Part of my new years resolution to try a few different things, led me to enter the short race of the Glentress winter duathlon series this year. "Extreme" Gillian was also keen to give it a go as was "Intrepid" Corrie who had taken part last year.
The series consists of 3 races : A Medium (in Nov), a Short (in Jan) and a Long (in March). Being new to this game I though the short would be a good place to start.
The event is centered in the Buzzard car park in Glentress, where the registration, Transition and finish all take place.
The first leg was a 5K off road run. Started with a pretty long climb up the main track. Pretty hard going (due to lack of training), but felt quite strong and picked up plenty places in the field. Then the course just dived off into the forest and it was just a case of following the tape markings. It was good off road stuff, lots of mud, bog and trees to clamber over. I felt I was running well picked up quite a few places during the course of the run. I would say (to be fair) most of the competitors where probably bikers, so got myself up the field however that was about to change !
My transition to the bike wasn't very slick. A few school boy mistakes were made. Firstly I never untied my bike shoes so I had to untie them, one of my lenses fell out of my cycling glasses so had to scrabble about in the grass for them and lastly I should have had a bottle of juice to drink at the change.
However I got it all sorted and out on the bike. This stage as a 7KM Mountain bike ride. Again a nice big climb to start with. I was able to pick up a few more on the ascent. After a while the climb continued on a narrow single track with lots of hair pins, really hard going especially with the feet clipped into the pedals. Managed to get to the top of the course losing only a few places, but now we were on the downhill !!!. Nerve - wracking to say the least, full concentration on the mud, rocks, tree roots and lots of crazy guys just going for it down hill. Lost a few places here being a bit of a "feardie", but managed to regain a few towards the end on the up hill sprint to the finish.
The event was really good fun and well organised, electronic tags, well marshalled and marked course and lots of free cakes and tea coffee at the end !!!!
102 competitors took place and I was 37th after the run, coming in 42 overall so very pleased with my debut. Both Gillian and Corrie found the cycling tough but both came in with big smiles and lots of mud on their faces.
After refreshment stayed on for a few more runs at a more leisurely pace !!!!
Full results :-