UoL student, Sebastien Vicary, recently travelled to Pontevedra, Spain to participate in the ITU World Duathlon Championships. Here's what he had to say about the experience...
Winter, it's dark early, it's cold and it's wet, but I have pushed through, putting together the best block of training I've ever done. With an average of just under 50 miles running per week with 203 swims I was ready for race week.
I packed my bags (and my bike into a box) and got on a plane to Vigo, Spain, ready for the World Duathlon Championships in Pontevedra. I would be competing in the 20-24 age category despite being only 19. My fitness was better than ever. I travelled to Spain with a plan of all or nothing.
Before I knew it, race day was here. My alarm went off at 5:30am (good job I am a morning person!), I had breakfast, put on my kit and race tattoos then caught a taxi from Vigo to Pontevedra. Once there, I got prepped for the race: 5km run, 20km bike, 2.5km run.
The race: I stood on the start line placing myself in the front row. I expected us to start a lot quicker than we did, I felt like I was running comfortably hard but not too hard. I came into the first transition (T1) having put out the 4th fastest run (5km in 16.39). T1 passed relatively smoothly. I ran with my bike and jumped straight on, ready to tackle the 10km ride up a steep hill and 10km back down again. I was in a good group of around 20 people and we descended at speeds of 42km+ (this was awesome!)
We were now 3 miles from transition 2 (T2) and I made my only regret from the race. I was drifting at the back of the pack to save energy, someone attacked off the front and everyone sprinted, but I reacted too slowly. I was dropped off the back of the back with an athlete from Canada. I couldn't get back on, the group had put 60 seconds into me, and so there was a lot of work to do.
I tried my hardest to catch up, producing the second fastest T2 and fifth fastest second run of the day. Overall, I came 14th and I am very happy. However, I can't ignore the fact that if I hadn't of made that mistake on the bike, a top 5 place would definitely have been possible. So, I'm happy but I'm not satisfied. I will be back for much more in the future.
I would also like to say a big thank you to my family, friends, Lincoln Tri, Lincoln Wellington AC and Humber Ports Logistics Ltd, without whom I wouldn't have been able to train and compete at these championships. I would also like to acknowledge and thank the University of Lincoln Students' Union for their support and the School of Sports and Exercise Science department for their help and continued support with all things athletic and academic.
Sebastien, you smashed it!!! We can't wait to see what you'll bring to the table next time!