September 28, 2013

Forest of Dean Duathlon - Race Review

On the 15th of September I competed in the Forest of Dean Duatlon.

The race consisted of a 10k run, 40k bike, 2k run.

Brewer half assured me that last year there were loads of punters, so I probably wouldn't be last. Brewer half and our friend Speedy O'Irish headed off at 7:30am.  As we drove to the start the weather looked increasingly dire:
 I started to prepare myself for 3 hours of rainy exertion.  Surprisingly we were one of the first to arrive, which made me wonder why I was stupid enough to wake up at 6:45 on a Sunday morning at all.

I didn't see any punters, and started to get a little nervous when the guy next to me started assembling his full Time Trial bike
But soon it was time for my favorite part of the race - race numbers!  This one was especially awesome because they used sharpie to write the number on my leg AND my arm
Despite being number 1438, there were only about 60 people competing.  When we got to the lineup they asked if I as doing the short or the long course, apparently there was a short course which was 1 lap of the 5k run, then 1 lap of the 20k bike, then 2 laps of the lake (2k).  I asked if I could decide after the first lap of the run.

We racked the bikes (notice huge lack of punter bikes!) and then headed to the start line

The race started and within 5 minutes I was off the back of the group, and within 10 minutes I couldn't see anyone ahead of me.  When I finished the first lap the marshals asked if was on the long course or short, but I decided to stick with the long.  So I headed out for my second lap.  It was a very nice course, about 3k steady uphill and 2k down.  But quite scenic - since I was already last I stopped for this photo
I finished the run in 1hr 10min, which beat my last 10k by 6 minutes.  Yahoo!  The bike was a bit hard as there were quite a few hills, but even though I wasn't the fastest I still felt like I was moving at a decent pace.

On the second hill of the first lap I passed a puffing lady on a road bike and then a guy on a mountain bike, and finally a lady on a hybrid.  I'm not very good at hills but spinning past people while they grind up feels awesome.

I knew I was 3rd from last after the ride but really didn't want to come in last as I started the final run. The first lap of the lake was painful as my legs were so tired from the first run and the cycle, and I know my movements were a hideous lumbering gait, but I didn't care. I did walk a bit.  From across the lake I saw the lady with the hybrid and I knew she was one place behind me so I made sure to finish in front of her, which I did by at least 3 minutes.

Horray I was done!

Speedy O'Irish and Brewer half were waiting for me at the end, as they had been done for a while. Speedy O'Irish had come in as first lady, and Brewer Half had come in before her, so both were happy with the result.  I had come in Not-Last, so I was pretty happy too.

Overall it was a really good race, well organized, nice people, scenic course, and I got a race medal and a tee-shirt! Looking forward to doing it again next year!


  1. That's awesome! :)

    Just found your blog the other day (when googling how to stay warm when riding a bike in the winter).

    Great job on the race!

    Do you ride a road bike?

    1. Thanks! I did have a road bike - it's nothing too fancy but a great entry level. This was the on-road duathlon, while I know they do some off-road ones I couldn't find them but I'm glad I took a road bike because it would have been mega-effort on anything else!

  2. You should be thrilled! You finished in the top 27 among all competitors! And in the top 7 females!