London Duathlon 2013 – Crossing The Line
‘Phew – it’s done!’ I’m guessing that was a sentiment shared by many of the 3000 people who crossed the finish line of the 2013 London Duathlon in September, me included.
As my first ever duathlon approached, so did pre-race nerves, not helped by the wind and rain that showed up earlier than promised and just in time for my 2pm start gun. I needn’t have worried about logistics or the weather, though. Neither came close to getting in the way of a brilliant experience that hurt like hell towards the end but was totally worth it for the sense of achievement.
Richmond Park was closed to traffic for the event, which seemed to attract a huge range of ages and abilities. The transition area was filled with everything from the latest time trial machines to folding bikes (yes, really!), with skinsuits, Lycra and baggy shorts all on show. Throw in an event village lined with vocal supporters and it all added up to a fun atmosphere. It seemed as though the emphasis was on challenging yourself rather than annihilating the competition, with many athletes taking part to raise money for official charity partner Macmillan Cancer Support.
After some fairly strict pre-race literature landed on my doorstep, I was expecting a more formal setup. As a duathlon newbie this was contributing to my nerves a bit (‘What if I get disqualified in transition?’ was one of my main worries) but I needn’t have panicked.
The event village was full of helpful staff to point you in the right direction, with local shop Bikelab on hand to help with pre-race checks (wheels and tyres, brakes, gears and frame, plus the ‘drop test’) and any last-minute maintenance issues. Out on the course the routes were all well signposted, and friendly marshals were there at every turn to offer encouragement or instruction. The closed roads were a treat, and the beautiful if sodden surroundings a welcome distraction when the pain really kicked in. Crossing the finish line, the Move Clinics massage tent looked particularly appealing!
As for my results, I finished the 5K/11K/5K route 1:17:36, with splits all within the 24min mark (my transitions could have used a little work, at 00:02:42 and 00:01:20). That put me fifth out of 146 women competing in the Super Sprint. I honestly hadn’t given any thought to where I might place, and was just hoping to get round without my dodgy knee giving way, so I’m chuffed to bits with my time. In fact, I reckon it’s a decent PB to try to beat in next year’s event!
If you fancy a multisport challenge for next year, or taking up running to boost your winter fitness, enter the 2014 London Duathlon online now. Super Sprint (5K/11K/5K), Sprint (10K/22K/5K), Classic (10K/44K/5K solo or as a relay) and Ultra (20K/77K/10K) distances are all on offer, with early bird discounts available.
This entry was posted on Monday, October 14th, 2013 at 10:37 am and is filed under Blog, Cycling Plus. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.