Monday, 13 October 2014

Event review: Dinton Duathlon

Recently I wrote about how lucky I am to have loads of well-organised fitness events close by. And last weekend I took part in one such race, held at a local country park. This was the third Dinton Duathlon and combined a 5k run around the park, a marshalled 20k road cycle and then a second lap of the 5k run route. I entered as part of a team, taking on both the runs, while a friend covered the bike section. The majority of entrants were completing the whole duathlon themselves, although there is a good mix of abilities, age groups and gender. While some participants are really VERY good, at no point did I feel out of place as a newbie.

Lining up at the start

Location, location, location

Dinton Pastures is also a great location for the event - there is plenty of parking, decent trails for the run and a well-stocked cafe for before and after (and all those last-minute panic trips to the loo!). Between my two runs I was able to get changed into fresh kit too. The park doesn't close to the public, but there's plenty of space for the race to go on alongside the families and dog walkers typically there early on a Sunday morning. There were also plenty of high-vis-wearing marshals and signposts (so sadly no way I could 'accidentally' go off route and take a short cut...).

Smiles after the miles
The Barnes Fitness event is well-run and isn't huge, the pre-race briefing told us all we needed to know but didn't go on so long we all got frostbite/bored/confused! The transition area was clear and easy to manoeuvre. The friendly nature on the day also means it is a great way to build up some confidence for competitive events, particularly if you have your eyes on a triathlon in the future. The race was also time-chipped - and results were immediately available on a large TV screen - so I could see if I had beaten my target of getting at least one of my 5k runs in under 30 minutes (I did - hurrah!!). 



Everybody needs good neighbours

There were several people I knew competing - including teachers from my child's school - such is the nature of a local event, and this added to the camaraderie of the day I think. It's also reassuring to be familiar with the location - and it is certainly far more practical being physically close to the site (otherwise you have to set off at the crack of dawn in case the roads are awful, adding to those pre-race nerves). Dinton is also a great place for supporters (including children) to pass the time while you take part. 

Who doesn't like a medal?!
I'd certainly recommend the event - and plan to go again. While I still have a long way to go before I feel like an 'athlete', at the duathlon I certainly felt like a competitor - and part of the event. At the finish line I received a goody bag and some race bling - and I rather enjoyed hearing my name over the PA...

If you fancy trying a similar event, check the Barnes Fitness page for upcoming run or multi-sport events (it also runs aquathlon events in the Dinton lakes in summer), or check out what goes on at your local country park. And if you have any other great race recommendations, please add them below in the comment box. 

12 comments:

  1. Well done on completing the race, and for supporting your local event. I'm quite envious of anyone thats so active.

    Angela - Garden Tea Cakes and Me

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    1. Thank you! It's great to have local sporty events.

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  2. I really want to do a Duathlon next spring. I've done a number of tri races and honestly do not like the swim at all. Looks like a fun race :)

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    1. Yes, it's a great combo (bike & run) - and still a decent challenge. The transition is obviously a lot easier too.

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  3. Well done for completing this dualthon and getting your medal! I'm neither a runner or cyclist...although I am a swimmer :D Maybe one day I'll be fit enough to take part it a dual or tri!! Thanks for sharing on #WWDISL

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    1. Well, apparently swimming is usually the hardest thing for newbies to master in a triathlon - so maybe you could go all out for that with a swimmer's advantage! I must admit at the big Tri hubby went to recently (the Hever one in my previous post actually) I was amazed at the variety of fitness levels - just to complete the course regardless of time is an achievement and beats being a spectator!

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  4. I would much rather do a Duathlon than a Triathlon... its not that I don't like swimming, I just don't like open water swimming so as long as its a pool swim I am good. Glad you had fun and nice medal! Nice post! #wowlinkup

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    1. That seems to be the good thing about triathlons - there's loads of variety. I'm not a keen road cyclist so it's great that some have cycling on a track/velodrome - and again since open water isn't everyone's fave, that there are pool swims too. Thanks for commenting.

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  5. Wow well done! What a great achievement x #WWDISL

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    1. I have officially reached middle age now - so I need to do something to remind me I'm still alive!!

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  6. What a great thing to get involved in and so healthy for you. Great medal and way to go too! I wish I could do things like this. Swimming in open water scares me though I will stick to a pool anyday. lol THanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

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    1. Some triathlons have pool swims - which is great - since open water scares most sane people!!

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