Race Report: European Long Distance Duathlon Championships, Horst Netherlands
British Triathlon always takes a big team to this event which is run by Powerman Holland. This year it was 10km run/60km bike/10km run. The 2015 team was 50 strong with some genuine medal contenders...and others just there for the experience (that's me then). Horst is a nice little town in Limburg, less than 4 hours drive from Calais. The course is pan flat on closed roads. The biggest hill on the bike is a speed bump. The only real challenge is the number of dead turns. I imagine it's a bit like a criterium without the drafting. Up to speed, brake, turn and punch it out of the corner to get back up to speed. I counted 30 sharp corners on each of 3 bike laps including one total dead turn on a road about 3m wide. Both runs were 4 laps around a lovely wooded lake.
Lots of people had given me very sound duathlon pacing advice: steady on the first run, build into the bike and put anything left into the last run. After a 10km PB on the first run and 40km and 60km PBs on the bike, that plan was out of the window. Not surprisingly the second run was a couple of minutes slower. Both transitions were embarrassingly slow. The resulting 3:32:06 was better than I had hoped for and good enough for 18th in 55+. I do suspect the distances might be a bit short. It's a really nice event and was a good early season hit out as the serious work starts building up to European Long Course Triathlon over ironman distance at Challenge Weymouth in September.