The 'Windsor Duathlon' held by British Triathlon, incorporated the National Championships for Youth, Junior, Para, Standard Distance Age-group and the Elite athletes. The event also had an AG Sprint Distance race, held over much of the same course and at the same time as the Standard AG race. This proved rather tricky for many of the multiple 1st timers and the more experienced athletes who were all racing hard for times, places and medals.
The day kicked off late - by approximately 30mins. Due to overnight rain, the transition & the competitor/spectator parking area had become rather 'muddy' - several vehicles had become stuck, thus preventing lots of eager athletes parking up, many of whom were desperate to get things sorted.
Stress levels were increasing minute by minute as people ditched their cars and did their best to get to the start line. Come 9.30am the races eventually went off, (though some didn't make it) - and that's were the 'fun' really started.
Transition area was muddy to say the least, and with little room out on the fast technical bike course you really had to have your wits about you throughout. Some riders had to stop midway through their ride to let the Queen pass through the course (held entirely in Windsor's great Park) - don't think anyone saw that one coming! This proved frustrating for many; some finishing times were changed post event to allow for this loss, cue angry athletes. With many races to get through - some athletes were even taken off the course altogether as they were 'too slow' - which is a real shame, it's hardly encouraging novices to embrace the sport.
Eventually all the AG racing finished and National Champions were crowned. RP athletes had a strong showing with Gareth Dixon, Blythe Fourie, Sarah Jepson & Rodger Wilkins all executing good races to come away pleased with their individual performances.
Post race a number of athletes were very vocal in their anger at our Governing body for what was in their eyes - a poor race with even poorer organisation. I don't think there will be too many of them signing up for this one again next year.