Having caught the duathlon bug back in October last year I’ve been taking part in the winter duathlons hosted at the Lee Valley VeloPark, the most recent being the East London Triathletes Winter Warmer.
The day started, as it usually does, with my two children waking me up at around 6:30am asking for breakfast so once I’d served them it was a hearty bowl of porridge with mixed fruit and a strong cup of coffee for me.
I’m an organised person and so my bag had been packed, unpacked to check I’d packed everything, and re-packed the night before as well as my TT bike being checked and double-checked to avoid any mechanicals so all I needed to do was get everything into the car and get on my way from Southend to East London.
On arriving at the venue the conditions looked perfect, a gentle breeze and sunshine, so I racked my bike and headed to the changing rooms. On race days I always wear my Sundried men's trisuit and race belt and I’d recently treated myself to some Sundried running socks – there's nothing quite like the simple joy of fresh socks – so once I was changed into my race kit and wrapped-up warm I headed to the registration area to sign in and collect my numbers.
With numbers applied to bike, helmet and race belt it was time to warm-up, take in the race briefing and then get to the start line for the first run. The race format was two laps, ten laps, one lap, with each lap being one mile, so I knew I could go out quite fast and was pleased to be near the sharp end once we reached the first transition.
Onto the TT bike and the conditions were so good I knew I’d take a fair chunk of time out of previous races on this course and I was happy to complete the ten laps in 27:32, nearly two and a half minutes better than my previous best – all that winter training must be paying off!
The last run was a flat out sprint to the line for one lap, leaving nothing behind. At the line I had no idea where I’d finished but was quietly confident I’d do well in my age-group. After collecting my bike and kit from transition and getting changed it was time for the medals to be handed out. I was delighted to hear my name called for the silver medal in my age group and later discovering that I’d finished 17th out of a field of 87.
After the awards it was time for a quick coffee in the Velodrome and some reflection on the race. I’m really pleased with how my fitness and race technique has improved since my first duathlon and it can only bode well for the bigger events I have planned later in the year. My Sundried kit performed brilliantly on the day and I can’t wait to get back into race kit for my next duathlon.
About the author: Dan Walsh is a duathlete and Sundried ambassador.