With the Duathlon World Championships in Ibiza just around the corner, Caitlin Peers had been frantically training hard to try and get herself in the best possible shape for it over quite a short space of time. That had meant mixing some hard bike sessions with Zoom Tri Club into her schedule along with some intense interval training with Bournemouth AC and generally looking to sharpen her speed wherever possible.
It’s been clear to see from the training sessions that Caitlin has been improving and getting faster and stronger but without race evidence it’s difficult to gage exactly what sort of shape you are in.
The Chippenham Half Marathon last September was a bit of a breakthrough run for Caitlin when she recorded a time of 1:26:05 whilst representing Dorset in the South-West Inter-Counties Road Race Championships.
Last month she came 10th in the Hampshire Cross Country League race at Kings Park, which was a terrific achievement given the standard of competition she was up against.
At the Duathlon World Championships she’ll be competing in the Standard distance event which consists of a 9.7km run, a 39.6km cycle and a 5.2km run. Therefore she decided, as preparation for that event, she would head over to the Brighton Marathon Weekend and take on the 10k race.
In some ways it was a similar sort of vibe, since Brighton is known for its vibrant and eclectic nightlife and Ibiza is the party capital of Europe. They wouldn’t be bad locations to be in once the racing is out the way with.
There was one big difference between the two though and that was the weather. There was a noticeable chill in the air at Brighton and that probably won’t be the case in Ibiza. In fact it took quite a while to warm up and there was a fairly strong wind as well.
The course was predominantly flat with a couple of minor inclines. Caitlin started with a 6 minute mile before following it up with a 6:05 for her second mile. She then hit a 6:01 for the third mile.
Going through the 5k point in 18:29, she was 5th female at that point and 66th overall. She went on to complete the fourth mile in 6:04 and the and fifth in 6:09, leaving her with just a mile and a bit left to go.
Her splits had been remarkably consistent so far, but could she close it out? Of course she could. In fact, she finishing really strongly with a 6 minute mile for her sixth before getting up to 5:38 pace for the remaining 0.2 miles.
Completing her second 5k in 19:05, she’d recorded a final finishing time of 37:35 which made her 6th female and 71st overall. That was out of 2,763 participants. That was around three minutes quicker than her previous best 10k time so represented great progress for Caitlin.
She was over the moon with that result and it would serve as a great confidence booster for her going into the Duathlon World Championships. She felt like she’d worked hard but hadn’t put absolutely everything into it, which was good given that she’ll need to complete a 40 cycle and 5k run afterwards in the actual duathlon.
The race was won by Jack Kavanagh of Holland Sports AC in 31:04. That was just enough to fend off competition from Kojo Kyerme of Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers who was 2nd in 31:11.
Charlie Rogers of Full-On Tri-Club was 3rd in 31:24, with Ugur Altan having to settle for 4th place with his time of 31:25. Six men went under 32 minutes and the top ten were all under 33.
Joelle Cortis was 1st female in a time of 35:43 which out her in 40th place overall. Linda Schofield of Brighton & Hove AC was 2nd female and 56th overall in a time of 36:50, with Lucy Lavender of Lewes taking 3rd female spot and 60th overall in a time of 37:01.
Caitlin was absolutely buzzing after her run and was now looking forward to Ibiza even more. If she could reproduce a performance like that for her opening run, it will certainly stand her in good stead. After the race she stayed on to cheer the marathon runners on as they negotiated one of the biggest and most iconic courses in the country.