not quite) and passed three who had slowed on the ascent. It didn't last long though, but by then, at the top past the Dyke Neuk pub, a big bruising tail wind had arrived and we galloped up the miles back to town in no time. The rider in front of me was nearly taken out by a random scooter, but otherwise it was heads down and backsides up. I fully expected the second run to be a wobbly nightmare, but I picked up pretty much where I left off from the first run and caught three guys, one of them taking a nasty tumble at a tight, muddy corner.
There was a good crowd in the street at the end and I snaffled a podium place for age group which is always a nice bonus. Top organisation from the VO2 max folk. Still, pretty hard work though, so I won't be changing codes anytime soon. Some photos on flickr.