964On yer bike!

On yer bike!

With multisport events growing in popularity, we sent keen runner Nick Smith to take on the ultra distance of the London Duathlon. Here’s how he got on.Nick Smith

If you set out to take on the ultra distance straight away you must be pretty fit to start with!

My passion is running, I love any event from 10k to Marathon distance. I commute to work on a bike so that tends to break my training up a little. My average week consists of four to five 10km runs and cycling most days. At the weekend I aim to run longer, anything from 10 miles up depending on what I am training for.
How did you find the organisation at the start?
The event was really well organised from start to finish. Race registration was smooth and race stewards were really friendly and helpful.
How did it work with getting your bike to the transition area?
The transition area was really secure and well marked out. Race stewards assisted you to the correct bike rack for the event. Getting there early did mean I could get the best spot near the bike exit gate!
How was the course?
The run course had a relatively steep incline at about the 2km point but it was pretty much flat from then on and pretty fast coming around the transition area. The bike route was tough. A very steep hill to tackle early on, you literally crawled up it and having to tackle that seven times was tough! There were a few fast downhill parts of the cycle course leading back up to the transition point which meant you could make up a bit of time lost from climbing the steep hill. The route in general wasn’t too congested, after the first lap of the 20km run you joined the masses who were competing in the challenge distance but the roads were wide enough to accommodate all participants. The final 10km leg of the race was pretty sparse and a little lonely but it was just a case of grinding that bit out!
What was the atmosphere like? Many supporters?
Atmosphere at the start was great, everyone seemed pretty hyped up and chatty. Spectators surrounding the transition area were great. The ultra runners were marked out with yellow numbers so the spectators really cheered you on knowing that it was a long distance to cover. Support was a little sparse around the back of the route but that was to be expected.
If this was your first multisport event, what was it like as a first-timer?
It was the toughest event I have ever done but by far the most satisfying. I’m used to racing and hitting PBs but this was all about endurance and a race against myself. The furthest I have competed in is marathon distance, this event blows that out of the water. There really is no comparison.
How would you rate the goody bag at the finish?
Unfortunately all I got was a medal. If there was a goody bag then it certainly wasn’t clear where it was being handed out! I was gunning for a free t-shirt to add to my collection!
How easy or hard was it to get all your belongings back after you finished? Was there a drop off and collection system for competitors?
Once I had crossed the finish, collected my medal and some water it was a short walk back into the transition area to gather my belongings and collect my bike. Very simple!
Any advice for people thinking about doing this event or one like it?
If you take part in an ultra event it’s so important to train as much as possible and study the course as a lot of people got caught out by the hills. Also have a good nutrition regime ready as you need to constantly re-fuel yourself.
What kit did you use during the event?
Orca 226 tri-suit, Brooks Pure Connect race shoe, Boardman Team Carbon Bike, Boardman Helmet, DHB R1 Road cycling Shoe, Maxifuel carb gels, PowerBar Energise Isotonic drink
Nick’s times:20km Run - 1hr 3380km Bike - 3hrs 2mins10km Run - 55 mins

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