DB Max Chilly Duathlon - Alex Cox
As the alarm went off at 06:30 I awoke and looked at my phone to see the day would be cold, wet and extremely windy. Not what I wanted to see when I would be racing a Duathlon a few hours later!
Unfortunately I could not do anything about the weather so I proceeded to start my race day ritual, 1st up was a bowl of porridge and a coffee while I study the course layout one last time.
Next up it was time to sort the bike. The weather reports said the wind would be around 40mph so I decided to go shallow on the front and keep the deep wheel on the back. I have not cycled on my TT in this kind of weather so would not have felt comfortable with 90mm on the front and back. I love taking to twitter the in the days before an event and getting little tips from my twitter friends and fellow Blair Davies Coaching Athletes @, @ and @ who are always keen to help.
I was very lucky that Andrew from Performance Cycles popped over on the Friday to have a look at my TT position and make a few quick tweaks to make me more comfortable on the bike. I will be going to see them in a few weeks for a full bike fit and lactic test but the quick tweak was very welcome. I continued to gather all my kit and packed it into the car ready for the trip down to Castle Combe.
When we arrived at the race track we got parked up and I headed to registration. As the event was run by DB Max it was very well staffed and organised and I was in and out in no time. Once I got back to the car it was time to open the welcome pack, put on my timing chip and get the stickers onto the helmet and bike.
As I got the bike into transition I could see a number of bikes that had been blown around and where swinging in the wind. All I could think about was my bike not getting damaged by a rogue bike, thankfully I was positioned around a number of TT bikes and we all racked by the leavers so where all nice and stable.
After the race briefing it was time to line up at the start. We all waited as a drizzle started and the horn went off. The run was a lap of the course perimeter which was a mix of trails, tarmac and grass. As soon as we hit the first bend the wind came and it was just a taste of what was to come. As I was running Blairs words before the race where going through my head. Stay consistent and remember to pace yourself.
I came in from the run feeling good, grabbed my bike and headed out to cycle 5 laps of the track. The wind was horrendous and for 3/4 of the track it was hard going but when I got to the protected part of the track I was flying and having a great time.
Unfortunately for the final 3 laps the wind became stronger and the rain closed in. By the time I reached had ended the cycle and entered the pits I was cold, wet and glad to get an extra layer on even if to was a bit damp. I grabbed my gel and headed out onto the 2nd lap of the run.
The 2nd run was harder the first, the cold, wind and the rain was starting to get to me and even though I knew it would not be long until I finish I was starting to doubt myself. The mind can be your best friend and your worst enemy when it comes to racing and it took me a moment to snap myself out and re-focus. As I started to increase my pace I caught a glimpse of a chap I had been racing against and decided I would not let him beat me. I kept my pace up and as we came round the final turn I was back on his shoulder and knew I could take him.
I decided to make my move and my legs took over. Within a few moments I was up to full pace and although he tried to counter he gave in when he knew he could not keep up. and I sprinted across the line.
Thats my 2nd challenge complete as part of my 12 months #borntotri challenge supporting Macmillan and I am now getting ready for the Silverstone Half Marathon on the 13th march.
If you want to help support my challenge you can donate at www.justgiving.co.uk/AlexCoxTri and don't forget to check back soon for my next update and race report.