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Victory in Watford 10k

With the duathlon season in transition until later this year, Nick decided to race the Watford 10k. With 900 athletes the race is very popular and attracts a number of very fast runners. After winning the Wimbledon Audi 10k recently could Nick repeat, this is his race report...

Nick just after the start and enjoying the new 2011 kit

The May Bank holiday saw me tackle the Watford 10k, a race I last did in 2008 when I managed to come 2nd. Since then this race has become more and more popular with each passing year, to the extent that this year’s field swelled to almost 900. My reason for coming back to this race was two-fold. The May to August period is a relatively quiet one for duathletes so I often find myself reverting to running races. In addition, I had very fond memories of this race back in 2008 when I was captivated by the enthusiasm of the spectators and the superb route which is a really testing undulating multi-terrain course over park, trail and road.

So, how did things pan out? At the start I recognised the 2008 winner Nigel Rackham and was reminded of how he had left me reeling after a particularly nasty climb at 7k in. I was determined that wasn't going to happen this year so I took the first 3k at a fast pace to scrub off any fresh legs! This plan half worked though at 5k it was clear that the podium was almost certainly going to be between myself and 2 other runners (Jim Cooper and Andrew Cracknell). Despite constant surges we were finding it impossible to lose each other and we approached 9k all within metres of each other. This is an unusual situation for an open 10k race as there is almost always a clean break by this point.

The last 1k turned into mind games and I managed to hold onto each attack that came my way and planned to make a decisive break with 400 metres to go and hammer down absolutely everything. It worked and I managed to build a lead of 6 seconds to claim victory.

Victory clinched!

As usual, I had a bottle of TORQ energy before the race (orange flavour) and a TORQ Banoffee gel within 5-10 minutes of race start.

Thanks, as ever go to our wonderful sponsors:

Delicious, natural and healthy nutrition: www.torqfitness.co.uk  
Frames – Merida: www.merida-bikes.com  
Cycle Shoes – Lake: www.lakecycling.co.uk  
Helmets – Limar: www.limarhelmets.com  
Cables – Jagwire: www.jagwireusa.com  
Aerobars – USE: www.use1.com  
Wetsuits – 2XU: www.2xu.com  
Wheels – Fast Forward: www.ffwdwheels.com  
Powermeters – Powertap: www.cycleops.com

All pro snaps courtesy of Jolekha Shasha