Friday, 17 February 2017

Macclesfield Forest Duathlon Take 2!

After last year I said never again.  2017 seems to be a year of contradictions already as I have signed up to the Grindleford Gallop, and I once again entered the Crazy Legs Macclesfield Forest Duathlon.  

Doing the event twice has actually made for interesting comparisons - even though the course was a bit different.  So here is my report and comparison.  It has been useful for me to see how much I have developed over the past year.

When reading back over my blog documenting last year's event (you can read about it here) it became apparent how much preparation and effort I put into it then.
Going into this years event I was not nervous, I didn't train specifically for it and yet overall, I felt stronger and faster.  I think the reason for this is probably the type of training I am doing.  It is more varied now.  Instead of the bike/run focus of last year, I have developed my swimming immensely which I think has benefited me in all disciplines, and I have been doing pilates since last September, which has increased my core strength and undoubtedly made me more flexible.  

I entered this years event with Caz and Fred and we were relieved to see the weather was far less biblical than last time (Caz did the October version of the same event and Fred did the February 2016 one).  It was really cold and icy but not windy and raining so we were fine once we warmed up.  

My aim going into this race was to improve on last years times and to stay upright!

This year chip timing wasn't used due to a key member of the core team being absent due to a medical emergency - the team did a great job of timing all elements including transitions, so I for one didn't mind. 

In terms of clothing, I wore the same trisuit I purchased for last years event and once again teamed it with running tights and a baselayer top.  I used the same shoes as last time too with fell shoes for the first run, bike shoes for the bike and trail shoes for the last run. My transitions in 2016 were really slow so I hoped to improve on these if I could.  

I had my bike checked by Adam at the Bike Factory beforehand and it performed perfectly once again.  Since last year I have had a new back tyre, new cassette, new chain and other bits and bobs, so basically it's a bit like Triggers broom but it still looks pretty so thats the main thing (obvs!).

The first run was as expected, up up up up... until the trig point where it was so slippery with snow and ice I am sure I was much slower on the moors down from the top this time around.  The flag stones which line the way up to Shutlingsloe were lethal in places so I avoided them altogether by running down one side on the grass and jumping the little ditches.  Transition was a bit different this time with a run in at the top and bike out at the bottom, I was surprised how much quicker I was this time - I knocked at least a minute off both transitions.  
Caz with her prize!

My prevailing memory of this event was the bike stage being absolutely brutal.  I really struggled with a couple of the hills which needed to be negotiated 3 times.  This year was no exception but I was really proud of myself for staying on the bike for the whole phase - I didn't get off mainly because last time my calf went into spasm and I ended up having to stay on to avoid agony! But lots of people did dismount as the hills were really steep in places so it was almost as fast to push.  I knew I was quicker on the bike this year as the faster people like Fred didn't pass me until the end of my 2nd lap, last time I remember being passed earlier on. 

T2 was again quicker and I had Fred on hand to help pass me things which was great, he then proceeded to heckle me and encouraged me through the last run phase! 

Caz and Fred did really well, both winning their age categories, I was delighted to be 3rd lady overall, but remained in 2nd for my age category as I did last year.  Again the event was well organised and low stress, a pleasure to take part.  

All in all my memories of the duathlon are largely the same as last time - the bike stage is really hard, and I normally like hills! Next year I have roped my better half into doing the ride and I will do the runs, we will compete as a mixed team - problem solved!  


Overall pos
Overall time
Run 1
Run 2
Gender pos
Cat pos
F 30-34





F 30-34





No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.