Hereford Duathlon: 5 mile Run – 19 mile Bike – 2.5 mile Run
Two Couriers took part in this event, myself and Luke Williams, representing Climb On Bikes (Eliot) and Hereford Tri Club (Luke) respectively.
With one lap of the White Cross sports field to jostle for positions before we hit the Three Elms Road, I found myself running alongside Wye Valley Runner Christian Jones (also representing a different club). We then turned right at the roundabout and headed along Kings Acre before turning right along Huntington Lane and cutting across the fields back to the school. While cutting along the fields I pulled away from Christian and completed another lap. I finished the first run in 4th position, straight into transition, shoes off, cycle shoes on, helmet on, sunglasses on, unrack the bike.
The 19 mile bike was an undulating one, heading along the Roman Road, then right towards Yazor, left at Mansell Gamage before heading back in on the Brecon Road. I was conscious of Luke’s biking ability and was constantly expecting him to fly past and it wasn’t untill the Brecon Road where he did pass me, shortly followed by Christian. Luke clocked the 5th fastest bike time (48.39), whereas I managed the 17th fastest.
The big question now was had Luke and Christian built a big enough gap ahead of me on the bike for me not to catch them on the run?
Back into transition, bike racked, helmet off, sunglasses off, cycle shoes off, running shoes on. Back out onto the Three Elms road and Christian was in sight, the gap between us seemed to stay the same and I struggled to get into a rhythm. Turning right onto Huntington Lane I passed Christian, I had now settled down and was running fast but still was not comfortable. I then overtook another athlete who had previously passed me on the bike leg and then another, I now felt myself gaining momentum and striding out. White Cross School was now in sight, and more importantly so was Luke! The gap was getting smaller and smaller but was there enough distance for me to make the catch?! Would Luke hold on?!
I finished the second run with the 3rd fastest time (just 6 seconds shy of the quickest second run) in 14.53 and finishing 8th overall with a time of 1hr 36min 26sec. Luke’s overall time was 1hr 36min 17secs, finishing 7th! Just 9 seconds divided us.
A great event, extremely well organised. I recommend this event to anyone, there is an option of a shorter route (2.5mile run – 19mile bike – 2.5mile run).
Interestingly during the last 200m I was passed by a familiar looking runner in a Couriers vest, I think he’s called James Matt?