Im sure every sportsman and woman has a go to event one that they do every year come hell and high water. Stirling is like that for me. Its well organised, close and a good indicator of early season fitness.
There are two races run side by side a sprint duathlon and a standard distance. I always do the standard which is a 10K run 40K bike and 5K run the sprint is half these distances. The run is a 2.5k loop beginning outside the pool at Stirling Uni and heading out the grounds via a short sharp hill in to the campus and the business park. This is completed 4 times for the standard run 1 and twice for run 2. The bike loop is 20k and is completed twice with, this year a return to the transition area at the end of lap 1 a change to previous years. On quite busy main roads the first part of the ride is undulating with a gradual uphill to Glenochil then a short twisty descent down to hillfoots and a long flat straight back to the Uni.
The sprint was set off first with my event going about 5 mins later. I kept a fairly even pace on the first run at just under 8min miles. I was surprised to begin passing sprint entrants early in lap 1!
Run 1 completed in 48:15. A whole 3 mins:33 secs faster than last year. Into transition for the bike leg. The forecast for the day had been cold with rain and wind gusting up to 50mph so I decided to wear shoe covers and a windproof jacket in an attempt to stay as warm as possible. Grab the bike and out onto the bike leg.
T1 time a slow 2mins 22 secs. Although the weather was not as bad as forecast I had another problem to deal with. Early in the race I hit a pothole and this knocked my front wheel out of alignment causing my brakes to run on the rim. With just the one descent of note I decide to loosen the front brakes and just to redo them when I hit the descent. Problem solved! It was indeed wet and windy out on the course with sporadic showers but, what seemed like an unceasing wind. The first lap seemed to take forever but I had no sooner started the second than I was coming into the dismount area! 40k bike 1:32:17 3mins 33 secs slower than last year and better than I expected.
T2 was a pain trying to undo the helmet clip and do up lace locks with cold immobile fingers was no joke again a slow transition. 1 min 28 secs.
Out on the final leg a 5k run, 2 laps of the loop. My run was strong off the bike and although the field had thinned out as athletes finished I was still picking other runners off. There was a few that I recognised from being passed by them on the bike leg Go ME!!!!!! Take no prisoners!
Run 2 24 mins and 25 secs 2 mins 26 secs faster than last year!
A great day 89th/120 overall and 12 in my cat from 15.