Some might say sticking a run either end of mountain bike ride is a good way to ruin a perfectly good ride- others (probably mad ones) say it actually adds to the fun. So the scene was set for for the Cirencester off road duathlon. A duathlon replacing the triathlon’s cold wet swim with one extra cold wet run!
Cirencester Park is where it was held and is part of the Bathhurst Estate. The Dowager Countess Bathurst kindly lets the event happen in a corner of her estate i.e. her bloomin big back garden! For those that don’t know Dowager means a widow’d woman with property/ title left by her husband- so for all you single guys there’s a catch right there as cycling is not normally allowed in the estate.
There is a short course- 1mile run followed by mountain bike ride (no cross bikes allowed) followed by another 1mile run. 5 brave club members signed up for the long course – 2mile run/10mile ride/ 2mile run). The run consisted of two laps completely cross country on grass and wooded trails. Reasonably flat too with 500ft of climbing. The mud was deep and puddles aplenty. I nearly lost a shoe at one point it being nearly torn from one of my feet by a particularly aggressive muddy puddle.
The ride was again reasonably flat ride (622ft of climbing) on mixed terrain of roads, grass and forested deep wet muddy ruts. I had a good ride averaging 11.5mpg coming 20th in my category and 51 overall (out of 172 starters). The muddiness and ruts and race bottlenecks playing their part. My runs were about 9minute mile so improvement needed there. Overall I was 72nd (and 27th out of 58 in my category) just being pipped to the post for the clubs fastest place of 71st by a superb effort by Paul Bullimore.
Learning points for me to take to the next race (which is apprantly in February for those that fancy a go) is to sort my transitions out. Too much faffing swopping from spds to trainers and not doing laces up properly (but I blame the cold hands for that as honestly I know how to do them up properly now I’m grown up- honest!) Don’t attempt to wipe the mud out of your eyes with an already horrendously muddy glove- it makes it worse! And try not to cramp up too much next time when all you’re doing is just putting on some trainers!
Congratulations too to Scott Marsh and Lisa Neale for completing the race in fine style as well. Lisa’s bike was a total mud magnet and by the end of the ride you couldn’t see her front mech or half the bike and her tyres had ballooned from 27.5×2.25 to 29×3.0+ fat tyres because of the attached mud. The bike must have weighed 40+lbs! Sterling effort from the club’s sole lady entrant.
A special mention to Andrew Titcombe who in reality shouldn’t have raced due to a nasty injury but raced anyway. He’s still a machine even with only one working leg and doped up to gills on every pain killer invented by man – kudos Sir.
For those fancying a try and love a frolic in the mud this is well organised friendly event and good fun (in a kind of cold, wet, muddy, heart rate to the max kind of way).
Below is a link to the results and the sign up page for the next race( although it doesn’t look like February’s event has a date as yet).
See you there. Cheers 👍