Sunday, 19 October 2008

Secret Unseen Forces

Well at least it's not as cold as it was when I last did a Duathlon at Bosworth Water Park. That day in February it must have been minus something, out of the wind, God knows what it was in the wind. Having said that the wind from the lake makes it feel colder than it should be today. It's actually quite a nice morning and we have a nice civilised start time of 10.30. Even my mother is tempted to support at her first duathlon. Not sure whether it's me or the cakes in the café that are the attraction.

The cold but not too cold weather gives me a dilemma over kit. At first, I put long trousers on but then decide it's actually nice enough to do it in shorts. I keep my gloves on though.

They've altered the run course this year, rather than a lap around the lake followed by a run down the road to the next village, they make us do two laps around the lake. This means its all on grass, which isn't really my terrain. Despite that, and a much faster pace than last year, I'm 11th after the first run and sufficiently warmed up to ditch the gloves.

On the downside, two girls have overtaken me, even having the audacity to chitchat to each other as they did so, as if it was just a Sunday morning jog. L tells me a third girl passes me in transition. Once on the bike though, it seems that some secret unseen force is perhaps pulling in my direction. First, I pass one of the girls at the roadside putting her chain back on. Shame. Unfortunately, it doesn't delay her for long enough and she soon gets back ahead of me. Then I pass one of the chitchatters at the roadside being assisted by a marshal, presumably she's had a puncture. As for the third girl, L tells me she had to run the last bit with her bike but despite that, I still can't catch her. L reckons that’s evidence that I definitely need a new bike.

Maybe but perhaps, its some new knees I need. My dodgy knee gives me a bit of hassle. Perhaps I ought to try adjusting my saddle height. Then to make things worse, just a few miles from the end of the bike course and just as my leg is about to fall off, two chaps pass me. Incensed, I fight to stay as close to them as possible, limiting my losses, because if I can keep the gap reasonable, I should be able to pass them on the second run.

I feel I've lost a mountain of places but I come in 15th, so it couldn't have been as bad as it seemed and I'm just about to get two of those places back. I set off for the second run in determined mood and pass the two guys within the first 500m. Runners, they clearly are not. Beyond that, there's no one really in sight, so I concentrate on making sure that I am not chased down.

My time is eight minutes quicker than last year, which has probably more to do with the not so strong wind as to do with my performance but still I'm pleased. Despite help from the secret unseen forces there's still two of the female species ahead of me and predictably several people older than me.

We retire to the pub for a beer and then stay in, in the evening, and devour a couple of big bottles of Leffe Brune between us.

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