Thursday, October 6, 2011

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Race report from Tri-spirit events Chilham Duathlon.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chilham Castle duathlon 10km-40km-5km. Trail run, road cycle.

On Friday night i was clearing out my van and found a fly er for this event. Took a look and decided this could be a good race to end the season, coupled with the heat wave we were expecting.

On Saturday evening i drove down to the event and asked the race director if i could race, her reply was yes we can squeeze you in.

So off towards home, dusted down the race bike, threw some trail shoes in my kit bag and loaded the van....... Then bed.

The alarm clock woke me at 5am and i was up and preparing breakfast ready to leave for 6.

I went online and had quick look to see who was racing and who i needed to stick with and there was only one name i knew - Ashley Howes, he had the 2nd fastest course record.

sunrise over T
After racking the bike as the sun was rising i began to plan my race. Knew i had to keep Ashley within my sights on the first 10km run.

Knowing Ashley can consistently run sub 35 minutes for a 10k i new i had to be careful not to overdo it before i got on the bike. As the horn sounded and we all charged off 3 of us broke away and took the lead - Ashley, another guy, then myself.

Ashley set the pace and instantly i knew he was trying to shake me. After just 2k my HR monitor begun to sound and warned me i was above my race zone, the alarm continued to sound until 4 k when i just had to remove it.

The run course was rather up and down and 2 laps, which is always mentally tough as you know whats coming. 5k in i passed the guy in front and it was clear he was a runner and just couldn't hold onto Ashley.

As i passed the 8k marker i noticed Ashley had made a break and i just couldn't find enough to reel him in, i said to myself stick to your race plan and get him on the bike.

As i approached T1 i could see Ashley just leaving, i was in and out in just 35 seconds. i knew i had what it takes on the bike to reel him.

As i turned onto the main road i could see my target no more than a few hundred yards away, i knew what i had to do - hydrate, get comfy on the bike and just ride as hard as i could maintain for the 40k..

Within 2km i had reached Ashley's back wheel. Made my break up out the saddle and rode hard until i knew he hadn't clung to my back wheel. The bike course was mainly uphill for the first 8-9 miles. I had opted for my TT bike with disc, but begun to question my choice as i noticed Ashley was gaining on me. Kept pushing hard so much so i was beginning to cramp.

I needed this hill to flatten out to give my legs and lungs time to recover and soon enough it did. This was my chance to get Aero and open the gap between us which i did and continued to do.

As i reached the turn around point i was leading the bike leg by some distance, then as i rode back toward T2 i noticed Ashley wasn't on my tail. He had been overtaken and dropped back to 5th place. This got me worried because these guy were catching me and fast, now i had no choice but to ride hard all the way back and hope i could hold my lead.

As i entered T2 i could hear the rumble of a disc behind me but ignored it and carried on into T2 and racked my bike. I was in and out in just 34 seconds with a new face right behind me.

I held my lead for approx 2 km and then knew if i pushed any harder things could all go wrong. I was fighting for 1st but was willing to take 2nd or 3rd  without jeopardising  my whole race, after all it was only a C race.

I decided to stick to my pace and finish without risking a DNF.
As i crossed the line i collapsed in a heap and a guy appeared above me saying "well done". This guy turned out to be Nick Kinsey, otherwise known as the Mallorca man.
Its fair to say Nick has raced and won some of the hardest races throughout the world, finishing Kona more than 8 times often winning his age group.

As i asked the timing guys for my printout i also got a copy of Nick's, sadly i missed 1st place by just over 1 minute.

I was happy to claim 2nd place. It is my best result to date, all things considered - late entry, lack of preparation and the high level of athletes i was racing against. I think i had a great day.

The current course record stood at  2:12:08 held by Simon Casebourne.

My finish time was 2:09:38  over 2:30 quicker.

My splits were:
10km run       0:40:14
T1                  0:00:35.40
40km bike    1:06:07
T2                  0:0034.30
5km run        0:22:07

Finish           2:09:38.25.