Andalusian Championship for Duathlon Cross/Campeonato De Andalucia Duatlón Cross – Laguna De El Portil (Punta Umbria) – 23 November 2019
I don’t know how she did it but my friend and fellow teammate, Tonie, managed to convince me to not only accompany her but also to enter in the Andalusian Championship for Duathlon Cross in Punta Umbria (about 350kms and 3.5/4 hours driving from our location). We set off in pouring rain and windstorms in the dark at 6pm for a long drive to the apartment that the team had rented. I felt sorry for Tonie who was driving but we eventually arrived safe n sound and after a very quick and basic supper went to bed around 10.30/11pm. Woke before the alarm at 8am and had a basic breakfast as I had not taken anything with me due to the short notice so one cup of coffee and a piece of bread and butter (donated by Tonie) and a handful of fruit and nuts (donated by Mayca), we set off from the apartment around 9.30am. The location of the event was close, so we had time although I was getting a bit anxious before we left. After collecting our numbers/dorsales we set up and racked the bikes and then hung out until the start at 11am. Luckily after all the rain the weather was being kind to us and although chilly it was a bright and sunny day. On the first 6km run (2 loops of a trail run track through the woods) I managed to keep a reasonable pace for me given the lack of training. I came in second last from the run but in touch with Mayca and one other lady. On the mountain bike I was happy and felt quite strong but stayed with Mayca who is experienced and case in point when I went ahead for a bit, I went the wrong way…. whoops. Some of the up hills were very steep and technical but I manged to make it up all of them but the last one just before transition which was not disappointing because practically everyone (men and ladies) walked this one. It was a muddy course but somehow I enjoyed ploughing through the puddles although I nearly freaked out having to go through an enormous puddle at the same time going through a tunnel that had really low roof and you could only do it by crouching low over the bike….yikes. After the two 10 km loops I came into transition with Mayca and we ran together for much of the last 3km trail run and at the end I just pulled away to come in at 2 hours 17 minutes and 55 seconds. Tonie was still at the finish line and was delighted with my finish time as apparently, I was not too far behind her and the other ladies (except the elite of course). I was very pleased to have even completed as I am seriously not a mountain biker. I enjoyed the event and the team picked up a number of podium places. Team (TT. Horticola Iliturgitana-Training Tri) 2nd place Ana 1st place (25-29 age group) Tonie 2nd place (45-49 age group) Mayca 3rd place (45-49 age group) Janice 2nd place (55-59 age group) The team were going for a late lunch after the presentations, but I agreed with Tonie to leave immediately and grab a sandwich on the road home as it is a long drive and she did not want to drive in the dark. Also, Julio and I had planned a long bike ride the next day and I wanted to at least get a decent sleep to see if I was feeling fit and okay to do the ride with him and our friend Steve. We arrived back at Tonie’s house around 6.35pm and Julio was there waiting to transfer the bike and my bags and drive to our house, another 45 mins.