Sam Hudson is a Team GB Age Group triathlete and a Sundried ambassador. He gives us a race report of his first duathlon of the 2018 season, Anglian Water Duathlon.
Anglian Water Standard Distance Duathlon
Despite it being a cold, wet and muddy day it felt good to get back to the start line and it was nice to race without any specific target.
Having never raced at Grafham Water before I wasn't sure what to expect, but from looking at the course online beforehand I knew the runs were effectively cross country and given the weather conditions were going to be hard going - in contrast the bike course looked pretty flat and fast which would provide good respite from the hard going runs.
Arriving at 7am there was still frost on the ground and a dense fog surrounded much of the lake. Luckily by the start time the frost and ice had cleared and visibility had improved (picking up a twisted ankle would not have been a positive start to the season).
The opening run was as expected, hard going, it was probably about 500m short of 10k but the undulating terrain and trail nature of the course more than made up for it. Heading out my main goal was not to get carried away and maintain as consistent and comfortable a pace as possible so I didn't burn out for the 40k bike. This worked in my favour, particularly up the hills, as I was able to reel in many of the quicker starters and managed to come into transition in around 15th position.
Heading onto the bike course I was mostly concerned with trying to keep the feeling in my fingers and taking on enough nutrition to not crumble in the second run. Pretty quickly I was able to settle into a good position on my aero bars and just focus on maintaining a comfortably uncomfortable pace while trying to pick up a few places over the hour. Overall the bike was uneventful, I managed for the most part to keep warm and although I lost a few spots I also managed to overtake a few and so finished up in roughly the same position as I started.
This left it all down to the last run, but as my plan was just to test my body at this early point in the year I again set a comfortably uncomfortable pace and looked to hold it while chasing down those ahead of me. Similar to the bike I was able to pick up a few spots but unfortunately got chased down by a runner behind over the last kilometre - I decided to resist the lung busting final km and inevitable sprint to the line and collapse and let him pass without much resistance (won't be doing that next time out).
Overall I crossed the finish line in 17th and 3rd in my age group, which for an early season tester I am pretty happy with. Both my run and biking felt good and definitely in a good position to build on to the next race (which having just been told it'll be the elite race at the national championships is going to be much faster and harder....)
Elite National Duathlon Championships, Bedford, 25th March.