1 race, 1 win for 2020 so far from the Gravesend Cyclopark Duathlon, don’t think the year could have started better competition wise.

Ultimately this should have been the 2nd race of the year. The storms however forced the postponement of what would have been the first until two weeks time.

So how did things go down in the first big test of 2020?

(for the last race report – Ironman France no less – click HERE)

Race Lowdown –

At the back end of 2019 me and coach Deano discussed what the best lead in to IMUK 2020 would be.

The advice was, 2 duathlons early in the year, 2 middle distance late spring time, IMUK in July.

So the search was on for some races, the fact this one was only a half hour away from me, and the fact it was all traffic free was a bit of a draw – even though the bike was 30k rather than 40k.

The strange distance also drove the decision that this would be a training race within a big weekend of training (the next one will be a bit more rested).

Overall it was a great race, well organised, some great communication from the organisers (even an email the day before to let us know the course was changed due to – you guessed it – the weather).

Was pleased to my friend from work along as well, Craig Salmon – so the NASM/Premier Global representation was strong 🙂

He smashed his first duathlon, coming off his first 5k run in 20min and bagging an overall finish of sub 1hr 20min when his goal was a 1 hr 30 finish, bravo, cracking result. Big things to come if this is the way he starts!

The day started with some random drama – a crashed traffic police car on the A13 resulting in a mega queue and a bit of stress.

On way to the race - in traffic

Then I nearly missed the start of the race through pissing about with my transition set up – schoolboy error (lol).

So how did the race go…..

Run #1 – 5.67 miles – 34min 15s – 6:02/mile

Gravesend Cyclopark Duathlon Run 1

Well run 1 got off to a flying start (literally).

I learned a valuable lesson as well.

My race was not the only one on the day – there was also a shorter sprint race (5k – 20k – 5k).

Made the dumbass mistake of not paying attention to race numbers, and assuming that the dudes with super fast looking bikes would be in my race.

When those lot went off from the gun at 5.45/mile pace I was thinking ‘shit, these guys are fast, i’d better get on my toes here’. How surprised was I when they all pulled off after 2 laps and 5k to start their 20k bike.

Leaving me with a minute or so lead and screaming legs for the rest of the 10k run – lol!

The run ended in a fastest time and a breakthrough of holding 6:02/mile, I am a little gutted that it was just shy of 10k as that would have given me a PB by a minute and a half!

So far so good!

Bike – 30k – 50m 30s – 22.2mph Average @ 232 average watts

Gravesend Cyclopark Duathlon Bike

This was the bit I was really excited about.

The first chance to get my new bike out and fully opened up!

It did not disappoint, super stiff, super aero, super fast.

This section was 12 laps of the cycle circuit, which had its own challenges – counting being one of them.

In the end I went off distance on the Garmin. Seems to have worked seeing as I won and didn’t get disqualified.

The other was the wind, which was epic in places, there were some raised eyebrows when I rocked up running a trispoke and a disc wheel lol.

Had a couple of squeaky bum moments but otherwise all was good (lol).

Still waiting for the official result but on estimation I think I may just have nicked the fastest bike time – we will see.

Overall though, super happy with this, legs felt great, bike felt awesome, can’t ask for more.

Run #2 – 2.39 miles – 14min 49s – 6:12/mile

Gravesend Cyclopark Duathlon Run 2

Time for the tough one – run 2.

Everyone who has done a duathlon knows the hell that is run 2.

This applies even more when the first half is uphill!

I actually thought I was going to buckle many times in this section. Luckily I managed to hang on and bag the win though. Cheers to Craig for the mega flattering finish pic lol (honestly though, thanks mate, hugely appreciated).

Finishing the Gravesend Cyclopark Duathlon

So overall I am mega happy – still a little shocked but very happy! I honestly thought that at 37 years of age my days of winning anything were over!

Big thanks to my coach Dean, his website is HERE if you want to take your performance to the next level!

Onwards to the next then – two weeks time in Berkhamsted, can I keep the 100% rate going – time will tell!

Thanks for reading, as always

Michael