Lakeside Launcher Duathlon – 27 February 2022

Lesley Pymm reports: This duathlon was organised by Pulse Events. I like their events as they are always friendly and low-key. I got an ‘early bird’ entry some time ago and was able to enter for a lot less money than full entry, so it seemed like a good idea. As all the recent storms took hold, I began to wonder about this! Anyway, the day of the event dawned and, apart from a slight frost, all was well. I knew that the frost would be gone by the time I got on the bike. The roads were clear and clean, so all was good.

I got to Worcester University Lakeside Campus in good time to rack my bike and generally sort myself out. I looked around to see if there were any obvious newbies with hybrid bikes, quite the opposite – there were some really brilliant bikes racked there and a lot of triathlon club members. Oh well, I intended to enjoy this so if I was last, so what, someone has to be.

The start was slightly delayed as there was a report of a problem out on the bike course so the RD went out to check on it. Eventually we had the briefing and we were off. The first run was a two lap course around the perimeter of the grass on the site. The grass was really dry and the run was not too bad. I was near the back – well I was second to last, and quite a long way ahead of the final runner.

I did a pretty quick transition and was soon out on the road on my bike. The course was one lap. It was a right turn off the University site and then an undulating loop with only one right turn on a quiet road, other than that it was all left turns until we got back to the site and had to turn right again. I had been chatting to some people from Pershore Plum Plodders who I had met at parkrun recently and they told me there was a big hill on the ride, so I was hopeful that I would have my gears sorted out by then as the gearing on my racer is totally different to the bike I had been using all winter.

I wasn’t far into the bike ride when I was overtaken by the guy who was behind me on the run. Last then. I ended up feeling as if I had my own personal guard after a while as someone in a white van was driving along taking in the arrows and other signage. At least I knew that if anything did go wrong I would have assistance. I really enjoyed the ride. It was undulating, but nothing too hard. I did the only right turn and was cycling uphill on a lane when I became aware of a cyclist ahead. I didn’t know if they were in the event or not, but it was someone to chase, so chase I did. Towards the end of the hill I passed the cyclsit, who was in the event and was with her friend who was waiting at the top of the hill. I wasn’t last any more, but knew that they would do the second run more quickly than me. I was about a mile and a half from the end of the cycle and the road was pretty flat – and I really pushed it. I got back into transition and racked my bike. Took my helmet off and tried to run.

My legs really didn’t want to know! I was forcing them forward and made my way around the course, which was one lap of the run we had done earlier. Towards the end I was aware that the other competitors were not that far behind me and closing, so I really tried my hardest. Eventually I dragged myself over the finish, with relief. I wasn’t last and was in fact 3rd W60.

This was a lovely event. It was helped by the fact that the weather was glorious. I would certainly do it again. In fact, I am wondering about doing a sportive from the same location at Easter. I’ll see how things go!.