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David Vaughan: Ballbuster winner
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Tuesday 6th March 2012


Tags  Ballbuster  |  David Vaughan  |  Human Race


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Duathlon specialist David Vaughan took on the challenge of the Kinetica Ballbuster Duathlon last Saturday and once again returned home with the win, a great start for the Irish Emerald Racing squad he is a key driver behind.


Kinetica Ballbuster Duathlon report

Over 300 athletes gathered on a still misty morning at Boxhill on Saturday for the early season duathlon classic, The Kinetica Ballbuster Duathlon. The formula for the Ballbuster Duathlon is pretty simple; it's an 8-mile lap starting at the top of Boxhill. You run the lap once, bike it three times and then run it again. It's probably my favourite Duathlon course (and I have done a long list at this stage), but it doesn't favour runners as much as the distance suggests because the bike course is pretty epic.

I started a bit cagey as there's often some new faces (quick runners) at this race who push the pace early which I was hoping would happen. You never know who's there but nobody was taking it on so I just went from the gun. One guy came with me and I didn't feel we were going fast enough so I pushed on from about mile-4. I've raced here three times and I've never not been first into T1 so I was pleased to get out on the bike on my own again.

David Vaughan ©Matt Alexander

The key to the bike is smashing the first lap while you have a clear road ahead of you and putting time into the other guys. Then you have to keep on charging for the next two laps without losing much time weaving through the traffic which is stuck behind other athletes a lap down. I was lucky enough to be invited to lunch for the 20th anniversary edition of the Ballbuster where we had nine former winners present. We were all asked what we thought was the key to winning this race and the answer was amazingly uniform. Everyone said you gotta show some kahunas on the bike! The time on the bike flies by for me as it's extremely challenging through all the different sections. But if you want a fast split you got to commit. I fell off the bike (literally) in 1.05 which is pretty quick for this course and raced straight down the hill to run the last 8-mile lap.

For the whole day I was playing a little mind game with myself which I called 'Where's Sam?'. Sam is actually a real guy, Sam Baxter who won this race last year and he was on the start list this year. I was pretty sure he hadn't started but all through the race I was constantly telling myself that he was coming to get me; that I wasn't pushing hard enough. The legs felt surprisingly light with a good turnover and it felt pretty quick. I was keeping an eye on my watch the whole time as I wanted to break 2.40 which for many is the gold standard in this event, so I flew up the hill to finish in 2.38.21. Job done and I took the win by 10 minutes. The reason I was watching the time is because I have a list of the 10 fastest ever finish times from every Ballbuster since 1997and I wanted to get my name on it again. Here's the updated list...

Pos Athlete Time Year
1 Garry Gerrard 02:34:40 Winter 2001
2 Wayne Smith 02:36:11 Winter 2001
3 James Gilfillan 02:37:14 Spring 2009
4 Wayne Smith 02:37:58 Winter 2010
5 David Vaughan 02:38:21 Spring 2012
6 Stuart Hall 02:39:15 Winter 2004
7 David Vaughan 02:39:20 Spring 2008
8 Mike Jubb 02:40:15 Winter 2003
9 Rich Hunt 02:40:18 Winter 2005
10 Wayne Smith 02:40:41 Winter 2009

Special credit to Victoria Gill of Swim for Tri who won the ladies in 2.59.41. It's pretty much unheard of for the ladies to go under the 3 hour mark as far as I know. She was also 12th overall so big respect for chick-ing most of the field.

David Vaughan and Victoria Gill

Pos Male Female
1 David Vaughan 2:38:21 Victoria Gill (Swim for Tri) 2:59:41
2 Sam Wade (Brighton Phoenix Tri) 2:48:47 Gemma Farrell 3:17:25
3 Nicolas Saillard (Bike Science/Planet X) 2:50:12 Manuela Maxwell (Chiltern Triathletes) 3:19:23

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