Imperial returns to the Velopark in Stratford, London for the inaugural London Universities Duathlon Championships.

Pre-race prep included: gawking at the competition’s incredibly expensive bikes; going to the toilet and putting on a trisuit in the wrong order; debating over the optimum bike racking position in the transition area and some compulsory pre-race gossip. Oh, and a warm-up too.

The race itself consisted of a 2 mile run, followed by a 10 mile bike and then another 1 mile run. So in total 13 laps of the circuit (1 lap = 1 mile) and two transitions. The race was non-drafting, meaning that one can’t use another cyclist as a wind break.

The race started with the running leg where Mark Pollock and Matt Ryan took an early lead, both looking like strong podium contenders. Matt looked like a pro on the bike (especially when compared to people riding folding bikes), and he had the power to match. When coming in for his 10th lap, clearly all his blood had gone from his brain to his legs, as it was at this point that he decided that he had only done 9 laps and went for his 10th (actually 11th). While it was all very funny that Matt couldn’t count (many, many DesEng jokes were made) it did have the very unfortunate consequence of losing him a likely podium finish. Angus “no pain face” Phillips was a very strong all-rounder and made it through in a rapid time. Meanwhile Esme was dragging herself through new limits of pain never before experienced, even on an erg. Alex was dreaming of coffee shops, and Jacob would rather have been in ICCC kit.

Due to excellent efforts all round from Matt Ryan, Mark Pollock, Angus Phillips, Alex Luisi, Esme Hotson-Moore and Jacob Kay, Imperial won the inaugural London Universities Individual Duathlon Championships. Rumour has it that we won by default. These claims have yet to be verified.

Well-earnt post-race cake was shared around and we proceeded to spectate the rest of the field coming in. We all concluded that greatest respect was to be had for the man who finished last, as he was likely twice the age of the next oldest competitor. Definite elderly goals.

The day had turned out to be truly delightful so cycling home was deemed the most pleasant option. Despite going right through the middle of London, the group enjoyed the ride home and the strava captions in particular indicated that the group thought [the author] was a particularly good tour guide. The author has refuted this claim.