The London Duathlon in Richmond park is happening every year in September. As of this year (2016) they also offer a 10K race in case cycling isn’t your thing but you’d still like to run through a park filled with deer, which surprisingly enough really don’t care if you want to drive past them or not (and you have to stop for the deer, that’s one of the rules.)
The gf doesn’t like to swim, so triathlons are out. This is the 2nd time that we’ve participated. And we plan to enter next year’s race as well.
A Duathlon is basically run, bike run. So far we’ve done the Half Duathlon. 5km – 22km – 5km. I’m a bit scared of doing the full one, which is 10km – 44km – 5km and I’m not even going to mention the Ultra (20km – 77km – 10km).
It’s a wonderful route through a wonderful park. Except for this one hill…
The night before the gf prepared the outfits. A flat Susan and a flat Olivia. All ready to go. With warm clothes for before and after the race. It is September after all… and if you’re not sweaty by the end of it, you might have done it wrong. We headed out at 6AM so we’d be there reasonably early and wouldn’t have to stress.
Look at us, all fresh and ready. Prepared for the horrors to come. Did I mention that hill?
London Duathlon is the world’s largest duathlon. It offers athletes of all abilities the chance to participate. And that is true. They’re very beginner friendly. They’re very supportive. There’s a sense of community and it doesn’t feel like you’re in the way if you take it slower than other people.
The bikes wait in the transition area. Can you tell we were there very early?
My day before looked mostly like this: 90% panic, 10% almost panic. Yes, mostly panic. I was prepared but I could have trained better and more.
The organisation of the event is excellent. Well laid out course, big transition area, and absolutely no way to get lost.
Now for the race itself… I always fear it might kill me. The first 5K run is no problem and I even did the fastest 5K since my knee surgeries. So far so good. Changing to the bike is something I enjoy because it’s almost a relief for the muscles to be able to do something different. The hill… I didn’t have to walk, both times I managed to make it all the way up, but I wanted to cry. The second run? By that point I was just hoping I’d make it over the finish line before everyone else had packed up and left. In the end it didn’t go so bad either and I finished 10 minutes faster than last year.
I was quite happy with that. Now, however, I’d like to make it below 2 hours next year. That’s my goal.
Info: There’s no pictures of me after the race, because, well my face looked a bit like I was about to cry, or like I just had a stroke. Really not one I need to be reminded of. Ever.
The Royal Parks Half Marathon we did a few weeks later? That was a disaster though. Really need to work on my long runs. (Summary? Hobble, hobble, hobble cry.)