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Hillingdon Duathlon Podium

Chris Panayiotou decided to stretch his racing legs to see if his winter training plan had delivered the goods. A podium performance answered this query and here's his account of the event…

Chris ready to race

With the 2012 race season just around the corner, I decided it was about time to see where winter has brought me and what better way than an early morning duathlon. With my new Wilier TT bike finally built up, I was also desperate to see if it was as fast as it looked.

I arrived 30 minutes before the race (nothing like last minute – JE) and undertook all the necessary registration and racking, leaving just enough time for a quick jog back to the start line.

I started off the first 2 mile run based on feel and fortunately my running legs were feeling good. About half a mile in, I had already opened up a small gap and continued hard knowing that I could still bike-off of this pace. Into transition I had averaged 5:24 a mile and built up a 30 second lead. Good stuff, although I knew this was a bike-biased race.

I headed out on the Wilier and pushed hard for the first of 10 laps and my heart rate was high, but still felt sustainable. I continued on, aware that I was being caught by a couple of strong bikers and there nothing more I could do, so after 5 laps I was passed. Maintaining my pace, I reeled off the remaining laps aware that I was now 55 seconds down on my opponents going into transition, so it was time to see where my running legs were?

With 1 mile remaining, my Scott Race Rockers were back on and I went for it. My running remained strong even immediately off the bike, which is rare, but the deficit was insurmountable. I crossed the line in 2nd position just 40 seconds behind 1st place, in the process posting the fastest run splits of the day. Not bad for my first race, so hopefully a good omen for the approaching season.

Next week I have a 50-mile time trial in preparation for my first Half Ironman. Exciting stuff!

Many thanks to our fantastic sponsors:

www.wilier.it - Triathlon Frames
www.ffwdwheels.com - Aero Wheels
www.ritcheylogic.com - Aerobars, Saddles and Finishing Kit
www.cycleops.com - Power Meters
www.racezone3.com - Wetsuits
www.limarhelmets.com - Helmets & Glasses
www.lakecycling.co.uk - Cycling Footwear
www.jagwireusa.com - Cables & Housing
www.scott-sports.com - Running Footwear
www.shimano.com - Groupsets
www.triathlonspecific.com/Sable/Sable.html - Swim Goggles (Sable Water Optic)
www.max-mediagroup.co.uk - Team PR
www.amphibia-sport.com - Transition Bags
www.schwalbe.com – Tyres
www.lezyne.com - Pumps, Tools and Bottle Cages
www.champ-sys.com - Custom Trisuits and Cycle Wear