Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Knivsta Duathlon - David's report

For the second time in a week we found ourselves competing in what essentially is a sprint fest. Knivsta Duathlon, a 5km run, 20km road cycle & a 2.5km run to finish off.

It was a very local race in Alsike ~1200m from my house so I popped down early to collect my race number and chip with my son in tow. He was (as was I) rather impressed by the quantity of expensive race bikes on show. Carbon frames and tri-spoke tri-bikes were pretty common showing. It showed this was the Svenska Mästerskapen! (Swedish Championship!)

I returned just before the elite group were about to start, checked in my bike and setup my helmet and bike shoes for a quick transition from the run to the bike.

There was plenty of time to watch the elite guys hammer around the 10km course and chat with Niki (coach) who was also competing and admitted he was 'slightly nervous' :) before our start at 12 noon.

But it was soon time for the start, the whistle went and I set off at a pace some 20s/km faster than I had planned to cruise at, but it felt good, the legs felt strong and the breathing not laboured. There was no way I would hold onto the tails of Jon and I watched him pull slowly away. It was hot! and many of the thoughtful house owners along the route had put out garden sprinkers with a fine cool mist to run through. The run was 2 laps of a 2.5km loop which took in a long steady incline and a relatively steep incline each lap which spread out the field each time.
Following from that, we ran into the transition area where I hoped I would be able to gain some vital time with a fast change. Helmet went on in a couple of seconds, running shoes were removed and my foot slipped into the first bike shoe...OW! semi-disaster...I had forgotten to remove the deoderant balls from the shoes! A quick shake of both shoes dislodged them and I was able to be on my way again albeit losing 15-20 seconds. It wasn't such a costly error and I'd seen the leading elite man take the WRONG bike in his transition so it can happen to anyone :)

I'd remembered some tips to spin the legs out the first 500m and not go too hard on the gearing whilst ensuring to take on fluid quick.

Today I was trialling Crampfix in a competition as I'd been having issues in Lidingöloppet MTB 3 weeks previous with cramp in my legs. With it being hot, replacing minerals and salts were critical. I'd taken a couple of tablets whole before the race and mixed in the contents of two others into my sportdrink to disguise the taste. It worked a treat, not even a twinge!

The cycle course was 2 laps of 10km on an 'out and back' route. Those elite carbon bikes came past on occasions, sounding like a motor was running as the air hit that solid back wheel. I felt good though and looked forward to the final 2.5km run, at least this time I knew for sure there would be no deoderant balls in my running shoes! The transition was below 30 seconds including tying 2 sets of shoes and I was off out on initially heavy legs for the last sprint. I could see Jon ahead of me but couldn't pull back the distance between us and we finished 40 seconds apart.

Was a fantastic race, great (yet very warm) weather and another rewarding experience and another step towards Åre Extreme Challenge at the end of June.
At the finish with "Coach" Niki from Form

Thanks to David McCrum from SplashFoto for coming along and taking some awesome pictures once again....more pics to come in a future post.

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