Bedford – British Duathlon Championships – April


The racing season started with a duathlon at the Bedford Autodrome. My aim was to qualify for the European Duathlon races later in the year in Spain, as I was only back in training for a month after a running injury which had meant no running January and February. As an ex-airfield and now a racetrack both bike and run were very flat, and treeless.

Luckily for the AG competitors the early morning was sunny with only a slight breeze – the elite races took place in much breezier conditions mid-day. Nursing a potential injury, I was very cautious on the first run, letting the legs warm up and drafting into the slight breeze where ever possible. Back into transition and

Back into transition and on to the bike, I was quite happy my legs had behaved on my longest run for three months and could now work on the bike. Racing circuits are VERY smooth – at least around Bedford way, and it was a pleasure to crank out 40km on the nice smooth circuit. The closed roads also meant plenty of room to pick a way past other competitors – just as well as the bike consisted of eight laps – so plenty of traffic was present both overtaking and being overtaken. However this was done and I managed to count to eight correctly, so only the second run to go.

Once in transition, I managed one running shoe on when the other calf decided to cramp when I lifted my foot to get the shoe on. After two attempts and two cramps, the problem was solved by sitting down and reaching the foot that way. Back on my feet I discovered that I could limp out of T2 but running was not really feasible. Luckily as I ran the cramp released a bit, and so I was able to gradually progress from a limp to a shuffle to a plod (that was about it….). It’s depressing when 5k feels a long way, but trying to angle the foot\leg so as to not cramp again gives you something to think about.  Finally, I stumbled across the line, having done 5k on approximately 1.6 legs – or at least that’s what it felt like. I was quite happy as I’d just wanted to get round and qualify – but once the result were confirmed there was another surprise – I was British Champion. Lesson learned – keep going even when cramping – the others might be doing worse!

Lesson learned – keep going even when cramping – the others might be doing worse!

Race Report by: Chris Owens