Despite a difficult year a few events have gone ahead, albeit with restrictions. I was delighted to receive a race report from our very own Richard Drake after he came 2nd in his age category at the Oulton Park Duathlon.  

‘’I entered Sprint distance, so as many of you will know, that’s 4.3km run / 21.6km bike / 4.3km run on a circuit, with quite a bit of elevation change. I’ve moved into the 45-49 age group category and there were 16 men in my race, with about 109 overall on the Sprint event start list.

I’d been training with bike advice that I have carried through from the Prof – David Morley , last winter and used this to get some key turbo sessions in, hard at the start of the week and develop speed work as the week progressed. For running training, particularly the speed work, I’ve had loads of help from Hannah Parmley of Lakeside Fitness where I have built up a full balanced training plan. Both of which have helped me get into shape after the difficult motivational time period through Covid Lockdown!

1st run – Set off cautiously having listened to others who had run this race circuit before, starting at 30 second intervals from the runner in front. My target speed was 3:45/km ready to take on the couple of hills in the course. All went to plan and hit the target times, albeit I had trained a little harder than this, I just didn’t want to blow up too early.

Bike section – Got up and going pretty quickly, shoes and flying mount all steady away and went to plan. The first lap took a bit of getting used to, as and when I would use the clip on tri bars on my road bike (I had only done a few test rides). I was certainly not in an optimum riding position having looked at this through the few weeks prior. Moving the seat forward and clip on bars etc, but it was the best situation I could muster, having originally aimed at entering the draft legal race, but of course Covid removed any options for draft legal and it reverted to time trial only.  I managed to sprint up the inclines much better than the TT bikes, even the ones that had come past me, I was able to un-lap myself, well, until it flattened out again! I certainly had a better hill climbing bike and legs, but back onto the bars and I managed to keep a respectable speed up (33kph).

2nd Run – Here I just couldn’t quite get going as quickly as I had hoped. I felt awful in the legs for about 1km (as I was expecting) but I just didn’t have the same speed as the 1st run and dropped to 4:15/km pace when the hills were taken into account. I did settle in though and was able to finish without problems.

I was never overtaken in either run, so I did feel positive about that but it feels like I need more training required for the endurance element. What a brilliant experience and glad to have got a race under my belt in 2020.

Finish position – 2nd in Age Group (106% of their time) and 18th Overall.  I’m delighted with that Age Group finish (maybe I need to borrow a TT bike, to see if I should invest…)

Next Up – Clumber Park Duathlon, Sat 24th Oct (moved to Thoresby Hall next door) to handle the Covid friendly time trial starting formats. 806 people already entered…so more to follow after that. ????