Both Sharon and I raced in Horst in the European Sprint Duathlon Championships last year, gaining a Gold and a Silver medal in our respective age groups. Therefore we gained automatic qualification for April 2014. I decided to race the long course, and Sharon raced the Sprint, this time, going for Gold! I was up first, with the race starting at 9.05am. The first run was 15km, which I have to say I was really worried about. I haven’t run that distance, probably since Vichy iron distance last sept, due to a quad / hip injury, and running has only commenced since January, slowly building in strength and endurance. Therefore, whether or not I could complete the distance without stopping, let alone at a reasonable pace, was a big question mark! Subsequently, finishing the first run in 65mins, just ahead of German Fuchs, was a great start. The 60km ride was VERY flat, exposed with a lot of turns…not my ideal course, but on my planet X machine, I managed to increase my lead on Fuchs. (although there was no way I was catching the Danish Melina, she was mixing it with the elites!). The final 7.5km seemed to take for ever, however, I finished securing silver, very glad it was over and looking forward to supporting Sharon and Derek and the rest of the very large GB Sprint Duathlon Team.
Sharon got off to a great start posting 20.35mins for her first 5k run, substantially quicker than last year. However, last year her strong German rival, over took her on the bike section last year, so Sharon knew that she needed a good bike leg, and despite a bit of a pfaff in transition with getting the helmet clicked in, Sharon stormed the bike, and the final run, leading from start to finish, and stepping up to the Gold in 2014. All looking good for the World Championships in June