Sponsored by Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity, the London Duathlon is returning to Richmond Park this September as athletes get ready to run, bike and run on closed roads in south west London. It is a double-discipline endurance event that encourages participants to raise money for charity. The sporty types who would like to do a triathlon but get deterred by the cold water of the Thames. The London Duathlon consists of three main categories: fun, challenge or challenge team relay. About half of the 3,500 entrants will be competing for the first time and experienced top athletes can also take part in separate elite and junior elite sprint races.
This year, the London Duathlon will take place on Sunday 15 September at the Richmond Park which is an English countryside just 30 minutes from central London. The duathlon is a run-bike-run event that gives the opportunity to athletes to race through the splendid surroundings of Richmond Street while on closed roads. The duathlon is like a triathlon but without swimming events and involving only running and cycling. It is in three stages and the distances of each activity vary according to the challenge entered. It is a very popular annual event that takes place in Richmond Park in southwest London. Thousands of competitors take part in the event because of its unique setting and the ability to compete on closed roads.
The largest duathlon of the world till date is the inaugural London Duathlon which took place on 17 September 2005 in Richmond Park, Surrey and in which nearly 2,500 people took part. Since 2005, the number of participants has grown to just under 4,000. The premier duathlon of the world is however the Powerman Zofingen in Switzerland, It is a hilly 10 km run, mostly on trails followed by a very hilly 150 km road bike consisting of three 50 km loops each of which feature the Bodenburg ascent and finally a very hilly 30km two loop trail run.
A new form of duathlon has now become popular in the last few years. It is referred to as an off-road duathlon, or “Dirty-Du”. It consists of trail run, followed by a mountain bike leg followed by a final trail run.