The One Where I was Last….

…..well it was only a matter of time, I guess – I’ve been taking part in events for years and always worked on the principle that I’m never last, there’s always the DNF’s & even the DNS’s

At the moment I don’t have any results, but I know I was the last person on the Duathlon to cross the line (I have actually heard that at least one person was a DNF, but until the results are published then I’ll stand by this comment!)

So, Duathlon….. entered on the spur of the moment, 4 days before the event…ummm….no training… ummm, so the result is hardly surprising 😉

I was nervous because I was doing this on my own, no running buddy Sal, no Dave (who was riding over to support)

I arrived early and couldn’t see any bike racking at transition (turns out it may have been there – I just didn’t go far enough along), which worried me. I registered and went back to the car (which due to my early arrival, was parked for free on the side of the road 😛  (I’m still a little bit Yorkshire….I don’t like to pay for parking unless I can help it)

Dave turned up as I was phaffing with stickers, breakfast and general ‘stuff’ – I phaffed some more much to the annoyance of Dave who had 3 false starts on me taking the bike to transition 😉

I racked the bike (no numbers on the poles – just put the bike anywhere on the Duathlon rack) & then we went off to find strong coffee and the loo.

Whilst waiting for the bacon butty (Dave’s not mine, I had chia pot and a banana) this chap hung around for a bit – don’t worry we didn’t feed it)

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I then went to loiter at the race briefing – I was surprised at how few people were taking part & even more surprised at the number doing the duathlon – no wonder that it didn’t matter where you put the bike (there were possibly less than 20!)

Anyway – briefing done, essentially…”just follow the signs” (more on that later) – we were off round the block & up the hill…err….cliff…. we were following the coast path to Seatown – to say it undulates might be stretching the truth a bit. I wasn’t last for the first 3k & then that was it for the rest of the event! The lady who passed me muttered something about checking the route before signing up & then that was it until I passed her momentarily on the bike (for about 15 mins – I really should train if I’m going to this sort of thing 😉

Anyway – the 10K run #1, wasn’t…

RUN 1

RUN 1 MAP

RUN 1 ELEVATION

The view at the top of the highest point was beautiful & I am so lucky to have this on my doorstep – no other pictures during the event I’m afraid – rather surprising for me I know, but I was too busy hanging out my arse hoping to get round 😀

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By the time I got back to West Bay the marshalling for the duathlon had disintegrated – I was so far to the back I think they’d just given up.

The lovely Barbara gave me a hug – which I didn’t know I needed until it happened!!!

I got on the bike after a bit of phaffing (I love phaffing – I’m good at it) & set off to Burton Bradstock & up the Bride Valley. I’d been looking forward to this bit as I love the ride through the valley. My legs felt really weird & I got an odd fluttering of something that was threatening to be cramp in my right calf. It seemed to be ok so I chugged on up to Litton Cheney – passing Dave & Sal who enthusiastically cheered (Sal must have been so bored waiting for me – I took ages to get there) – looking forward to my ride back down.. I passed the lady in front of me…

Yay – go me 😀

… only it wasn’t due to my cycling prowess sadly, but due to her chain coming off – I kept the lead for a short time & then I was at the back again

It’s a very important job being last – it’ makes everyone else feel better 😛

The signs for the route were sufficient – but then I know the area & I’d checked the routes and maps etc beforehand. When I got to the Olympic route split – there were arrows and a marshal – asleep, with his book on his lap, now I don’t know if anyone was still out on the course, but it didn’t look very good – marshals need to be:

  1. Awake
  2. Attentive
  3. Supporting

In my humble opinion – and he was none of these – oh well 😀

Now on to the bit I’d been looking forward to – in my head I was going to whizz down here in the glorious warm sunshine.

Turned the corner – wham – headwind and spits of rain… great. Anyway, I pushed on and managed to overtake the lady again – stayed in front until the Long Bredy hostel. I stopped at the junction because there was a car, which kindly let us go, but I’d lost my momentum by then and was overtaken. My calf cramped as I pushed off, but thankfully once I got cycling again it abated. Left Sal & Dave cheering and tried to catch her again – sadly it didn’t happen.

I wasn’t particularly worried though, as I was enjoying myself!

RIDE

RIDE MAP

RIDE ELEVATION

I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to run, but when it came to it I was ok

As I rode up to the chute to rack the bike again it was great to get a cheer from the Skinnies who were toughing it out – the weather had closed in by now. It was windy, wet and cold. But thank you so much for noticing me – it really helped!

I set off on the run, I was starting to worry a bit – I was worried they’d all start packing up and leave me out there. The marshals on the roundabout gave me an encouraging shout out and pointed me in the general direction. As I entered the caravan park I noticed 2 lads with a couple of signs. I nearly spoke to them to ask if I needed to know where they’d come from, but didn’t.

All I will say about the 5k run is that it’s a good job I’m slow because I could turn detective and work out where the route went. At 2k I met the lady who was in front of me, on her way back in (she told me she’d gone wrong due to the lack of signs – they were there, you just had to concentrate – not ideal in race conditions and I could see that it would have been a pain for the quick runners) After that I was completely on my own. I surprised myself by managing to run 😛 it was flat & I just chugged on

When I got back to the caravan park I worked out where the missing signs had been because I went wrong. It was only because as I was coming in I’d noticed Russ coming out on the higher path. I corrected myself with a little detour, though I must have gone wrong somewhere else because according to Strava I only did 4.5k there’s no need to bore you with the stats for that – it was a flat 5k around some fields – if you want proper details you can find my Strava here 😀

Anyway – thankfully there were still marshals and a few runners left on the Olympic Course, so I ran down to the finish. The Skinnies had given up (don’t blame them – miserable for spectators) someone told the “shouty” man with the microphone who I was, so it was lovely to get my name mentioned & then I crossed the line. I was given a medal – then had it taken away and given another medal once she realised I was doing the duathlon!!

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Now, I don’t want any of you to think I wasn’t trying – because I was – I may be slow but I do try even if I don’t look like it 😉

  • I got 4 PR’s on run #1 (a legacy from day 1 of the Jurassic Coast challenge)
    • And 2 8th’s overall
  • I got 9 PR’s on the ride
  • I got 1 PR on run #2

Reflecting back I have been to better organised events (Bustinskins). I imagine the bike in/run out/finish etc would have been quite chaotic if you didn’t keep your wits about you. Thankfully it was so quiet every time I was there it was ok to do.

I have been to friendlier events (WhiteStar Running) where people who are competing actually talk to you – this was altogether far more serious – it did feel a bit lonely at the back, but at least I got my money’s worth 🙂

Would I do a Beyond Events event again?

Dunno

Would I do a duathlon again?

Absolutely – it pushed me – I enjoyed it – and there was no swimming involved.

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