Glen Clova Extreme Duathlon (Sep 2015)

Saturday 19th September 2015

In my typical own style, I arrived a day late, having mixed up dates and facts about events, and of course been unable to touch base with everyone else due to lack of phone signal. But, as a consolation, what a morning did I choose to arrive… I drove from Maryculter starting at 5.45am into a pristine sunrise, then down the misty Glen to arrive to a quiet, just wakening campsite and race HQ’s, amongst the stunning inversion, from above which we could make out the beginnings of a stunning, warm, sunny and still day.

On my way in I already identified the first DMC’rs sleepily swallowing porridge pre-race and went over to say hello.

A few of us did a brief morning warm-up on the bikes, still in peace and quiet, with the day just starting to warm up. Then things got busy and the excitement and tension mounting…. Eventually it was time to line up and start in waves. I was number 67 so 4th wave of riders, started at the very front (for whatever reason…) but kept my position and overtook a fair number of folk on the initial road section. I rode alongside a lady from the Montrose Triathlon club for most of the ride, catching up and dropping her and then being dropped, as we both experienced waves of energy and bursts of speed, but never managed to put in a decent distance between each other. Towards the end I got fed up and caught up with her for a good 6k worth of chat before transition, in good competitive spirit of not giving a d… about how fast I go!

Chat over, it was time to change, I was pleased to see I had done well on the ride (average 17.7mph for the 27k section) with not too many bikes in yet.

Legs felt like they didn’t have a clue what I was asking them to do – it took a good 30 minutes to remind them what running is about. Initially small steps and steady pace, got better up mild hills as we entered Corrie Fee. Then the steep section – I looked back and ahead and nobody was running at this stage, and got some welcome encouragement from Katie and team! A long struggle up (though overtaking some hikers, yeeay!) saw me at my maximum, having to stop to recover legs though breathing felt fine. The day was very hot by then. Out on the milder but wet plateau I got overtaken big time – good runners who were slower on bikes finally catching up, got passed by Paul, Colin and Kevin. Finally made it slowly to the summit of Mayar and ran from there, past another checkpoint, and down (phew!). Onto the flat stretch, the bealach and up again, the pass was busy with plenty runners pommelling it down, as I started the final climb Niall passed on his descent (very impressed!) followed shortly by Paul, hot on his tracks, in his hot pants. Slog up to Driesh, touch the cairn, muster all energy (and a gel) and run as fast as I can down. Initially tricky path eased and once off the bealach and onto the Kilbo path I was fast, agile and easily prancing downwards, felt energised and fast, passing quite a few people who were struggling with the rocks (and their quads, presumably).

Caught up with Kevin and overtook him at transision (though didn’t beat his time), the final run felt good, much stronger on flat, really enjoyed it! But oh man, back on the bike, it was pain and suffering and I rode rubbish speed back to the hotel.

Soup, warm clothes and a nap complete with shoes and all wet clothing on followed, then a quick wipe down in the stream and dry clothes. My body was crying out for meat so the burgers were welcome, too full to drink too much but a couple of pints and an evening of really good chat and laughter followed by rock solid sleep felt amazing.

Next morning we got royally midged and everyone ran away, nets over face, as fast as they could. I drove home proudly and happily, after a fantastic weekend, a thrilling and very enjoyable event (with some hilarious mishaps – see the guy who ended up in Kirriemuir on the road section… ehm…) and of course yet another DMC epic. I didn’t have a target but well chuffed with my time (3h 57m) and looking forward to the next challenge

Written by Justyna.

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