We were graced with a cold foggy Sunday morning to drive out of London with a 9-seater mini bus stacked full of bikes and triathletes. Spirits were high but there were a few nerves about. Three of us runners had done a duathlon before and the other three were complete newbies. We arrived in good time to register, check the bikes over and put them in the transition zone.
The girls’ race was first at 2pm and we cheered Christiane off the start before getting warmed up for ours at 2.45. At the starting line Sam, Richard and I wrestled for a place near the front. They certainly didn’t hang about at the start. As everyone charged off a break neck speed the runner in me said they’re either bloody good or they’ve gone off too fast. Fortunately they had gone off too fast and the three of us spent the second mile picking them off.
We finished the run within 20m of each other and I managed to overtake Sam and Richard at the start of the bike. Richard soon flew past me at a speed I knew I couldn’t maintain. It was a gruelling 5 laps with a motorbike referee checking there was no drafting going on. I couldn’t see Richard when I got into transition and I ran straight past my trainers much to the amusement of Stephen, the injured captain, who got it all on film! Despite this I couldn’t see Sam behind me as I started the 2 mile run, but I knew he’d be running me down so I tried to focus on catching Richard.
Meanwhile the tall Lithuanian Lukas came off his bike in a crash on the second lap, which cost him the skin on his leg, 2 minutes on that lap and a his very expensive carbon fibre bike. He still carried on in spite of his broken frame. I didn’t catch Richard but just managed to hold off Sam, who only finished 12 seconds behind me! Lukas came in a few minutes later, following by Luke who had a battle of a sprint finish.
They had instant personalised results that you could print off like little receipts, giving you a full break-down of each section of the race including bike lap times! Our top three results were 19th, 27th and 31st which put us in contention for the team competition.
Everyone enjoyed the race. The return journey consisted of stuffing our faces and talk of the next race.