It’s Sunday morning at 6am – my alarm has just gone off, I groan and haul myself out of bed. It can only mean one thing – I have a race!
Today’s race was in fact the day of my first ever team and multisport event – the Dinton Duathlon, which comprised a 5k run/20k cycle/5k run. I have been looking forward to and terrified of this race in equal measure for the last 2 months. I think it’s been a fear of the unknown – running races are easy for me now, but I had no idea what actually happens at a duathlon! I abandoned the notion of actually taking part as an individual seeing as I have the cycling skills of a 4-year-old, and Andy kindly stepped in and took on the 20k cycle. Cue team Dashing Diva and Dude.
As it happened, I needn’t have worried about anything at all as we arrived at the race, which was super easy to find and in the beautiful setting of Dinton Pastures Country Park, in plenty of time. We parked up, registered, dropped Andy’s bike off and after the excellent race briefing, we were both ready and raring to go.
I set off in the second wave with the other team runners – the run was a 5k circuit on the trails around the country park. I got to try out my new Adidas Raven trails shoes for real and I can assure you they had a real test as it was quite slippery and muddy in places! My legs were still sore from a really hardcore circuits session on Friday (think 150+ kettle bell swings, 30+ squat jumps, burpees etc) so my time wasn’t earth shattering – 28.09 minutes. I handed the baton (timing chip) to Andy who then set off on the 20k on-road cycle. I waited in the bike transition area, had a bit of my protein cookie, chatted to some other runners and before I knew it Andy was back after smashing the cycle part in an incredible 34.39 minutes (actually the third fastest bike time in the team event – well done Andy!).
My achey legs then set off on the second 5k around the same circuit – surprisingly the run wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be at all. Sure, my legs felt a bit tired, but I pushed through as it was ONLY 5k after all. I finished the second 5k in a slightly slower 29.09 minutes (I’ll take that!).
I can confirm that Team Dashing Diva and Dude finished the team event 12th out of 25 teams and were the 4th mixed gender team. I think for two total duathlon newbies that’s not too bad is it?
DIVA rating: 5/5
- Great location – beautiful setting, easy to find, good parking and amenities (no queues for the toilets and actual real toilets!).
- Well organised, both in the materials beforehand and the excellent briefing in the morning
- Great fun event – I loved being part of a team and everyone was really friendly and supportive
- Lots of marshals
- Beginner friendly – not all triathlons or duathlons are very accommodating of beginners, which is a real shame
- Doing the team event allowed me to get a taste of what doing a full duathlon would be like, but without the stress
- Nice trail run instead of a boring road run
- Great bling
I highly recommend this event, particularly for those who want to give a duathlon a go. If you’re uncertain about doing the whole event alone, why not join a team of 2 or 3?
Special thanks to Andy for stepping in at the last minute to cycle and for Ellie of Barnes Fitness for giving us a place in the event.