Dan was out at the first major para race of the GBR calendar at the National Paraduathlon Championships at Rockingham Speedway Track near Corby. Here is his take on the day
Amazing race, great experience.
The week leading into the race was difficult due to my recent illness. However I followed the pre-race strategy that Scott & I had agreed.
I kept myself hydrated on the journey to the race venue and managed a good night’s sleep before the race. Woke up early to ensure I got a good breakfast and then it was time to go down to the race site. When I arrived at Rockingham I went straight to registration, set up all my numbers and timing chips. Then went out on the course to familiarise myself with racing line; transition in & outs and the finish chute.
I went through my structured warm up including some resistance band work before the race. I had a chance to sit and visualise the race and consider my race tactics having seen the course. During this time I reinforced the positives.
The race started brilliantly and went according to my mental rehearsal.
I was in first place for about 1-2k and then Joe Townsend and the other guy caught up. I tried not to pause at any point and used the technical aspects of dead turning that I had previously honed during my training sessions at Clayesmore School, this ensured that I minimised time losses on the turns.
There was a crash behind me at 2k. Which didn’t affect me too much I just concentrated on myself. Coming into transition I thought of my plan. To pull up beside my bike, throw my gloves down and push up waiting for my dad to lift me. This worked very well and my transitions were very quick.
The bike was difficult as it was lonely, but kept reminding myself to keep the cadence up, a couple of technical parts halted my speed but I kept above 25kmph ish and reached 42kmph on the straights. T2 was slower. This was probably due to fatigue. My arms were jelly.
The last chair was quick, just thought about who was ahead and if I could push fast I might be able to catch him. Did the second push in 7 minutes which was good considering fatigue. The end was strange because another athlete crossed the line in front of me but from our previous race positions it was obvious that he hadn’t completed the full course so I appealed to the race referee and got the just decision.
I enjoyed the race and pushed myself to the limit of what was possible at that moment in time.
Having reviewed the results I realise that I did a PB in both the first 5km as well as the 20km handbike and transition was the best it’s ever been.
What a brilliant day, 3rd place at the British paraduathlon championships. Onwards and upwards.