Crossing the finish line in last place and I was loving it.
Sounds strange doesn’t it?
Especially after coming 7th in last year’s race.
But that’s what happened to me at my last race, the Stockton Duathlon.
I luckily won two free places for the duathlon a few weeks before it took place. I asked if anyone fancied the extra place and a friend said she wanted to do a duathlon and would like the place.
As it was only a fortnight away and the fact she hadn’t done one before, she was very nervous.
I said I would be happy to do the race with her and get her round the course. We chose the super sprint distance, 2k 10k 1k as it was ideal for a first duathlon attempt.
By the time race day came I was feeling a bit tired. I’d finished work for a week’s holiday, done a 10 mile run on the Friday and a quick parkrun on the Saturday. Plus I’d not been on my bike for months. So may be a steady race was right for me anyway.
As I had done the duathlon the past couple of years, I knew the ins and outs of how it was set up on race day and relayed this to my friend. I thought the more information I could give her, the more her nerves would be calmed.
I’d picked our race numbers up the day before and we applied these to our bikes and race belts as we got to the car park.
The Stockton Duathlon is well organised and after setting up our bikes in transition, we wandered round the event village. I pointed out parts of the course that we could see and ran through the whole process of the transition area.
Race time. After a steady 2k run for the first run leg, we were in transition looking at getting on our bikes. As we ran in I talked through the process again to make sure my friend got it right.
Helmets on, bikes off the rack and we were out on the road for a multi lap 10k bike leg. We rode together the whole way and my friend did her longest ride to date.
Back into transition and again I talked her through the process of hanging the bike up, helmet off and out on the run.
We set off running the last 1k leg, it’s a strange feeling coming off a bike and running. My friend struggled a bit after the bike leg and we walked until she felt ok.
We ran the rest of the way and finished the duathlon.
It was great to see my friend cross the line and achieve her goals. I was so proud of her and what she had achieved.
Longest bike ride, her 1st duathlon and taking the opportunity to do something different.
I got a lovely “Thank you” and a big hug as we crossed the line.
The day was a whole different experience for me and one I enjoyed so much. It was a pleasure to be able to assist someone with their goals.
When people cross that start line they all have different goals and aims that they want to achieve. Whether it’s winning the race, beating last year’s time or getting a distance PB. But sometimes it’s about finish lines not finish times. Crossing that line at the end and achieving your goals, for you.
After the race we were asked my the organisers if we wanted to take part in answering some questions on camera about our race experience.
Our filming made the final cut of the event highlights, and it was great to look back on a superb event a few days later.
So what else happened in April? I did a fair bit of running. 108 miles, the most for a month this year.
Did some great training runs with Run Club, some lovely solo early morning runs, some runs with family and friends, plus 3 parkruns.
Looking forward to another great month of running in May.
I’ve got the Sunderland 10k and the Rock n Roll Liverpool weekend with the 5k, Half & 1 mile races.
These are two races I’ve enjoyed in the past, mainly due to the number of people doing them who I know. They’re great social occasions.
So until the next blog, happy running!
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