John Nevin runs and rides for Great Britain!

John and Joan Nevin have been club members for a of number years and have achieved many category prizes and podium finishes in their running careers. A couple of weeks ago John had the honour and thrill of representing Great Britain (not for the first time) in the World Duathlon Championships in Spain. HRC is very proud and really pleased for John. Joan travelled with him and I’m sure provided top notch race support. Congratulations John. Have a read of his account of the event below – a really interesting read.

Last weekend I had a chance to build on my experience of representing GB in my Age Group at the European Duathlon Championships in October. I was competing in the World Championships in Pontevedra, Spain.

One might think that competing with the best in the world might be more challenging than competing with the best in Europe. It’s not. The siren goes and so do I, repeating something done many times before. The nervousnesspreceding the start has now gone, it’s time to be doing.

The 10k run was four laps of the old town square on cobble stones and in narrow streets. Lots of support from those there to support the competitors, those who had raced in the morning Sprint race and, of course, the locals. It’s 26 degrees and I feel surprisingly fresh with a run time of 51 minutes, pretty well what I would do in a 10K race.  I had planned for 52.

Helmet and shoes on and out on the bike. Snatch a drink and food. A good transition. 

I couldn’t reccy the course because my bike arrived a day late, but I had heard it was beyond undulating. Pleased 30 minutes into the ride but wondering when the hill will abate. After an hour I am still wondering and it occurs to me that I have never had to climb so much before. No feeling at any stage that I will have to walk up but this is testing. 2000 feet of ascent overall to those who know about such things.

Another test is coming down the hill reaching just under 34 mph which, I confess, got me off the tri bars and onto the handlebars so that I could access the brakes whilst negotiating the S bends I hadn’t noticed on the way up.Riders with crashes, cramp, punctures and other “mechanicals”. This is the first time I have raced where there are drink stations on the bike course and I make use of them.

Ride finished. Just 5K run to go, 2 laps. Transition fine.

It seems hotter. The streets are crammed with people. The noise and support is tremendous and encouraging. Some hills seem to have been introduced on what is the samerunning course. At places there is only enough room to pass through the crowds, like on the Tour de France. Keep concentration. Don’t trip on a drain cover. Take water at every opportunity.

As we approach the Pontevedra athletics stadium I am passed by a Spanish runner which is disappointing. Feeling not bad as I pass the big screen which I know is showing me finish and being broadcast on tv. Push on so that nobody else comes past me. FINISHED. Great, just great feeling.

A quick look at my watch. That can’t be right. 30 minutes for 5K. I was expecting 27 from the effort but I think will get the correct figure later. (It was right)

Success comes in many guises, usually with adversity thrown in for good measure. I understand that there is a difference between practicing and training, racing and time trialing. Life balance has me in the former for bothwhich affects results but I have a determination to enjoy the events whatever the outcome. Sometimes, it takes me a few days after the event to get there; to identify all ofthe positives and to separate the pleasure and satisfaction from the actual result.

I have done that now. 53 nations competing. Beat a chap from USA in Male 45 age group. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole race and atmosphere. One of the best I have been involved in. Had some great post race time with competitors from GB and, particularly, USA.

We are now a week on and I can walk properly. Just as well as I have the Birmingham 100 mile bike ride next week. I’m doing ok.

Next year might be a little easier, competing with theolder guys, 70+ age group.

John running strong dung the Spanish heat

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