What a great race name, right? And so very appropriate for a race happening the first weekend into the New Year. After several weeks of indulgence back in Canada over the holidays, it was a good shock to the system to jump right into a race. While I did a lot of running and fun family fitness over the holidays, I definitely had my fair share of food and wine. I drank wine every day. A lot of it. The Mince Pie’s Revenge Duathlon was the perfect kickstart to 2017. And I even managed to go out for dinner the night before and NOT have wine with my meal! Well done, self. #Willpower.
This was the exact same race that I did last year at the Lee Valley Velopark at Olympic Park. It is on a closed, one-mile circuit and involves a 2 mile run, 10 mile bike and 1 mile run. It’s a short, fast, friendly little race. Though with a very elite competitor pool of just 89 people in this particular race, there is a very real possibility of coming in last! Next to guys on carbon fibre bikes that cost upwards of £5,000, there’s just no comparison. But whatever. I was only competing against myself (And trying desperately not to come in last!)
The first time I did this race, it was on a borrowed hybrid bike in some pretty unfortunate weather conditions. With hurricane-like winds, and a bike that moved like a tank, it felt like I was cycling into a brick wall for the whole 1:05:43 it took me to complete the race. Even with a belly still digesting all my Christmas treats, I was bound to do better this time! With a vastly superior road bike, and a few more multi-sport events under my belt, I was ready to crush it.
This time, I finished the race in 1:02:19, a vast improvement! My running was pretty consistent, but my biggest improvement was on my bike going from an average of 4 minutes/mile to around 3:35/mile. It’s amazing what a new bike will do!
The run was generally pretty strong for me. I was very much in the middle of the pack, keeping pace with some pretty fast-looking folks. It’s a curvy little course with a couple uphills for added challenge but I didn’t lose a lot of pace from mile 1 to mile 2.
The transitions are no longer scary and distressing. This was my fifth multi-sport race so I had the whole transition thing pretty well figured out. Except that someone put THEIR bike in my spot when I finished my 10 miles so I had to sneak it in awkwardly. Boo to that person!
And the best part? I wasn’t last! In fact, if you looked at this picture of me, you might think I won the race!
In reality, I came in 76th out 89. Don’t judge! It’s a tough group!
One of the other excellent things about this race is that they have a great photographer on the course who surreptitiously takes pictures of everyone. The race organizers put them on Facebook for you to see (or download and use in your blog!).
I look generally ridiculous in every photo. The glasses + bike helmet = NERD ALERT, but at least I get a lot of cool action shots!
I tried a new hair style for this race. I realize it makes me look about 14. However, I’ve been searching for a way to wear my hair for duathlons or triathlons so that it doesn’t touch my neck, but still fits under my bike helmet. This proved to be successful from a technical perspective. Aesthetically, mmm… not so much. I’ll tackle this subject more in a future post.
Anyway, overall a fine race. A big thanks to the Trent Park RC who put on this fine event. A very excellent start to 2017. The next one is on 30 April. Maybe you’ll join me? More details here.