Wednesday, 15 September 2010

DNF in the city park!!

London Duathlon Ultra - 12th Sept - Richmond Park.

Was I ready?? - Yes I was!!

Did I finish?? - No I didn’t!!

The day started smoothly enough (at 4:30am) and after a 90 min drive to the competitors car-park I made my way through the misty surrounds of the park to register and collect my race numbers. Once through and with numbers affixed to the relevant parts of my bike I wandered over to the transition area to rack my bike and lay out bike shoes, helmet and Buff cycle gloves for the race. Looking around at others it was obvious I wasn’t the only nervous one there, but I had trained consistently both on the bike and running (mixed in with Triathlon swimming) and was feeling fine and ready!

The morning temperature started to rise quite quickly so it was going to be a nice dry day, probably too dry!! I then spotted that Tim Williams and Sarah Hill Sibby of CompresSport were setting up the stand and as it was Tim who had got me a place and supplies me with the fantastic R2 and Quad Compression gear, I was there like a shot!!
We were soon joined by Alex Flynn, who had come to watch, despite still recovering from the Europe 135, which he had finished the previous week and support (ended up selling the CompresSport gear eventually as well), and was soon off to the start area, ready for action.

The race consisted of running 2x10km loops of the inner road or the park, then cycling 7x11.5km loops of the outer road and back for another 10k run on the inner loop. The first loop went fine, nice pace, nothing fancy and taking water at the 3 CP on the way, and generally enjoying the surrounds of the park, with its deer wandering around however…………

At the end of the first lap we had a small excursion off road, through the edge of the transition area and back onto the road! This was not the most even of ground and my left foot found a trough in the soil and I came down heavily on that knee. I then spent the next lap nursing the throbbing knee, especially on the hills, stretching in places, before finally completing the whole 20k in 1:38. In to transition (carefully) and looking forward to taking the weight off on the bike. Quickly changing and getting onto the road and settling down I found myself up to speed quickly and felt very comfortable on the road, passing other in front and getting ready for the climb at 2km in.

This climb, albeit not a long stretch was short and sharp and finished me off!!

As I changed down gear and stood up in the pedals to gain power into the climb I felt a searing pain shoot across my left calf and had to come off the road (almost off the bike too) and stop. After walking a few yards I tried to restart, but could put no downward pressure on that side - my race was over!!

Despondently I then had to trudge the 2km back to the start area, not being able to put much weight on the left leg and glaring with envy at the other cyclist speeding past - I was gutted!! I had trained for this since the start of June and was not only out of this race but the 7Oaks Triathlon could also be off too, if I couldn't recover.

I made my way back to the CompresSport tent, was met with worried looks and sympathy, and after an hour or so, decided to limp back to the car and home!!!

I have vowed to return next year and finish what I started, watching out for pothole and hopefully I will collect that medal in due course. One positive is that the experience of the Duathlon was incredible, seeing the combination of many runners and cyclists of all types enjoying the day and racing together - it has certainly left me wanting more!!

Kit List
CompresSport - R2 & Quads
Fitness Footwear - Saucony Pro Grid Hurricane
Orca - Core Tri Pant
Buff - BOW10 T-Shirt
Polaroid - Mercury Sunglasses

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