With the 4th November being a down week in the cyclocross calendar, three Walkers CC members took advantage of a new open event being run by South Lanarkshire Council. Fiona Walker, Euan Clelland and Fiona Wallace took part in the inaugural Dirty Duo – a mini-duathlon set in the picturesque (and muddy) Calderglen Park. While it didn’t reach Olympic levels, the event was far from an…erm… stroll in the park, with competitors undertaking a 3.2km run followed by a 4.8km cyclocross-style ride and ending very symmetrically with a further 3.2km run.
Fiona Walker got off to a fine start and covered the first stage in a strong position before very quickly getting a firm grip on the cycling section. Her stamina held out well in the final run to earn her a well-deserved 4th place in the Ladies’ race. Euan, building on foundations laid down in his high-altitude Alpine training earlier in the year, put in a heroic performance in all stages to complete the event to the rapturous applause of his family and the crowd. With his business not leaving him as much free time as he’d like, this was an inspired and inspiring result for him. Fiona Wallace burst on the duathlon scene with all the aplomb of a middle-aged spinster at an inter-branch Women’s Rural knit-off. With a running style at times more reminiscent of Monty Python’s King Arthur and his knights than Liz McColgan, she found the run challenging. But she hung on to complete the course with only a modicum of cheating and to claim first place in the over 50, under 5’2″ category.
But seriously, well done to the intrepid trio. This was not an easy course with the run section taking in some steep and often slippery ascents and descents. The cycle section was more familiar territory with some grassy sections, a swooping downhill through a wooded stretch and finishing with an uphill on tarmac. Luckily the heavy rain of during the week had not made the course over-wet, and all competitors made it round safely if a tad muddy. South Lanarkshire intend to run the event again next year, and it certainly has a lot to commend it. I’ll be there.