My first experience of duathlon, and I was excited as it was an event leaning on my running and no swim involved.
The race consisted of a 2000m track run, onto a 5k bike ride and into a final 600m track run into the finish.
I decided to use my plain pedal with a plastic toe cup, and cycle in my running flats.
The race started and quickly I pulled ahead of the other 7 girls, but Francesca was just sitting on my back.
This was a little unnerving, and I tried to relax down the straight with the wind, and then accelerate and pull away to make her have to work herself into the wind.
On our 4th lap I had lost count of the laps and had to ask Francesca. Luckily she knew and I was able to complete the correct number of laps.
Coming into the bike, I had managed to pull out a little lead, and so headed onto the track by myself, Francesca about 50m behind.
There were 5 laps of the cycle track, and on about lap 3, I was surprised to find Francesca on me and then past me.
This race was not draught legal, and so I was conscious about not getting into her slipstream, but I ended up cycling for almost a lap side by side, until she pulled ahead a little way into the final lap.
This was a new feeling, and I realised how others feel when I pass them. I initially thought, ‘oh dear’ she is going to keep going and win. My legs felt tired and I wasn’t sure what to do.
Approaching the final bend, I decided to put on a burst and cut inside Francesca and continued outside the next bend to pull ahead and gain about 15m into the transition and onto the run.
I didn’t slow down enough into transition so I almost got taken out by my bike that had a mind of its own and was bouncing around behind me! Luckily I managed to hang on for dear life and just about managed to stay on my feet.
As I racked the bike, it was a 200m straight onto the track, before 1 lap to finish.
That first 200 felt terrible, my legs were wobbly and I felt as though I was running on the spot. I was expecting Francesca to come skipping past me at any point.
Once on the track, I started to feel my legs, but knew there wasn’t much left to sprint, so I decided to push hard and get out of range which I managed, and was relieved to finish and see her still a little way back down the track.
Pleased to have won in a tight race, but it didn’t feel real, I felt tired and knew it had been hard, a new experience.
Was a relief to get back in car with another win, and head towards Clitheroe for the Sunday eve 2 hour swim to round off the weekend. (Blythe Fourie)