Monday 17 October 2011

Essex Duathon. Beautiful sunshine and a 1st Place

               Hylands Park in Essex is just the perfect place for running and riding with its mix of wooded singletrack trails and flowing open parkland. The day once again reminded me how much I like Essex. It's a county with so much to offer the outdoorist and yet so often it gets a certain type of press which seems unfair. Having said that, the Essexians do seem to encourage it: After the race I commented to one of the locals about how lovely the park was to which he replied "The only way is Essex!".   He had a shaven head, tatoos, fake tan, a Staffie and he drove a lowered Ford Fiesta which actually had...... (please don't think I'm joking) but it actually had.... his name and the name of his laydeee (colloquial) friend (at least I hope she actually exists) on the window above their seats.  It was just perfect. Almost too perfect. Mr Essex man (let's call you Dale) We Salute you!
               Back to the race. It was something of a shock to have to scrape the Ice from the racking which had been up all night in order for the bike to stay put when racked. It really was a jolt like change from the warm weather of late. Having been beaten by about 3 seconds last year I was determined to push hard and make it stick this year and Graham Lee's ( idea of setting off the Ladies first, then Vets 6 minutes later and then then my group, the seniors, at 12 minutes down actually worked out well. Everyone ended up pushing so hard to catch those in front that there were PB's all around for the course.
               As it drew to a close coming up the final long climb through the park I could see First Vet, Jamie Bishop in 1st place and then the lead two women just behind him and I just could not catch them. The format worked really well and I ended up taking about of a minute off Hugo Hocknell's course record from last year. Well done to Ross Welton in second place as well. I went for a jog with Ross afterwards and got to hear about his adventures on the Ironman Circuit. It's always good to see guys like him coming over to the dirty side. Good lad.  

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