A couple of milestones have been hit since my last update. The most important of which was my first race of the season... and it went rather well. This race was a sprint duathlon (5k run/20k bike/2.5k run) and it took place in Clumber Park, a very scenic national park near Worksop. We (mum and I) stayed in a not so scenic B&B the night before as it was an early start in the morning. RACE DAY: alarm went off at 6am and I immediately tuck in to my specialist tried and tested race day breakfast: peanut butter on toast, although we had no toaster so it was more like bread with a side of peanut butter. We had everything ready so once I was changed it was straight to event site for an 8:45 race start. Upon arrival it was clear it was a large race, with 1000 competitors on the start list and a transition area like a vast sea of bikes. everything went smoothly baring a last minute bike tinker (the brake under my bottom bracket was rubbing) and a little hiccup in the setup of my transition which showed I had been out the game for a while. I had freshly talcumed , opened and position my bike shoes and RUNNING trainers at which point I remember it was duathlon and I have to run in my trainers first, dignity dented...doh!
Warm up done, race brief done. I was stood on the start line ready to race. The plan? Simple. Full gas from go and see what happens. The horn sounded and my season was underway. I stayed with the front group for the 2.5km then was feeling good so I put in a little acceleration on one of the descents (the course was undulating) and forced a gap. I felt relaxed the whole run and came into transition in 1st place with a 15:59 provisional 5k, which, much to my annoyance was later rounded up to 16:00... not happy.
1. I must sit up and sacrifice aerodynamics to change gear.
2. I stay in my my aero tuck and grind it up the hills then spin like Chris Froome on stimulants on the downhills.
which one was best? I will never know but I choose the latter as I was too zoned in care about cadence and frankly too lazy to change position. 2 guys passed me on the bike around 1/2 or 2/3 round the course and they gradually put time into me for the rest of the leg. Not the fastest bike I have ever had but to be in 3rd overall coming into T2 shows I am on good form.
After the stress of racing was out the way mum and I decided to test the latest in bike innovation. Some screaming (mum) and a few near misses (my bad steering) later we decided to throw in the towel for our tandem tri career.
These next few months are going to be an extremely stressful time with my AS level exams but more (controversially) important are my two European Championships so wish me luck! But for now I am about to land in Majorca... or Mallorca, for a 10 day training camp. Time to get a tan, and go to work.