Posts Tagged ‘duathlon’

Middleton Winter Duathlon

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018 | Sport

A few weeks ago I took part in the Middleton Winter Duathlon. It was a run-bike-run affair with 2.5km of running, 5km of biking and a final 2.5km of running.

The picture above is not Middleton woods. But I was too busy racing to take a photo so this stock one will have to do.

The event itself was reasonably well organised. There were plenty of marshalls. It wasn’t always quite clear where we were supposed to go, but on the whole, I got around. And I got a t-shirt, which isn’t bad for £5 registration.

The results haven’t appeared on the website. My phone clocked me in at 42:34. That’s quite slow, primarily because the bike course was entirely on a hill so my pace up the hill was much slower than it would be on the flat. It’s on Map My Run.

EDIT: They’ve seen emailed around a link to a Facebook page with the results displayed in a giant image. Strange, but it works. I came 13th out of a field of 35. My official time was 42:22.

How I survived Dry January

Friday, January 26th, 2018 | Sport

This isn’t about alcohol at all, of which I had some, but about sporty things that happened (or did not happen) in January.

In November, I injured my foot during a run. It didn’t seem too bad at the time but when the pain didn’t go away I knew something was up. So, I’ve been resting it since then and trying to build the strength back up in it.

I’m not sure whether it was worked or not. I’m still getting some pain when I run, but I’m not getting the pain first thing in a morning that I was. But maybe this will build up over time. It will be exciting (well, depressing) to find out.

This meant that I had to miss the Sir Titus Trot on 7 January. I was gutted. Less than a week into 2018 I had the chance to tick off one of my big fitness goals for the year: a sub-2 hour half marathon. Foot aside, I’m confident I could have hit that, especially in the chill of January and the flatness of the canal.

In another way, I’m proud of myself, though. It was an agonising two days after my doctor’s appointment, deciding whether “rest it completely” meant “rest it completely after your race on Saturday”. But, in the end, I managed to resist the temptation.

So, this has thrown my whole running plan off. I wanted to go on after the Sir Titus Trot and do more, but that’s all off the table now as well. The first three months of the year were a perfect time to get some running in at ideal temperatures before I move my focus to triathlon for the summer. Alas.

Bramham duathlon

Speaking of which, there was another Braham duathlon scheduled for Sunday 21 January. I was looking forward to using it as adversity training: racing it in the rain and the snow would give me confidence in my bike handling skills. Confidence which I want in case it rains in one of my A races for 2018.

Unfortunately, a survey of the bike course revealed it was too icy to race on, so the event had to be cancelled.

Tomorrow is the Middleton duathlon: let’s hope for better luck there.

Braham Pie-athlon

Monday, December 18th, 2017 | Sport

It’s Christmas. Which means mince pies are everywhere. In the kitchen. In the office. And, apparently, on the triathlon course. Why? Because last Sunday was the Braham pie-athlon.

Organised by Tadcaster Triathlon Team, it was identical to their first Go Tri event that I raced last month with one important difference: in each transition area, you had to scoff a mince pie.

I was hoping for good things. At the last one, I was ill. That said, I still completed it in a time of 33:21, and this time I had to add a few mince pies as well.

Despite a frosty and wet morning, the day warmed up a little. By the start of the race, it was a balmy 6 degrees Celsius. Everyone laughed at me for lining up on the start line in just a t-shirt, but it was clearly the correct decision as I was good temperature throughout the race.

And we’re off

The first 2km was relatively easy. I’m running on a damaged ankle at the moment, which gave me a bit of grief but didn’t slow me down.

However, things got tough as we arrived in transition one. I had done extensive training before the race. However, I had done it all using deep-filled mince pies. We were handed a thin and crispy one. This has a totally different filling to pastry ratio making it much more difficult to eat.

It also put me at a disadvantage against the people changing their shoes, as they could eat and shoe-change. Thus, it didn’t really slow them down. Whereas I was otherwise ready to pick my bike up.

The bike leg

I exited transition alongside one other guide and got ahead of him. For a good five metres. That was mainly due to me being able to hop on my bike quickly whereas it took him a few seconds to clip into his £2,000 Felt B-series TT bike. Once he had clipped in, he caught up pretty quickly.

We headed down the old A1 and I quickly overtook someone. I was then on my own for the next 3km before spotting someone in my metaphorical mirrors. I kept ahead of him for another 3km, but with 1km to go, he finally overtook me. The effort had worn him out though, and I took the place back as we reached the dismount line and ran into transition two.

The final sprint

We were handed our second mince pies as we left T2, meaning we could eat them on the run. This is hard to do. It’s impossible to eat and breathe in sufficient oxygen for running at the same time. But by the 500m mark I had I had finished munching and the stomach pains disappeared.

The results

I came 9th out of a field of 22. Last time I was 22 out of 32, which suggests that I am improving or that the good athletes were scared off by their lack of scoffing skills.

My final time was:


That means it was 1:04 slower than last time. Not a great result as even if you say it took me all of that time to scoff the mince pies, it means I haven’t really improved much.

However, it seems everyone found it harder.

The guy who won both races, Harry Robson, was 2:56 slower with this race. The guy who came second in this race was also 2:26 slower than the previous event. So, perhaps it was an improvement after all.

The splits

It’s impossible to report exact splits without a fancy triathlon watch (so, I will be needing one of those) but I can estimate it from the pace fluctuations.

I’ve put in last time as a comparison.

Section Pie-athlon Previous race
Run 9:52 9:48
T1 2:05 (11:57) 0:35 (10:23)
Bike 16:57 (28:52) 17:32 (27:55)
T2 0:35 (29:27) 0:50 (28:45)
Run 4:58 (34:25) 4:36 (33:21)
Total 34:25 33:21
Gap to winner 5:10 7:02

Looking at the data, I think it’s probably nonsense: you just cannot accurately gauge which section is which without a clear marker that a sports watch would provide.


It was a lot of fun. I would definitely do another pie-athlon. Tadcaster Triathlon Team did a great job of organising it. I finished the day with a long bath. For my bike. Then I had a quick shower with the remaining hot water.

GO TRI Braham

Monday, November 20th, 2017 | Sport

Hot off the heels of GO TRI Temple Newsam, I signed up for GO TRI Braham.

It was a different setup: less running and more cycling. The cycling was on the road and slightly less hilly. It was also more competitive: people turned up with racing bikes and separate shoes for running and cycling.

The competitiveness was most obvious on the road. I held my own on the run but I was overtaken by a lot of people in the cycle, even on the climb. The revised format made it a quicker course, though, and in the end, I finished 22nd, same as last week.

My time was 33:21

Despite being slow relative to the other athletes, I wasn’t too disappointed by my time. Despite being ill, I still averaged 24kmph. That is nothing to write home about if you are a cyclist. But, as I struggled to get my speed above 20kmph on the towpath, and kept telling myself I would be faster on clear roads, a little vindication did make me feel better.

The event was well organised and the results were online the same day.

GO TRI Temple Newsam

Sunday, November 19th, 2017 | Sport

Last week, I completed my first triathlon. Except it wasn’t a triathlon, nor was it anything like a real distance.

It was the “GO TRI Temple Newsam”, a novice event designed to get people into triathlon that is organised by the British Triathlon federation. It took the format of a duathlon with a 2km run, 5km bike and another 2km run.

Despite a slow start, leaving me dead last, I managed to pull up the pace and pass most of the field. In the end, I came home in 22nd position, out of a field of 58. Not a total disaster for my first event.

My time was 37:07.

Coming off the bike was hard. I did a duathlon training session on my birthday, and for the first kilometre, I had no running legs. That’s not a huge thing when you are running 10k, but quite a big thing when you are only running two.

It was also a good reminder that my descending on the bike sucks. I lost a few places coming down the hill because I was on my breaks and other people weren’t. Luckily, what goes down must come up, and I was a faster climber than everyone who overtook me.

Event-wise, I think it was good. It felt a tad disorganised at times, but that didn’t really matter: everyone knew what was going on and there were marshalls at all of the key points, so that is all you need.

My only criticism is that we were promised a secure transition area for our bikes. But, that turned out to be the middle of the field. Not a problem when you are riding a Halfords-own-brand bike, but if you brought your £1,000 bike (which is pretty common if you are into your cycling) you would probably be quite annoyed.

It was good fun and I would do it again. Especially when it warms up a little bit!