It has been a really long time since I last did a duathlon. This race came at just the right time as a bit of race preparation 3 weeks before Africa Champs. A good opportunity to test my legs and to see where I am at.
Racing is so good for you; it is the best training that you will ever do. Race intensity is just on another level and can’t really be recreated in training.
The race venue was just outside of Pretoria close to Roodeplaat Dam at a school called Kameelfontein. This area is like my backyard as I do a lot of training here. The run route was long and hilly and the cycle was a very hilly out and back course.
The race distances were 5km run, 40km cycle and another 2.5km run on broken legs.
The gun went and I found myself running in the front with Brand du Plessis, Travis Johnston, Abrahm Louw, Chris Felgate and Johan Pretorius. I really didn’t think that I would be able to run with those front guys, but there I was, even controlling the pace. At the halfway turn it was just me, Travis, Brand and Johan. The so-called “2.5km” on the way out was very hard as it was trudging up a constant drag. On the way back Travis moved next to me and we ran side by side until he put in a couple of surges, but didn’t get away. We were all in transition together and out onto the nasty, hilly, windy 40km bike course. Here is the race profile from my race on power agent from CycleOps. Blu is Speed and Red is Elevation.
Up to the first turn around we were riding like a bunch of girls. At the first turn Abrahm caught up to us and from there we still rode together like a bunch of girls.
On the way back on the last lap I started to think about the final run and I saw that Johan was still with us. He is an ex-1500m SA Champ and not someone that I wanted to run the final 2.5km against. So on a long hill I went to the front and picked up the pace a bit. I saw that we was taking strain so I dropped a gear and picked up the pace again and that’s when he dropped. I then went to the back and rested a bit for the remainder of the ride. Then just before the end of the bike leg there was another little hill so I thought “let’s have some fun.” I attacked and Travis came with me. We only made about a 5-10 sec gap on the rest, but it allowed me to get into and out of T1 first.
Oh boy! When I hit that second run I felt my legs burn and all the hard training I had done that week came flying back to me. Travis came flying past me so I dug deep and bridged the gap and we ran to the turn-around together. I was thinking man we are running fast now until Travis dropped a gear and pulled away from me. That guys has some serious acceleration!. He made a 15sec gap and kept it to the finish. I was very happy with my 2nd place! Praise God!!!!
Well done to Travis- he is the new SA Duathlon champ.
The top 10.
Event #4 Final Results – Roodeplaat – Pretoria – (Road) – 12 June 2011
01. Travis Johnston 01:31:17
02. Theo Blignaut 01:31:33
03. Brand du Plessis 01:32:02
04. Abrahm Louw 01:32:31
05. Johan Pretorius 01:35:16
06. Chris Felgate 01:36:08
07. Jean-Pierre Ten Napel 01:37:07
08. David Labuschagne 01:37:40
09. Gavin Salt 01:38:31
10. Patrice Gautier 01:39:36
Keeo on 😉