Diss Duathlon is one of my favourite local events. It provides a good early test of fitness, but is also a very friendly and relaxed race just 7 miles from home.
Jake Brockwell (One of the young and talented athletes on the Beacon Tri team) kindly offered to Guide. Jake's a fast runner and has posted 2:52 marathon as well as impressive times over shorter distances so I would have my work cut out even on good form!
Jake had previous ridden on a tandem with his girlfriend (who apparently wasn't that keen!) but racing is a bit different. We managed a hour practise the day before and to be fair Jake seemed to be a natural on the front, always good for the old nerves:-)
I'd had a dodgy few weeks in the lead up to the race. First I picked up a calf niggle forcing me to miss the Wymondham 20 miler the week before. Then my back issues flared up as they still do from time to time. Some acupuncture seemed to settle it down a bit. Finally I ended up losing my voice for a few days, most likely due to being run down from a busy work and training schedule. I feeling a bit sorry for myself and not even sure I would be able to participate until the day before.
Race day came and as expected I struggled on both of the 5.something km runs around the town. My back was still a bit annoyed and I was generally a bit knackered. On the plus side I ran consistently badly. We were however pretty good out on the bike leg with Jake doing a great job of the steering and riding strongly. In fact he put so much into it that at the mandatory foot-down point he got cramp as we approached the line and we almost couldn't stop!
In the end we came in 14th from, a decent-sized field. Jake looked like he had been recovering throughout the second run which was someway off his normal pace.
Thanks to Jake for guiding and doing such a good job on his debut.
Also well done to eventual winner Joe Skipper, but also to 17 year old Luke Lynds (also from our Beacon Tri team) who finished 4th over-all and won his age group.