Looking for an early start to the race season I found the Dambuster Duathlon at the scenic Rutland Water location as a good opportunity to dust the winter blues off.
However there is a good reason why racing early in March is not advised as even the weatherman spent all week saying how mild it was going to be he also mentioned the predicted 20mph winds. Starting at 8.30 meant the mild warm air had not yet arrived and the wind was piercing. The 10 km run was windy over the dam but I was happy with my time and position of 17th at this point. This is were the problems started as I set off on the bike with my shiny new full disc rear wheel and 80mm rim on the front(I am sure all you experienced riders are already seeing the newbie to riding error)I appeared to be riding a boat as it was blowing me all over the road. There was a couple of places were I could drop down and use the bike but the majority of times and and to be happy to just hang on, watching people on road bikes come past with a grin on their faces. My usual strong part of the race went from moving me up the leader board to dropping me further down it. After finally steering the boat back into T2 I set off on the 5 km run ruing my wheel choice to try and claw something back. Finishing in 2.38.11( exactly the same time as Lincsquadder Mark Gollings) was enough for 26th lady, 3rd age cat which would have been enough to qualify for the worlds in Australia,(Already qualified via Spain last year).With prizes and bottles of wine for all 3 positions for all age cat's it was an enjoyable day forgetting the tacking lesson on the bike. With the women's race been won by age grouper Gill Fullen (50-54) who was first Brit in Pontevedra last year beating half her age; Suzie Richards. I realised it was a competitive field so was not too hard on myself. While husband Stuart pushed the bike back to the car, 4 people raising eyebrow's and asking how I had got on with those wheels today added to the fact that wheel selection is something I need to think of next time. Ebay for a new front wheel today I think. Amy xx