Race Report: Ashbourne Duathlon

Me and RhodriWeather had been awful for days. Officially much of the UK is in a drought – but it’s been the wettest drought we’ve known for years! Nonetheless, weather was dry but windy. Was quite nervous to start with as I’d not done an endurance event for several years. (Ok, I did the Matlock Triathlon, sprint distance, 2 years ago, but since then perhaps 5-6 years since.)

Course:

  • Run: 12kms around Carsington Water
  • Bike: 40kms via Wirksworth, Via Gelia and Longcliffe
  • Run: 4kms out-and-back

Plan:

  1. Brekky: corn flakes about 1 hour before start, 1/2 dose of normal insulin amount
  2. Run: carbohydrate drink (either Viper Active or PSP22)
  3. T1: TEST + flap jack and gel
  4. Assuming a 90 min bike: gel every half hour, TEST after 1 hour
  5. T2: TEST + gel

Had a hypo the night before, ate too much to recover and awoke with sugar level 16.9.

Brekky as planned 1 hour before race but in actuality the plan didn’t go according to plan.

Run: as planned with carbo drink.

T1: Sugar level: 8.9. Completely forgot to take flapjack and gel I was so intent on getting out on the bike.

Bike: Remembered as soon as I was on bike to take gel. Thought about turning round, but no! I’m on a mission. Opening a gel at speed isn’t easy as I found out as much of it went over my brand new Patagonia top!

Gel #2 after 30 mins. Stopped at top of Middleton after 60 mins to test and take gel #3. By this time the small bag on my top tube holding gels, testing kit etc was very sticky as the remnants had leaked inside. So, sticky fingers, sticky test strip box, sticky lancer! Sugar level: 7.9 and the warning light on the meter came on saying low battery! The bugger was that I’d just caught up this chap at the top of Middleton hill and had to let him go as I had to test.

As a ‘just in case’ I’d put more gels and tabs than planned into the top tube bag. As I’d forgotten to take on board fuel at T1 I’d have been buggered if I’d not done this as the bike took longer than expected. Finished gel #4 at 90 mins and started on a couple of Dextrose tabs. Felt my biking uphill had improved as I caught up and rode past people (including the guy I had to let go) despite my 2 minute or so stop for testing! I’ll say that again: ‘I caught up and rode past people’! Unheard of. This put some wind in my sails and I blitzed the last few kms.

T2: OMG what happened? After digging my über sticky testing kit out of the bag: first test strip failed to work; second didn’t take enough blood, battery indicated it was dying! Had taken another kit again just in case – good idea, remember for next race. Dug it out and tested: sugar level 9.1. Transition took me 4:17!

Final run as expected but amazingly windy. End, sugar level: 8.7. All in all, I’d say that was pretty damned good for my sugar levels.

The event took me 3 hours 29 mins. Not very fast though I don’t think I could have gone any faster. It’s OK I suppose. Would have liked to have biked faster but at least I now know my speed. But hey, I did it. That’s the main thing. I reckon testing my sugar levels added on about 7-8 mins. Here’s my route.

Rhodri was much faster at 2 hours 50 mins, but he’s a 2-time Ironman and regularly enters events despite him saying he didn’t feel really fit!

Evening meal: Big Mac, large fries, large Diet Coke, filet-o-fish and cheeseburger – ohhh yeaahhh!