A Race Report by Jonny Fitton
The Ashbourne Duathlon – 12km run, 40km bike and a 4km run.
As the early morning mists swirled over the lake, the towers of Castle Greyskull loomed ominously over the still waters. The sun broke through and the battle of good against evil was to resume again. On the other hand it might just have been the visitor centre at Carsington reservoir on a sunny morning and the start of the Ashbourne Duathlon, but that’s artistic licence for you.
Four He-Men and one She-Ra from MVH lined up on the start line, with rippling torsos and all with great hair. The horn sounded and then by the Power of Greyskull they were off!
The Ashbourne Du’ is a toughy; a rolling 12k circuit run of the reservoir followed by a very lumpy bike with some absolute snotter climbs. The final 4k run there and back across the dam is flat and by the time we were on it, it was inhabited by Saturday morning strollers, who did their absolute best to ignore the swearing, snorting, sweaty athletes struggling by. I dare say the first handful of fast runners scorching past might have got a clap or cheer, but personally, I didn’t even get any condescending “Never mind, you’re nearly there” or “Well done” in that voice that parents use when their child has first managed to wipe their bottoms themselves, even though they’ve spread poo halfway up their arms.
I got offered the obligatory High -5 at the end, (I repeat again, what’s wrong with a cup of tea?), and the as I waited for my turn with the defibrillator I mused over the preceeding hours.
What had I learned?
First of all Ben’s experimentation with “Wheelies” on his running shoes paid off, secondly Mark has an phobia and hatred of people in fancy dress. (Those words of the policeman will stay with me forever: “Hands in the air! Step away from the carrot! I repeat step away from….” The sickening crispy- crunch that followed has put me off healthy raw root vegetables I can tell you.) Thirdly, Sam had to get back to his missus pronto following the race. The triumph of hope over experience once again, I fear. Fourthly, Vicky is so, so relaxed. And can keep great hair even in trying conditions. Fifth and finally, it was a great, tough race. Brilliant.
Watch out Skeletor! MVH will be back!
MVHers: Ben Starbuck, Mark Harrison, Sam Moseley, Victoria Yeomans, Jonny Fitton