So I’ve finally taken part in my first multi-sport event and what an event it was! A tiring 10km run, 44km cycle and a 5km run at the end just to make matters worse.
I decided to induct myself into such events through a run-bike-run and not because I can’t swim (I can I promise) but because my competitive nature couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take on ‘The World’s Largest Duathlon’. With the event also taking place in one of the most beautiful and one of my favourite parks being Richmond Park, it was an easy decision to sign up.
I’m quite familiar with the work of Limelight Sports so as expected the event was very well organised and I arrived at the recommended time which was 45 minutes before my wave. I must admit it was quite nerve racking setting up in transition and seeing such well seasoned duathletes around me in which everything seemed second nature to them. This was comforted by striking up conversation with several like minded first-timers as we discussed everything from our strategy to pre event training schedules – my strategy was simply to get round!
With the toilet stop, water intake and a brief warm up and stretch done it was time to make my way into the starting pens. The safety briefing was given and we were off! I decided to take the 10km at a nice and leisurely pace and certainly wasn’t aiming for a PB time. With the 44km bike in the back of mind I wanted to be as fresh as possible going into transition. It was a lovely route which I was quite familiar with due to taking most of my training rides there and with 1km to go I really couldn’t wait to get on that bike.
Coming into the transition area I bumped into one of the guys I got talking to at the beginning and he advised me to take a couple of minutes to stretch it out as my body would very much thank me for it later. I took his advice and then on the bike leg I went.
With the knowledge that I’m a lot stronger on the bike I felt this was the opportunity to make up time lost on the 10km run and in transition but I also knew that the most amount of laps I’d ever done of Richmond Park was 2, so doubling that plus the lactate which had already built up in my legs from the run meant it was going to be a tough ask indeed.
The water/feed stations were very well manned and I took full advantage of stocking up on much needed fluids and bananas which were handed out. Whilst coming into transition for the final run I passed several duathletes already on their final run stage and I honestly couldn’t think of anything worse than running again. I decided to take a few minutes again to stretch it out and then gave myself a pep talk before going out on the run, “54k done, just 5k and you’ve finished!”
1km into the run on came the dreaded cramp – both my quad and hamstring in my right leg gone. I asked myself how an earth I was going to finish. I stepped to the side and took a minute to stretch it out again, whilst thinking of how worth it and how accomplished I’d feel crossing that line. The last 4km was a slog but I tried to pick up the pace for the last 400m, and when I saw the finish line I mustered together every bit of energy I had before sprinting to the finish and then dropping to my knees in exhaustion and relieve.
Crossing that finish line was one of the best feelings I’ve had from an event, just knowing what I put my body through for those three hours and I’ve got to say that a Triathlon is next on the agenda.
Did you take part in London Duathlon or have you in the past? Are you thinking about taking part? Hopefully I’ve inspired you to do so but please feel free to share your story or ask any questions you may have!