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designed by Andrew and Pete
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This was my first ever attempt at a Duathlon (kinda like a triathlon but without the swimming!) and it involved a total marathon distance of 26.2 miles - broken down into a 7 mile run, 15 mile mountain bike ride and another 4 mile run (roughly). All of the sections were on the off road tracks and paths that circle Kielder reservoir which are quite 'undulating', shall we say? The route is the same one as is used the following day for a proper off road marathon, and having been around the course, I have massive respect for anyone running the whole distance there. It's quite brutal. It is billed as 'Britain's Most Beautiful' and I have to admit that it is by far the most scenic course I have had the pleasure of completing. The weather was good to us and stayed dry and pleasant with minimal wind and a decent temperature and had I been out for a little wander around the lake there would have been so many gorgeous photo opportunities. As it was I was too busy concentrating on making sure I didn't expend all my energy running up the hills in the first section, knowing that as I was getting all sweaty and shattered, I still had a bike ride and run to complete.
The other thing that really impressed me about the event was the organisation. Information and race packs were sent out well in advance and for those solo competitors in the run bike run, the movement of bicycles and kit from the start to the 2 transition zones and back again for collection at the end was smooth and trouble free. I think if I was to take part again, or indeed step up to a triathlon, the transition is easily a place that I could work on saving some time. I took it fairly slowly this time round being new to the whole experience and took on some energy gels and fluids while changing my shoes etc, which probably could have been done once underway and on the move again. I was still pleased with a time of under 3 hrs though, and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, despite the hard work and "jelly legs" that came with getting off the bike and trying to get back into running straight away.
My official results were as follows - so something to try to improve on in the future maybe??
Chip time 2:55:08
Position overall 71 of 163
Position male 63 of 115
Position Veteran40 male 17 of 41