ITU World Championship Duathlon Ottawa 2013
10th August 2013


Official Result

  10k Run 40k Bike 5k Run Total  
Gill Fullen 38.40 1.07.19 20.19 2.07.53 1st Lady (1/171)

Race Report:

I'm not sure what made me think that walking down a mountain was good preparation for a fast, flat duathlon, but I have definitely learned from my mistake. I managed to fit in two short massages in the days before the race, to ease the pain in quads and glutes, but still wasn't sure how my tired legs would respond to race pressure.

The Ottowan authorities had decided that despite having beautiful parks, rivers and canals and traffic free, rolling roads, they would stage the duathlon on a flat, straight dual carriageway with 'technical' sections consisting of riding round an industrial estate and running round a car park. It did mean that the course was going to be quick, but not interesting and very exposed to the sun and the prevailing winds.

The Canadians seemed very laid back about most rules, so there was no ID check at registration, no kit check at racking and no number check when we took the bikes out of transition, somewhat worryingly. However, it made for a fairly stress free race atmosphere and as we lined up for the mass start of all 171 age-group ladies at 7.25am the most worry was caused by the wind, which was very blustery and gusting strongly at times.

The first 10k run was taken out by the Canadians, with one staying about 5m in front of a chase group of about 6 of us, including 3 or 4 Brits, who were running strongly. At transition, two Canadian girls ran into transition in front of me, with the chase pack close behind. I wasn't too worried about the ladies in front of me as I knew they weren't in my age group, it was the stronger bikers behind me causing more concern.

On the bikes the so-called technical section came early on, with a loop round some small roads and tightish turns. To my surprise I caught and passed both Canadians in this section and never saw them again. The wind was mainly a cross-wind from the front, tiring to push into and never really seemed to be behind us. The gusts meant holding larger rims on the road quite strongly at times. The older age group men had set off in a wave before us ladies, so we had plenty of rabbits to chase down, even if some of them did tend to wander all over the course at times. At the turnaround I could see some ladies gaining on me, and was pleased to see it was mainly Brits, but still meant I couldn't let up on the effort at all.

Coming into T2 the marshalls wanted me to do another bike lap, presumably because I wasn't Candian, but I managed to ignore them and relieved to be there, entered T2 still in the lead. The final 5k run always feels excrutiatingly slow and hurts lots, so I was ready for that, but I thought it was over really quite quickly as I ran towards the finish line. I couldn't see anyone near me on a quick look round at the last turn, so I was grateful not to have to sprint. Once again the marshalls tried to point me round the run course again, instead of into the finish chute, but I ran past them to the finish anyway. As I ran over the finish line, the commentator announced that a lady had come home, but that she must have gone the wrong way, as if she had run off the bike in that time it was phenomenal and would I like to go out again and finish the course properly? I was a bit confused and wondered if I had in fact gone wrong, but as the next ladies began to come in after a couple of minutes the commentator realised his mistake and admitted that I must actually have won. I was obviously not sufficiently Canadian for him is all I can assume.

In these championship races, prizes are only awarded for the age group you are racing in, so there is no recognition for placing overall, but it was a great feeling to stand on the podium with a fellow Brit, local and friend Steve McKeown, who had won the men's race in the same age group.



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