Richard H's third race - 14th April 2012

I had earmarked the full-on duathon as quite a big early season target, mostly because of the large field that I knew it would attract. Sure enough, quite some time before the event, the website declared that the race was fully subscribed at 250 competitors and the reserve list was full.

Arriving at Kempton Park with my son Ben we set about racking the bike in transistion and making sure that everything was set up just right for when I came in from the first run. The format was 6km run (3 laps), 18.5 km bike (6 laps), then another 6 km (3 laps) run to finish. Whilst warming up, I watched the senior men go off first - a very big group and some fit looking runners.

At 9.30 it was the vets turn and after a short briefing the horn sounded and away we went. This time I was determined to set a faster run pace, even if it meant paying for it later, so I actually led the first half lap of the run before dropping back slightly into the first 10 or so runners.

The pace was hard for 3 laps and on checking my pace later on I had run at about 6.20 min/mile so a fair step up from last time. Into transistion, and a smooth change to the bike of about 30 seconds had me out and on more familiar territory.

I felt really fast on the bike and very quickly started to pass people. It became a little confusing as to who was who, because we had now become mixed in with the male group who had set off earlier, but I always work on the theory that when there's no one left to pass you must be in the lead.

At this point I was very close to the front posting one of the top 5 bike splits of the day which was pleasing. Into the second transistion and with helmet off and trainers on, I found myself running alone, so tried to set a good pace. However on the last lap I heard footfall behind me, and sure enough a group of three runners came past and grudgingly I had to let them go. Then an age group GBR runner came by and I managed to hang on to him, but only just! As we came into the finishing straight, I gave everything I had left (not much) and managed to re-pass him for 6th place in the veteran category and 19th overall in a finishing time of 1.19.02, so I was very pleased to get a result like that in a good field.

I feel I'm not far from the top 3 in my category now, which is where I aim. Some more running and a bit more weight loss should hopefully see that happen. Anyway, next up is the St Ives 10 with some of the boys so see you then.