Hi Lee.. here's the Grizedale Duathlon blog right here:
Round 3 of the High Terrain Duathlon Series was at Grizedale in the Lake District. Having raced rounds 1 & 2 at Whinlatter and Kielder it felt like we were old hand at it.
Again Steve and I had running partners, Steve teamed up into a male team with Chris Dunn and I teamed up with Jenni Campbell both from Team Berghaus. The night before we stayed at Chris’s family cottage in Burrow-in-Furness, it was a bit of a relief to know that we didn’t have to get up super early for a wintery drive across to the Lakes!
This round was the same format as before, run, bike, run, the two running sections were the same at 6.5km and the bike compromised of 24km taking in “The North Face” trail. This is a trail that’s been around for long time now when trail centres were just starting to get popular, it feels quite dated these days though with too much fire road and trail care neglect. Anyway, we set about getting our kit ready and went through registration, this is the time when you start getting nervous. I think for me it’s with the smells, 'Deep Heat' wafting through the crowds and the smell of heavily used toilets from all the nervous bodies. Not to mention lycra clad bodies over spilling and making my stomach churn.
Steve was armed with his 29'er and I had my overkill Trek Remedy, not to worry though, she knows how to dig deep!! Jenni and Chris were chomping at the bit, their times against each other are pretty damn close and this race proved just that!
The gun went off at 10am and by 10.37am Chris came running into the transition area, 35 seconds later Jenni came hurtling through, throwing the dibber over my neck and screaming at me to go, go, GO! I went off as fast I could and left those two to embrace the minus zero temperatures while I battled out the 24km of singletrack and fire road!
The first climb was painful after having been stood all morning in the cold, I overtook a couple of naughty faces on the technical climbs but was then overtaken by the same faces on the fire roads sprints!! Grrr…can’t wait to get my new Team Issue FTW hardtail built up!!
The trails continued, heading down a long steep fire road to then be faced with an immediate climb straight back out the other side. I was dying to finish, 1hr 47mins it took me to get around and it felt like a lifetime. I screeched into the transition area throwing the dibber over Jenni’s head this time and yelling at her to GO! GO! GO! - I later found out we positioned first out of every single competitor on the transition time, 11 seconds!!
Steve had been back about 20 mins, taking 1hr 27mins around the loop and feeling hopeful that he and Chris were going to place well. Steve and I both agreeing that the bike bit wasn’t really our cup of tea but should be good training for the first Gravity Enduro down in Afan a couple of weeks after.
We waited anxiously for Chris to finish, he went just over a minute slower than his first time so pretty good with a sprint finish. Jenni came through a little while after and only 2 mins slower than her first time, keeping close the 40 minute mark. Chris and Steve had placed 2nd in the male teams and Jenni and I had won the women's teams. We also placed 4th across all paired teams so pretty darned happy!
Next stop was the wee chip shore on the shores of Lake Windermere! …..and.... Relax!! Don’t do it…when you wanna go to it!!