report from OAC’s Howard Jeffrey:
I travelled 15 hours on Thursday to get to Ottawa Canada for the World Age Group Duathlon Championships on Saturday morning. Not the best race preparation. Managed to stay reasonably supple till I got into bed at 1.00am on Friday morning. Arghh Back pain! Sorted by one of the team physios on Friday morning thankfully so good to go. I was not affected by jet lag as I have a weird routine of sleep at the best of times. Had 3 hours sleep on Friday and spent the day being briefed, registering putting bike in transition etc. Bumped into guys I knew one wearing an Eccup 10 T shirt and another from York Knavesmire. Ottawa is a beautiful city with some historic buildings, well geared for cycling with many cycle lanes. They close off many major roads on Sunday for bikes and skate boards, very civilised.
After 5 hours sleep on Saturday I got up and went to watch the standard distance ( I did the sprint at 1.00pm) events from 6.30 am. Competitors from 22 nations, the most being USA, followed by Canada, then probably GB. Cheered along people from Japan (they seemed to be the most appreciative), Mexico, South Africa, Brazil, New Zealand and Australia as well as the usual European nations and it was also the world junior and u23 champs. The route went out and back along a closed dual carriageway next to the Ottawa river and lakes. It became very hot 30 degrees and there was a stiff breeze by 1.00pm (which was in your face both out and back which I can’t fathom! As fellow runners you will know!). The route was quite undulating and our distance was 5.0 K run 20K bike 2.5K run. I set off fairly steady (always conscious of the hard bike leg to come) and picked off a few people and managed 21.35 for the 5K (the heat, the hills and the wind were worth a good couple of minutes I reckon). Legs a bit jaded for the bike and was passed by some of the people I had been in front of on the run. I took 39 or so minutes but leapt off to have a storming last 2.5 K run in 11.10. Total time 1.14.04. The winner in my age group was American and he did 1.04.00. Silver went to another American and a GB guy took the Bronze. I have to find 10 minutes to contest medals, the bulk of which I ought to get out of the bike (which is currently my weak discipline, although not had much practice yet) and a couple off the runs, so that is the future challenge. There were only Americans, Canadians and Brits in my race and I managed to beat one of each of them (16/19) and again managed to perform as well as I could on the day which is all you can ever hope to do! I managed also to catch an American who was about 500 metres ahead at the second run turn point and thanks to the cheering crowds stormed across the finish (a la Ohurogu) just in front. He was in the next age category so they are already in my sights for next year. It doesn’t get any easier though as I still have to find the 10 minutes to get to the front of the pack even in that group! Of the total in the sprint in all ages and both sexes I came 198 out of 299 so no disgrace. Next major European Standard Triathlon next year (next age group!) in Kitzbuhel Austria in June. Pancake flat Not!! All results available from Sportsstats and as usual a good medal haul for the UK.