This past Saturday I competed in Croatian championship in cross duathlon. While completing my entry form, few days before the race, I saw that I’m now in “seniors 2” category (30-39 years). I thought my aging problems were solved by not counting years any more, so this came as a little shock. Next year our federation will have “elite” licences so this problem will be solved.
Meteorological (March 1st) and astronomical (March 20th) spring arrived but we’re still waiting for temperature related spring, so we had cool weather with northerly wind and temperature hovering around 5C. It snowed the day after so this was not so bad.
First run was 3,4 km long and included one section over beach known for its speed killing and endurance draining skills. I managed to separate myself and entered the first transition 13 seconds before chasing group of four.
We had two lap bike course with 2 technical sections per lap. Those with better MTB riding skills had an advantage and yet the course was not too challenging for beginners. I’m not one of those with good MTB skills as I rarely use it for training, so the plan was to avoid hitting the trees on technical parts and go hard on flat sections.
I held the lead untill the end of the first lap. The chase group, in the meantime, halved in size. After the first technical section in the second loop one guy with MTB background passed the group and caught me. We rode together until the next technical section where he gave me a lesson on riding a MTB. On the next, flat part of the course, I managed to take back most of the time lost and entered T2 in second place only 5 seconds behind the leader.
After quicker than planned transition I went after the leader. When people started shouting “helmet”, I realized why the transition was so quick. I forgot to take off the helmet. Going back was not an appealing option so I decided to leave it on until the finish line. I took the lead not long after T2 and held it untill the end.
This is my second national champion title and not a bad way to open a new racing season.