It’s ages since I felt a bit nervous before a race but also ages since I have taken part in a qualifying race (I wasn’t trying to qualify but knew some fast people would be there giving a proper test).
Damn duathletes run fast! Others have talked about the weather which definitely impacted on the run conditions being tricky. Set off and struggled to keep up with Jubbster, Taps or Chris. Felt I was going a bit quick so looked at Garmin and was clocking 5:50min/miling and going backwards in the field! Slowed down so I didn’t die (literally) and finished the first run about 60th. Absolutely seemed the right decision to neutralise transition as it was very slippery in there and took away that stress.
The bike course is so fantastic at Ashridge. I’m going to put it out there that I think my choice of road bike, 40mm (tubeless) wheels and clip on aero-bars was right. The conditions were theoretically tail wind on the downhill/way out but it seemed sheltered by the forest and then headwind along to netteldon and up the hill into Little Gaddesden which was definitely not sheltered.
I pushed hard (possibly too hard) and averaged 253w (my ftp), 20.9mph and 5th fastest bike split. Chuffed to bits, off bike in 11th or 12th place.
One lap for the second run, conditions underfoot had deteriorated a bit but it’s only 2.5km and a case of how far backwards I would go. I think I lost 12 positions on that leg as I struggled to get the legs turning over.
Finished 24th, 7th in age group.
Overall I think this is a fantastic course, testing (in these conditions) primarily xc run; a beautiful sporting course with 2 fast descents and a tough climb followed by a long effort into Little Gaddesden with no recovery!
It was great to see lots of tri-force club mates out there as well. Time to do some speed work on the run! Congrats James Shipley on another great event
Photo’s courtesy of Alex Johnston