Toby Does Dorney

November 23 2023 – Becky Frewing

Toby Does Dorney
Toby Does Dorney
Even though we are coming into Winter, it didn't stop Bike Hero's Operations Manager Toby, from digging out his bike and dusting off his running shoes to compete in the Dorney Duathlon Sprint Race.
We couldn't have asked for a better day for the event to take place, considering it was November. A perfect, crisp but cold, cloudless day. The event started for everyone at 9:10am so we had to arrive a good chunk of time earlier - seeing in the sunrise. Checked in, race pack received and race numbers applied to the corresponding places. With little motivation to change out of cold weather gear into Lycra and sweat wicking attire, it was time to do a little bit of warming up. Most competitors made their way to the starting line around 9am. There was a small area for the start of the race, so trying to overhear the briefing was more challenging than it should have been.
All competitors for the days races started at the same time. These consisted of Duathlons and Running events. 9:10am rolled on and the flurry of people were away. The course was tight and all 600 competitors trying to weave their way through the traffic of people to set their pace was tricky. The first 50 meters was more of a walk and frustrating to a lot of athletes. Soon, the crowd dispersed somewhat and a rhythm could be started on the first part of my race. The 5k run. 
The first run was ran at a good and consistent pace. I didn't want to go in too hard and burn out part way through. It was a lap of the right side of the lake, a turn and back down which led into the transition area. My first run came in at 24m53s, which was on track for my 5k. A quick shoe swap, helmet on, bike slipped off the racking and an awkward jog out of T1 to the bike mounting zone. An we are away.
The bike part of the race was a lap up through the two lakes and back down the left side. The up was definitely more challenging with the headwind rushing off the water. The way back down was in the mix of trees and hedges, so much more sheltered. I felt my pace was average for my riding, but was hard to tell due to the mix of athletes. My main focus was trying to remember what lap I was on. 20k and 4 laps down, I rolled back into the transition area. 41m44s. This was slower than I wanted it to be, but I was telling myself it was the headwind to blame. Another awkward jog, bike racked, helmet off, shoes swapped and a squeeze of energy gel, I was out of T2 and the final run part of the race was in action. 
For this final run of my 2.5k, I wasn't sure how to pace myself as their were far fewer participants, as everyone was scattered around the course. Some were doing the standard race, some were doing a half marathon, some on a 10k run, so it was a real mix. My legs didn't want to run initially and felt my pace was poor, but slowly got back into a rhythm. As I was nearing the end, I could feel my pace speeding up, looking to get that overall time down - whatever the time may be. My final leg turned out to be 11m54s. A time I was very pleased with for the third part of the race.
Crossing the line to a crowd of supporters, cheering and clapping, I was exhausted. I stopped my watch over the line and tried to work out how well, or badly I had done. It took a moment, but overall I was very happy at how I had done. My run's were at a good pace and matched my training runs and the bike part turned out to be roughly where I had aimed for. Pushing through a headwind was always going to slow me down a little. My final time came in at 1hr20. My original aim with transitions was planned at 1hr25, so I was pretty chuffed I beat my target time.
Overall I was very happy with the day's event. It was great to hear, everyone that participated in the days event, completed it. Everyone seemed to be having a great time, even when the tough got going. Plus, the weather really was on our side.
Until next time.
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