Sunday the 25th March saw me head across to the Oulton Park racing circuit for another World Qualifying Duathlon. This was a new venue for me. Friends and colleagues ho had been round the circuit on motor bikes or cars had told me I would enjoy it.
The first run was two laps of the racing circuit, just to give me a feel for it before the bike leg. I was surprised just how undulating the circuit is, with some sneaky little hollows, rises and cambered corners to make the run more interesting. My first run time of 38.02 sounds great until I realised that the course is only 4.35k mile per lap so the first run was only 8.7k.
Coming out of transition on the bike you are just encouraged to push hard as the course drops into the first bend and then rises up to the hairpin which has such a camber you feel like you could be on the velodrome. Whilst enjoying the fact that you do not have to use your brakes at any point, the hardest thing about the 9 lap bike leg is trying not to push that hard that you have nothing left for the final run. My bike time of 1.01.41 told me I had given it my all.
The final run proved to be much tougher than the first as the temperature on the track had reached over 20 degrees and I could feel myself cramping from a lack of hydration and this showed in my time of 21.00.
Overall I was happy with my finishing time 2.02.25, but not with my placing of 21st in my age group, I am sure that I can get much closer to 1.50 when fully fit. It is my intention to go back in the autumn and do this again and would encourage all the other triathletes on the team to give it a go, probably the best course I have ever raced on. – Tom Macdonald