On Saturday the 19th of November, 9 members of the Performance Squad set off on their adventure south of the border to compete at the British Universities Sport Duathlon Championships. Among them, many newbies to the world of BUCS
– including myself – set off to race in what would play out to be a new learning experience for all.
The journey to our hotel ‘just off the motorway’ was long with many members (basically the boys) taking the opportunity to get 40 winks in preparation for Sundays race. A nice meal at a local Italian finished the day off nicely and after a quick team meeting, we were off to bed.
Late on Sunday morning, we arrived at Castle Combe Circuit. The race consisted of a 2mile run, 10-mile cycle and another 2 mile run to finish. The boys set off at 1.05pm and the girls at 1.45pm. I had a steady first run, coming in just behind Sarah and was quickly out on to the bike where I attempted to make up as much lost time as possible on the weaker cyclists. The cycle course was amazing – flat and no potholes (or traffic lights) to be seen. Second run was survival but happy to finish within the top 50% of the girls competing with Sarah just behind.
The boys all had a strong race with Lewis and Nicholas coming in 27th and 32nd respectively. Gregor and Rian also had strong performances also finishing the top 50. However, Paul da tank came in in an amazing 3rd place despite not knowing whereabouts he was positioned throughout the large majority of the race.
A huge congrats must also go to Tess and Sandy who have not done triathlon before joining us.
If the journey down was long, the journey back up was longer. The minibus was filled with loud music (songs of choice: Disney’s Hakuna Matata and Highland Cathedral) and the changing weather conditions made it much harder to drive. It was, however, a great weekend where a lot was learnt and I’m fairly confident to say all of the squad would be keen to do it again.
Big shout out to Coach Dechlan and Sandy (Paul’s dad) for giving up their weekend to drive us and our bikes all the way to Swindon – your help is enormously appreciated.