Last Sunday over 3000 runners and cyclists hit Richmond Park to take on London Duathlon, the world’s largest event of this kind. Participants had the choice of one of five options, which included:
Ultra distance (20K run, 77K cycle, 10K run)
Classic (10K run, 44K cycle, 5K run)
Classic Relay (10K run, 44K cycle, 5K run)
Sprint (10K run, 22K cycle, 5K run)
Super Sprint (5K run, 11K cycle, 5K run) ideal for beginners.
Runner’s World’s own Dorota Wiszniowska tackled the Classic, here’s her race report:
As a place to spend a sunny afternoon lying on a rug, Richmond park never seemed to be that taxing, but this year's London Duathlon proved otherwise. After crossing the start line and leaving the event village, we headed counter clockwise around the park. Route organisation was excellent, even with bikes coming in the opposite direction, there was not confusion and over taking was easy (not that much of that happened!).
The first 3k – 4k were uphill, which I wasn't a massive fan of, but the course levelled off and soon enough I was able to hit my stride and prepare for the bike. After the first run, it was straight into transition and out on the bike course, and what a course it was. Heading clockwise around the park, you face one short, steep uphill and then a couple of steady drags that will get the legs fired up. What goes up, must come down and the down was the hill from the first run so I enjoyed much more a second time around.
I saw a couple of incidents of people going off the route from what I can only assume to be exuberant cornering but there were no major offs and every seemed to keep it good and tight. By the third lap (there were 4) my legs were pretty tired but I wanted to finish within 3.5 hours so had to do a final push. Jelly babies were keeping me going!
And so back into transition and out for the final 5km run. My legs were sore by this point. It started flat and then uphill again (I had to walk briefly at one point), after that there was a downhill and I actually managed to do the final 5km in 27 minutes, which pleased me greatly.
Overall the event was well organised; the event village and transition were easy to navigate, there was water on the run route (both 10k and 5k), the course was challenging but not soul destroying and I saw some deer!
To find out more or to get yourself entered to next year’s event visit www.londonduathlon.com.