I raced at Darley Moor today in the Euro 2020 Sprint Duathlon qualifier. We decided to turn the trip into a family mini-break to the Peak District and headed up on Friday for a couple of days exploring the beautiful countryside in the Spring sunshine.
Seemingly, as with every big Duathlon event I’ve done, today’s weather was grim. It was good to have experienced racing in the monsoon of Bedford last year. I learned from that and tried to avoid too much procrastinating while staring at the sky.
Darley Moor was the race last year where I accidentally did an extra lap on the bike and killed my race. It’s easily done on such a short circuit (8 laps for 20km). My goal this year was to learn from that experience too and to generally avoid any obvious cock ups.
I started at what should have been a manageable pace on the run but began to suffer quite hard. I’m not exactly sure why. Possibly as it was my first Duathlon in over six months. It was nothing catastrophic, it just meant I needed to rein it in a touch.
The bike went well. The track felt slippery so I made sure to keep upright on the corners. I maintained a good speed and overtook quite a few riders while recovering from overdoing it on the first run.
My final run hurt. Especially as I was again going slower than I wanted. I persevered and crossed the line in a respectable time. I think I missed out on automatic qualification for next year’s Euros by just 3 seconds. But a few “roll down” places are offered to the fastest 5 or 6 runners-up over all the qualifying events. I’m currently fastest runner-up over the past two events with one to go so hopefully a roll-down place is fairly secure.
It was great to have my wife and kids along to support and to turn it into a fun weekend away. Despite the appearance of the photo above I think at least one of them had a good time!
Once home and unpacked I took the kids out for a cycle. They both wanted to do a duathlon so they ended up running and cycling and running up and down the street! It was pretty cute