WHAT: Super-sprint duathlon, 3k run-12.5k cycle-3k run
WHEN: 22nd February 2014
WHERE: Dorney Lake, Berkshire
I wasn't. That was a lie. But this friendly fib from a speedy tri biker gave me just enough mental strength to not quit half way through my duathlon. Being overtaken and lapped by everyone, including nine mountain bikes, was starting to take its toll on my confidence. How on earth am I so slow?! A daydream explained that I had two punctures but battled on like a hero to finish the race. No such luck. The bike was fine, the problem was with me.
But despite being so terrible at cycling that my name didn't even feature in the results table, the beauty of this race was that no one knew just how far back I was. My fellow super-sprinters were joined on the start line by those competing in the sprint and olympic distances – double and quadruple our mileage. So when I was still struggling on the bike and others in my event were finishing their final run, my absolute last place was camouflaged by those racing further.
Although I was disappointed in my poor pedalling, I didn't feel completely defeated. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere meant no one seemed to judge my snail speed – there were first-timers and regular speed machines racing side by side. And for each, there was a welcome venue feature – Dorney Lake is flat, flat, flat! Perfect for PBs and the hill shy. What's more if, like me, you don't quite make it to the results table or you'd like to see your name further up the list, there are four races in the series (two now left). Plenty of opportunities to improve. After all, surely, I can only get better!
You can enter the next race in this series here.