On the 12th November I woke up at 5am to head over to the Human Race events CEP Ballbuster Duathlon at BoxHill. It was my first ever Duathlon and think I took the saying “go hard or go home” quite literally when I chose this 40 mile long = 5 x 8 mile laps around and up BoxHill (run 1 lap, cycle 3, run 1 more) as my induction into duathlons!
With about 30mins to go before the race started the rain did too and it didn’t let up until the race had finished. Lap one running went ok with me covering the 8 miles in 1:05:16.
My hands were just about warm enough to undo my shoe laces and switch over to my cycle shoes to then go out and do 24 miles (3 laps) on the bike. There were however so cold I dropped one of my water bottles. My pace downhill was a little bit cautious with the rain, winds and road covered in leaves but did ok getting round in 1:44.08.
Then for the final 8 mile lap my legs felt a bit wobbly to start but then got going and settled back into my normal pace. However, there was a small hill towards the end before heading up BoxHill to the finish and my legs didn’t feel great. When I then started up BoxHill, it was like my legs took on a mind of their own. They would still run, but just at a snails pace with small tiny steps so the final loop took me 1:12:05. Running up BoxHill on the final lap took me over 4 mins longer than it did on the first lap and as you can see I chose the best of the weather to go slowly in. My face at this point kinda says it all.
Resulting in me completing the total 40 miles in 4:05:48. I was very happy to have made it to the finish, but even happier to get changed into some dry clothes and then eventually warm back up again, helped by lots of cups of tea and a hot bath filled with Better You magnesium flakes to help my muscles recover also.
I love my Suunto Sport Ultra and being able to look into my performance and see where I need to make improvements. Overall I think the top priority is more hill training. Especially if I’m going to do this race again with their being 2,917 ft of ascent which took me 1hr 58mins and 3,015 ft of decent which took me 1hr 25mins.
So BoxHill I’ll be back and next time aiming to get a new Strava PB for the ZigZag.
I’ll just dry out my shoes first!
Having completed the race, I now understand why it’s called one of the UK’s original tough event series and why people wear their finishers hoodies with pride!