Around 2,000 people took to Richmond Park on Sunday 3 September for the London Duathlon.
Hosted by LimeLight Sports Club, the annual event saw participants run, cycle and run through the stunning sights of Richmond Park. Now in its 17th year, the London Duathlon is regarded as one of the world’s biggest and most popular duathlons, with participants from a range of experience levels.
As well as the picturesque surroundings provided by London’s largest Royal Park, one of the main attractions of the London Duathlon is the chance to enjoy racing on a closed route. The event is one of only a small number of closed-route duathlons in the UK, making it a must-attend for people looking for personal best times.
People can choose from three distance options and a relay race: the half duathlon involves a 5k run, followed by a 22k bike ride, and a further 5k run; the full duathlon is double that distance (10k run, 44k bike ride, 10k run); and the ultra-duathlon option challenges participants to run 20k, cycle 77k, and run a final 20k.
Alex Carr, who originates from New Zealand but now lives in London, was the first finisher for the full-distance duathlon. He said: “It was awesome, a good turn out and a great day for it. It’s always great racing through Richmond Park. I actually finished first last year, so a bit of pressure this year to retain it. The route is beautiful, it’s awesome to have the roads closed and with the deer everywhere.”
Results available here: https://results.sporthive.com
Rugby charity Restart was the event’s official charity partner, with rugby fans encouraged to take part and raise vital funds to help it continue its work. Restart provides support to professional rugby players and their families when suffering from serious injury, illness or hardship, helping with the cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation equipment and disability support. Former professional rugby players, including ex-Harlequins forward Jim Evans, took part in the event.
Following the event, Jim Evans said: “The London Duathlon was thoroughly enjoyable, I would recommend it. The last time I did this event was back in 2012 and I was a damn sight fitter than I am now, but it was a really good challenge with loads of support and I absolutely loved it. There’s an event for every entry level, too.
“It’s massively important that we give a bit back to Restart Rugby. As an ex-player, I was lucky to have come through my career relatively scot-free, bar a bit of arthritis, but there are players out there that need the support and need the charity to help support them so it’s hugely important that we raise money for that charity.”
James Hogben, MD of LimeLight Sports, said: “We’re really pleased to have delivered another epic London Duathlon, giving people such a unique experience of running and cycling through the beautiful Richmond Park without having to worry about any cars on the roads.
“The London Duathlon is, however, about much more than the surroundings; it provides a great way to introduce new participants to multisport events without the swimming element, which can be daunting for many, whilst providing a platform to build up to the possibility of a triathlon. And for those seasoned triathletes, it provides a great opportunity to boost fitness and test new tactics or nutrition plans.
“Accessibility to sport and physical activity through mass participant events is a major priority for us at LimeLight Sports Club, ensuring that we break down barriers to encourage as many people the opportunity to take part as possible. You don’t even need to own a bike to take part in this event, with bike hire available at the event.
“Amongst all of the deer and wildlife, it’s been a truly magical event again, and we look forward to next year, which we are expecting to sell-out fast.”