On Saturday 31st October 2020, it was the Westonbirt Duathlon. This event consisted of a 5k run, 25k bike and a 5k run. The run was 3 laps around the grounds at Westonbirt school and the bike was initially a single lap around the local area. It was staggered starts with people going off in 10 second increments and transitions were neutralised as well.
The days running up to the race were interesting. The weather threw a major curveball… It was very stormy and the race day was predicted to be very wet and have strong winds up to 40mph. They hit the nail right on the head. That was exactly how it was on race morning.
I started my first 5k around 08.08am, I went out very hard. Maybe to fast, doing my fastest ever K and hitting my highest recorded heart rates for 1 minute, 5 minute and 10 minute. So, I dug myself a hole very early and knew that I would have to work to keep on top of it. The course was a mix of road and grass and mud, which made it very interesting. I ran the first leg of just over 5k in 17.51 (5k at 17.11) which was very pleasing. I got through transition fairly quickly and decided to not put any dry kit on as the rain started to come down harder.
Due to conditions the bike course changed on the morning of the race to 2 smaller laps of around 6.5 miles. The laps were basically a square shape so you would inevitably hit the head wind at some point and likewise would get a tailwind at another point. The wind hit you straight away on the bike, it was very strong winds and very wet and being on my TT bike, I decided to push hard, whilst on the aero bars into it. Then when I got into the tailwind, I could pull back a bit, recover and use the wind to my advantage. The bike leg went very quickly and before I knew it, I was back in transition.
Coming into transition the wind died down a bit which was a bit of relief for the run. I put on my muddy and soggy shoes again and got straight into my stride. This time, fortunately, I did not go out as hard and got straight into the same average pace as the first run. This run was exactly 5k and I dropped off a tiny bit however I came into the finish with a 17.57 final run.
I came 4th overall, on the first Westonbirt duathlon (with very tough conditions). It was great fun and I really enjoyed it. Massive respect to anyone that raced yesterday in those conditions. Well done!!
I would like to thank my sponsors, Smith Heath for their continued support in me, Infrastar for the amazing race and training kit that I get to wear. Spinavita for keeping me in shape and able to race and also Chloe Witts for my ongoing sports therapy and recovery sessions. Greeper Laces for allowing me to have fast transitions and a great run split. Finally my coach from T3, Mark Threlfall for all the coaching and support! It has made a massive impact on my triathlon and I couldn’t be more grateful to you all.
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