Challenge #2; Gravesend Xmas Duathlon

Today I completed my second challenge – the Xmas Duathlon at CycloPark in Gravesend. I had two people join me for this challenge, Anna Card and Cat my wife. Anna had never taken part in a duathlon before and Cat like me had only done one once before.

A duathlon is a race that is made up of a run, then a cycle, followed by another run. This event was an average distance – 6km run, 20km cycle (made up of ten laps), then 3.5km run, all on roads/footpaths.

My preparation wasn’t quite ideal, a distinct lack of decent training meant this was always going to be a tough challenge, but waking up on Saturday with a stinking cold (and hangover!) meant I was thinking twice about playing hockey. Being the team man that I am I soldiered on and got myself to West London for our match only to find out we only had ten players. We got smashed 7-2 which meant I was  kept quite busy in the match (I’m a defender!).

We got home from hockey and spent the evening getting everything prepared. We managed to get into bed nice and early – 10:30pm is a record for me on a Saturday night! We had to get up at 6:45am but I was so worried that I’d over sleep I kept waking up, which coupled with my severe bout of man flu meant I didn’t get much rest.

Anyway we arrived in plenty of time and got ourselves ready for the race, Anna just managed to make the start after having to turn back as she had forgotten her helmet (oh Ann!). It was quite a small race and pretty informal – after about 3 minutes I realised I was in 8th place (this wasn’t going to last though!).The rest of the race was fairly uneventful for me (except for an unscheduled toilet stop – tougher when you’re wearing an all in one lycra suit and gloves!). It was a combination of “ow my legs hurt”, “how much further do I have to go”, and “what lap am I on now”! The second run is particularly hard in duathlons as your legs are very tired coming off the bike. I was pleased I managed to overtake a couple of people having gone backwards a bit on the bike. I finished in approx 1:40:30 (unofficial time).

Cat had a good race having not done much training either – she managed to pick up a third place female trophy much to her surprise. I think it’s fair to say she never expected to be getting any medals in an endurance race!

Anna finished a few minutes after Cat and met all of her aims for the day (not dying, not finishing last, and not stopping all the way round). A real achievement for her considering she only had 4 hours sleep and was fueled by prawn cocktail crisps.

It was great to compete with a team and if anyone else wants to join me for any challenges please just let me know. Keep sharing the page and encouraging people to like the Facebook site too.

My next challenge will be a lake swim over the Christmas holidays in Bassenthwaite Lake. I’ll keep working at the 100 pint challenge and 100 press up challenge too!

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