It was certainly a challenging start to the 2012 Quadmire Series with temperatures hovering around zero and lashings of the wet stuff, it was not for the faint-hearted. This was probably reflected in our low turnout for both events, only the toughest survived.
At 10:30am the inclement weather-reduced field set off on what was to be a gruelling test of stamina and mind over hyperthermia. From the start a breakaway group of three people made their presence known by taking an early lead in the first two-lap run stage. Leading them out young Tom Stead was hotly pursued by Jez Cox and Troy Garrity. All three arriving in T1 within 5 seconds of each other but all equally covered in mud and filth. Despite the constant torrential rain, at least whilst running most people managed to stay relatively warm.
Over in the quad, only four people were brave enough to enter this longer event on this day. Their first run being two and a half slippery laps before they reached the kayak start point. Ben Wynn was the first to arrive at the kayaks after a run split of 16:10 closely followed by Steve Saunders 30 seconds later. Both set off into the quickly rising and fast flowing current on the River Nene (which had drastically increased in volume since the race and the rain had started). A few minutes later Sonja (our only lady Quad entry) arrived and set out followed by Glynn Mayley. It was to be a challenging two-mile paddle for all against strong flows and blustery conditions, however the biggest challenge was to be the wet and cold with everyone returning from the paddle shaking but not stirred.
Returning to the Duathlon the entrants were slipping and sliding their way around the course. The fields had been in pristine, virgin condition before the start of the race as it was the first race of the Season; however it didn’t take long for the racing line to become a slippery mayhem of chaos with plenty of thrills and spills. This is more like the Wadenhoe Series that we are used to, unlike last
years’ unseasonably dry conditions. The majority of people had to push their bikes at some stage up the steep but short slippery slopes; it certainly wasn’t going to be a record-breaking course today. Young Tom still managed to maintain his lead by posting a bike split one minute faster than his nearest rival (Jez Cox). Everyone was doing their best to stay on their bike and in control but the ground conditions and prevailing weather was doing their best to hinder all efforts.
After the cold gruelling bike stage most people were glad to be able to leave their bikes behind and start to warm up on the final two laps of the run. By now the Quadmire section down by the river was well and truly on form with mud-sucking puddles up to knees and almost becoming man-eaters. However, all prevailed and fought their way through with young Tom crossing the line first in a time of 1:08:06 followed less than a minute later by Jez Cox and Matthew Wootton coming in a commendable third. Unfortunately, there were no ladies brave enough to take on the challenge today.
Back to the Quad and all the Quad athletes were certainly glad to be back on dry land and running up to T2 to find their bikes, however, they were probably were not looking forward to more wet and cold conditions. Ben and Steve both battled through to complete the bike section. Unfortunately Sonja had a mechanical and was unable to complete the course. Ben was the first to finish the Quad in a very respectable time (considering the appalling conditions) of 2:08:23.
After finishing, most athletes took no time to change into some warm dry clothes before heading home or down to the Village Hall for some well-earned warm refreshments.
I would like to say a big thanks to all the marshals who braved the appalling conditions for a lot of hours during the race. Their efforts made the race possible. We look forward to seeing everyone at our second race on 2.12.12 and hopefully the weather conditions will be kinder and entry levels will be up.
Race Results Race 1
Mark Pryor Quadrac Racing