Chilham Castle Duathlon!

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Well, have I had ALL weather over the last 4 duathlons, spaced over 5 weeks!

 

The first, 9th Sep London Duathlon was 28degrees, the following week was a nice 15, then 3 weeks ago it was a fresh 4degrees and misty, and today’s was…..well, pissing down!

 

I (luckily) chose the sprint distance duathlon for today, which was 5k run, followed by 27k bike and a 2.8k run. I arrived in Kent the night before, and decided to drive the bike route……it looked interesting! The first 7 was all uphill, before looping back, and a fast downhill for 7k before a further 13k of mixed ¬†undulations.

¬†Dark and wet transition area!! ———>>

When we set off at 8am (yep and early one) it was raining……and it didn’t stop. In fact I think it had rained here all week. As we set off they warned us the run route would be muddy and wet……that was an understatement! It was through woodland, and there was some serious muddy sections with muddy puddles. The first few k was spent trying to find the drier side of each path, but after that I gave up!

My trainers and “white” socks at the end might give an idea of it all!

 

After the 5k, in a terrible time of 26:21 (I normally do the last leg 5k of a duathlon in 21 something, so it shows how bad the conditions were!!)

I set off on the bike leg and immeditely, and surprisginyl effortlessly overtook 2 others, and got ready for the steady 7k up hill!

One thing I thought about yesterday (weird what goes through your mind pre event!) was that I needed to be more “relaxed” on the bike. I often try to “grind” out the cadence, and definitely grip too hard on the bars, so this time I decided to stay relaxed, balanced and keep steady, at least until the downhill section.

 

It seemed to work well as I moved up each incline with no real problem over taking more competitors. I knew I was near the top of the 7k as some of the faster guys were flying downhill on the other side of the road.

Smug g!ts I thought!!! I’ll have some of that soon!

And before long I was…..the rest of the ride was pretty comfortable I felt good, apart from the last 5k, when the top of my right calf started spasming and getting tight. I managed to keep this down to a minimum before climbing a nasty little incline back into the castle grounds to transition.

Unlike other events where the dismount area on the bike is not too far from transition, here was different! You climb an uneven incline into the grounds and then have to dismount before running with your bike about 70m across the field to transition area. This was a pain in the butt, but equally got the legs ready a little earlier for the final run leg!

I got my wet and muddy trainers back out the bag that I had put them in (don’t know why I did this…..the rain might have washed the mud off, and they couldn’t have got any wetter?!!) and took off my cycling shoes which definitely had a cupful of water in each shoe!

Time for the 27.5k bike was 53:01 – happy with that in the conditions!

Thankfully the final run, although across field and trail, had minimal mud! The final 1k I ran with another guy and we both put in a final finish to the line…..the sod beat me!! ha ha! Time for the 2.85k run was 13:30.

Thankfully I got back to my room before checkout time and managed a nice warm shower before the 1hr 45min drive home!!

Job, done! Warm Cyprus this Friday for a week, then 1 more duathlon to come on 11th Novemeber!!

When you’ve got something booked…..the training follows!!

** Update – since found I came 16th out of 95 ** – it was worth it then ;-))

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