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Fri 13th Dec 2019
Do rain dances really work?!
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Monday 10th November 2008

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Wayne Smith first won the Ballbuster Duathlon in 1999, and was back again to take on his favourite duathlon in the country on Saturday. Once again, he came out on top, and has dropped us a line with his race report, which also let's us into his secret rain dances - which from all reports, were very successful!

Scene of my very first UK duathlon - Boxhill Surrey!

When I entered this race in 1999 I chuckled to myself at the name of race called the Ballbuster duathlon. Now I was ready to bust my balls for a third time in 2008. It's simple, an 8-mile loop five time - one lap run, three laps in the saddle, one lap run again with each lap finishing up the Zig Zag which is a steady 5% graded 2.4km climb bottom to top. First at the top after five laps has bust the most balls!

I'd scanned the start list and picked out five other previous winners, I knew this was going to be a tough day. With my far from ideal preparation I had done my rain dance earlier in the week... I train a lot around this area, I know every corner, every manhole, every bump. I have names for them all, but I won't bore you!

Wayne running to victory © Dave TyrellMy rain dance had worked a treat and it was already wet and spitting by the time the hooter set us off. Seconds before the start I'd given Jess my watch thinking I will be too worried about lap splits and how fast/slow I was going. I wanted to race the athletes there, not worry about time... that said, my initial race plan was blown away by Dave Mitchison who took off on the first run never to be seen again until Lap two on the bike. With a couple of no shows on race day, and Lee Piercy (my rival strong biker), still suffering from a bout of flu I knew I had to win this race on the bike. Who knows what Dave Mitchison was capable of on the 2nd run, all I know is that he's clocked a 64min half marathon! Which basically means, the boy can run.

I left T1 in 3rd after a decent, but comfortable first run, having pulled away from the Julien on the hill. I took my time for the first half mile putting my gloves on, and then put my down head in pursuit of first Matt Pullen, who had a stonking second run to finish 2nd on the day. I hauled him in, in no time at all and now it was all about catching Dave and putting as much time as possible into him. I got caught up in some traffic on the first lap which lost me some time on the downhill stretches where I was hoping to make up the most time, but my second lap was simply awesome. I felt good, I bombed the downhill, hitting the brakes only a few times and must have clocked a 22min lap because my 3rd lap was again slowed by traffic and other athletes I was now lapping. This was to be expected though.

As I climbed boxhill into T2 feeling pleased with my bike ride, the only problem now was, how far ahead was I?

Like most people, I found T2 a bit like an ice rink, but having safely skated my way through I set off on the 2nd run not knowing how much of a lead I had, something I did know though, I was numb from my knees down. I took comfort knowing some of my fellow competitors riding by telling me I had a big ass lead! My favourite... I had a "colossal" lead! Solid and steady would win this I thought! I thoroughly enjoyed the 2nd run, cruising within myself until I hit the Zig Zag for the final time and that's when I knew I was tired and this last 10-11mins was going to be hell. In the back of mind I knew that 1-mile into this hill there was the TriTalk crowd with Cowbells/clappers and loud cheers... something I'd only experienced at Powerman Austria. Most people will agree it was a big help and it carried me to the top of each climb feeling much better. When I look at the photos of the TT crowd, there did not seem as many people there as their noise suggested? I'd be surprised if any had voices the next day! Crossing the finishline and feeling the pain knowing I'd pretty much left everything I had out there today, I waited to see Matt come in a few seconds ahead of a tiring Dave. Almost perfect timing as the rain seemed to ease up for the prizegiving, WOW my rain dance really had worked!!

My splits went something like:

Run: 43:46
Bike: 1hr09min37sec (incl T1)
Run: 49:38 (incl T2)
Finish time: 2hr43min01sec

Big thanks goes to Jess and a couple of my friends who came out to support and shout for me, and of course to John Lunt and the Humanrace gang... this is the best duathlon in the UK and I'll be back again! Also a quick thanks to Greg at TRIandRUN for sorting me out with those toe covers, my toes appreciated those on the bike ride!

I think that's it for me this year, it's two days later and I'm still walking around looking mighty stupid and the biggest challenge in my life right now is the getting downstairs trick.

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