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Planet X's Garry Davy Qualifies for Duathlon Worlds!

Planet X's Garry Davy Qualifies for Duathlon Worlds!

Garry Davy, customer service advisor here at Planet X, might be one of the most injury-prone athletes out there. He is one of our longest serving members of staff and in his nine years in the company, barely month has gone by without Garry coming into work with a new complaint. After qualifying for the 2008 World Triathlon Champions in Copenhagen in his first year of veteran competition, Garry's injury roll call has been impressive. He's had 3 operations in 5 years: 2 on his knees and one on his back. A mountain biking injury in Dalby Forest left him in hospital for three weeks. He then ruptured his calf, tearing a chunk of muscle off the bone which took six weeks to recover in high-tech brace. A slipped disc in 2013 saw off the entire season, with Garry out of action from March to July. He managed to fit in a few months of training only to be hit by a van on the commute in October and sustaining a broken arm. Here at Planet X, we joke that he must have his own room at Rotherham hospital by now!

Despite all this, Garry managed to race to 2nd place overall in the 2008 Stockton Trialthon (1st place Veteran) and has now qualified for his age groups for this year's ITU World Duathlon Championships in Pontevedra, Spain at the end of May. This is only six months after getting hit by a van and with no substantial training in recent years! It's an amazing achievement, so we sat down with him to get the low-down.

You do have to register in order to stand a chance at qualification, but it wasn't an aim for Garry when he entered the Clumber Park Dualthon on the 22nd of March. "I just wanted to race. Until two weeks before the event I wasn't racing at all so qualification wasn't really a target, I just registered to give myself a chance." There were three Duathlons that were set as qualifiers for the worlds, but Clumber Park was the race that attracted the most atheletes with World Championship aspirations. Nonetheless, Garry was the first one getting on his bike after the run at T1. "I'm a much stronger runner than a cyclist and lost a lot of time on the bike - I blew up after only 10 miles! I hit the final run hard but I had too much time to make up in order to qualify automatically. Looking back, I'm sure that if I'd gone to one of the other qualifiers with weaker fields I would have qualified." A few weeks after the race, Garry learnt that he had qualified as one of the fastest losers and his plans for the summer changed completely.

How is he preparing for the Championships? "I'm staying out of trouble! My running club is taking bets as to whether or not I'll even make it given my past record of injuries. I think even I'd have a punt on that! Otherwise, more hours on the bike because that's the weakest bit. Running is going really well but cycling is the worry." On the run-up, Garry's got two races planned: the Epworth Sprint Triathlon on the 4th of May and the Southwell Print Triathlon on the 18th. "I'm treating them both as training races. I won't take them too quick. The more I race the more likely I am to injure myself!" Garry's plan for the race itself is quite simple: "I only know one way of racing: go as hard as possible. You have to put yourself in a winning position and give everything. After than it doesn't matter if you win or lose. You can't cross the line knowing that you could have given it more. I'm quite philosophical about it that like that. You finish where you finsh."

The sprint course consists of a 5km run, a 20km cycle and another 2.5km run. It's not ideal for Garry. "I've had a look online and it's pancake flat. I'd prefer it hilly because I'm good on the hills while many of the time triallists that race duathlon aren't. It could get hot and I'm not good in the heat, but at least it is short. It's a costal race as well, so the sea breeze will help with heat too. I'll check it out when I get there." We think Garry's got a great chance and we're all rooting for him here at Planet X. We just hope that he'll stay safe and we'll keep you posted with his progress!

15 April 2014