Read Jonathan Peters’ own words as he describes his experience at the European Duathlon Championships that took place in Ibiza over the weekend.
The big build up
The pre-race nerves were definitely present for my first ETU championship. I hadn’t been feeling too great in the 36 hours leading up to the race; I think the build-up, travel and acclimatisation had left me a little run down. A further concern was the 27 °C ambient temperature forecast for the mid-afternoon start time. Given my lack of recent hot weather training, the goal was just to make the finish line!
The first 10 km run was four laps of a narrow sea promenade route. The start was fast and congested, so I stayed in the middle of the group and slowly worked through the pack as the pace dropped off. It was tough to stay focused in the conditions, and it definitely wasn’t my fastest first run leg!
Through first transition I collected the bike and ran out to mount, I still wasn’t feeling great at this point. As I got moving on the bike things improved, a headwind on the way out to the four lap course cooling me down quickly. In the past I have lost positions during the bike leg, and whilst I lost one spot during the 33 km course, I managed to gain one too. I still rode conservatively, the heat of the impending final 5 km run playing on my mind. As I returned to the city centre transition, the energy from the crowds of GB supporters was unreal, the noise bouncing off the building walls and carrying me on to the run course for the final two laps!
Run to the finish
After catching and passing another competitor in my age group, I could see the gap to the next competitor was large, so I maintained position and cruised to the finish line, grabbing a GB flag along the way. The atmosphere was great, we had a big squad at these multi-event championships, and the support from spectators all race was just incredible, it will stand out as one of my great racing memories.
Age Group competition can be confusing, there are multiple starting waves and different age groups competing at the same time, so keeping track of your position can be tricky. Crossing the line, I really didn’t know where I had finished, I had lost track of this during the busy first run. Fortunately a friend had the live timing app. It showed I had finished 2nd in the category, and 10th in the overall classification of ~240 starters. The result completely blew me away, I felt I had really struggled in the conditions. Taking on around 3 litres of fluid in the 2 hours after the race probably supported this theory, but speaking to fellow competitors who I have raced with before, the general emotion was that of suffering!
This was my third major championship, at each one I have always tried to be present for the medal ceremonies. They often draw big crowds, and each age group has a medal presentation. In this year’s race, the youngest finisher was 19 and the oldest 78! There are great races that happen across the age range. Making it up on to the podium myself this time was a wonderful end to a really memorable race day.
Thank you to all of my colleagues at IP for their support and encouragement, my goal now is to train and build over the winter for the World and European Championships in 2019.
Want to know more about the race?
Check out the Championship’s website for more information.