This Sunday was the BUCS Duathlon, simultaneously the first race of the new academic year and the last race of the season. The race, consisting of a 2 mile run, a 10 mile bike and another 2 mile run is both a great introduction to triathlon competition at university and an opportunity to establish bragging rights within your university club before the long, cold winter.
Due to fewer members owning bikes this year (and a few injuries) Exeter sent a smaller team to the Duathlon than we have in past years. Nevertheless, what we lacked in size we more than made up with in class. Club captain Clare Parkin and Emily Dow represented the women, whilst Joseph Perkins, Matt Smith and Pablo Hutchinson returned to BUCS competition to represent the men. They were joined by club debutantes Joaquin Munoz, Chris Colenso and Ollie Thorogood.
Clare and Emily set off in the second wave with both starting strongly on the first run. Clare was in a strong position in the top 25 by the end of the run, with Emily only a minute behind. Both of them dropped down the field a bit over the course of the bike. Clare was frustrated when she found out after the race that her brakes had been rubbing the entire way around the course. Not only did this slow her down for the bike itself but it meant she was more tired for the second run than she would otherwise have been. She still finished strongly and secured 50th place in the women’s race with a time of 56:05.1. Emily finished 98th with a time of 1:00:38.5.
In the men’s race there was plenty of close racing between the EUTriC athletes. Joseph was 3rd at the end of the first run, with Joaquin also well up the field. They were closely followed by Ollie and Chris, running side by side with Matt and Pablo not far behind them. Though Joaquin had a strong bike segment, things unfortunately went wrong for Joseph when he punctured at the end of the first lap and was forced to abandon what would otherwise have been a very strong performance. Matt had the strongest bike ride of all the EUTriC athletes, gaining a minute on Chris and passing Ollie, whose relative inexperience on the bike meant he dropped down the field. Pablo was, in his words, happy just to pedal round the bike course as he greatly prefers the run discipline. The second transition went smoothly for everyone, though Ollie struggled slightly getting his shoes back on. This didn’t slow him down for long and he put in a very fast second run that got him back within a minute of Chris and allowed him to pass Matt, despite his head start. Ollie and Matt finished 286th and 287th in the men’s race with only 31 seconds between them. Matt put in a stunning sprint finish to snatch a couple of positions on the line and improve on his time from last year by 5 minutes. Joquin had continued his very strong race to finish fastest from Exeter with a time of 51:08.3 and 165th in the race. Chris beat Ollie in the battle of the freshers to finish 277th in a time of 55:09.2. All three of the new club members had very impressive debuts that promise great things for the club in the forthcoming year. Pablo finished off the day by coming in with a time of 59:50.3 only slightly slower than last year despite the more adverse conditions.
The top men’s team of Joaquin, Chris and Ollie finished 80th overall.
All in all it was a strong performance from Exeter that we can hopefully build on over the winter. Now it’s time to focus on training before the spring Aquathlon series.
Full results can be found here.