02/04/23 – Van road trip to Northumberland for my first ever standard Duathlon. Decided to go longer this year and also try qualify for GB Age group in this event.

Drove down yesterday in the dreich weather to Northumberland. First stop was Bamburgh Castle. Luckily the rain stopped but it was still blowing a bit of a hoolie. Didn’t stop us having an explore of the castle, aviation museum, lunch and climb on the canons. Next we headed through Seahouses to Amble where we were staying. Visit to the harbour for a leg stretch and managed not to get hit by the spray from the waves as they crashed against the sea brake. Chilled out evening with a wee glass of wine before the big event although had one of those sleeps when I kept waking up wondering if it was time to get up…the nerves!

Up early to get to Druridge Park for the race. It consisted of 4 laps of the loch for the run (11km), onto the bike and onto the road for 2 laps (it passes the hotel I was staying at) 38km then 2 loch laps for the final 5.5km run. Transition set up was the normal debate of what to wear as it was a lovely sunny but fresh morning. The first run was great, on trails with muddy puddles so felt at home although 4 laps felt long. The bike was perfect (until I driver nearly wiped me out at a roundabout when they came straight out without seeing the bikes) and I managed to test my fuelling and pacing. Seemed to work well although all the folk on lovely bikes kept passing me so think I might need to upgrade. Back into the park for the final run and took a while to get the feeling back into my numb feet. I was determined to finish strong and gave it my all. In my family’s usual fashion they managed to miss my finish. Turns out I was 8th female and 6th in category. Don’t know yet if it was good enough to qualify so wait….It seems the competition starts when we turn 40.

Way back home included lunch in the pretty town of Alnmouth, tour of Alnwick then finally up to see if we could get across to the Holy Isle but unfortunately the sea was still over the causeway.