Clumber Classic Duathlon – 6th March 2010

March12/ 2010

Camilla and Joan travelled up to Nottinghamshire last weekend to compete in the Clumber Classic Duathlon, based around beautiful Clumber Park, a National Trust property. The race was over the standard distance of 10K run, 40K bike and 5K run and served as both the British National Championships race and a qualifying race for this year’s ITU World Duathlon Championships. It was a seriously competitive race as a result and some of the times posted were scarily fast! The Worlds are being held in Edinburgh in September and we were both aiming to gain a qualifying slot in the race.

Race day dawned cold and wet which was a real disappointment  (4 degrees and raining didn’t inspire confidence) but we registered early to avoid the rush, and spent ages debating how many layers we’d need to wear in order to keep warm, but not overheat – always a difficult decision in conditions like this. Our race eventually started at 9:30am and by this time the rain had stopped but it certainly wasn’t any warmer. I opted for a thermal top and Goretex cycling jacket for the entire race which turned out to be the right decision for me. Camilla donned two layers also but we were amazed at some of the duathletes who raced in nothing more than trisuits and arm warmers.

Camilla did a brilliant first 10K in 40m 18s (6th fastest in her 35-39 age group), and Joan was happy with 42m 27s (3rd fastest in the 50-54 age group). The bike course was undulating and deceptively hard, with some sections where I could swear it looked like downhill but it turned out to be uphill – most odd! The bike was where both of us need to work on our times: Camilla’s time of 1:16:06 was 9th fastest in her age group and my time of 1:18:45 put me 5th. Our final 5K runs showed how consistent we are with our running and Camilla’s 5K of 21m 30s was 6th fastest again and my 22m 38s was 3rd fastest. Camilla had the distinct disadvantage of having Emma Dews and Esther Evans competing in her age group who were the eventual 2nd and 3rd placed female athletes in the entire race!!

So we ended up being happy with our results for such an early-season, cold race. Camilla finished in 2hr 20m 19s putting her 7th and I managed 2hr 26m 24s which was enough to get 3rd in my age group. Camilla, while meeting the qualifying standard for the Worlds in Edinburgh, will have to wait and see if she gets a place once the other qualifiers have taken place as the 4 available places were all allocated at Clumber. I have got my place in Edinburgh in September so this means lots more bike training over the summer to try and get faster (I say this every year but it never seems to work!)

We’re glad we went and raced and it’s always a privilege to be racing on the same course as some of the best in the country – it puts our own minor achievements into perspective and has inspired us to strive for more.

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