Sunday, 27 April 2014
Lee Valley Duathlon - Race Day!!
I woke up this morning in a flash and checked my alarm.
Exactly 2 minutes before the alarm I'd set was due to go off. My running gear was stashed in the spare room along with tights and a jacket. I'd lowered the handlebars and taken the touring rack off of my Kona. The plan was to have a light breakfast and then take a leisurely ride up to the Lee Valley Athletics centre for a 09:00 start to the race.
Needless to say I panicked about everything from the route there to the fact I've never raced as an adult...
The nice lady on google maps talked me through the route there, although I did find myself correcting her out loud a couple of times. The only other people around at that time on the river are the sunday morning fishermen.
I parked up and locked my bike before going in. I soon discovered that everyone else had wheeled their bikes straight through. I was given a number to pin on my shirt and some safety pins. I wandered off to find the lockers and pin on my number, only to realise that it would have been easier if
a) I had taken the shirt off to pin on the number... and not my trousers
b) I had not been wearing my helmet which I should have left with my bike.
Outside and the race organiser ran us through the route. After about 30 seconds I realised that I couldn't remember this under any circumstances so as I was going to be some way off of the front I'd follow people and look out for bollards. There were only 15 runners this year as opposed to 50 last year. I don't think the rain, lack of a website or race pack, and no online info played any small part in this, but if this is your first time this is a nice and short race
On the dot of 09:00 we were off. The pack split quickly into the skinny people in tri-suits at the front and everyone else spread out according to ambition more than ability at this point. I say this as for the first half of the running section I was about 5th until passed by all but 4 runners on the back section.
I took my time getting on the bike and was passed by one of the remaining runners in transition. But the bike bit was fairly easy I was able to pass them quickly and get in front of another rider quite quickly. I slowed down a lot as we passed some fly tipping and a caravan I hadn't remembered being there earlier (although it could have been fresh) before pushing on and finding I was still on the right path.
Running after legs 1 and 2 provides an interesting distraction in that my legs had jellified a little and I wanted to be sick. I had drunk too much fluid on the bike section and was making an awful sloshing noise as I ran. 3 laps of the park and I didn't feel too bad as I crossed the line.
Afterwards we chatted sitting on the track waiting for the last couple of runners in. I was third from last. There was a quick presentation and we were done. The ladies winner looked about 18 and this was her 4th win. I still had a lap to go when she crossed the line. The men's winner had left East London by the time I finished.
It was 10:00 am on sunday morning. I rang Sophie and asked her to put the kettle on. It started to rain.