Sunday saw yet another glorious Autumnal day which set the perfect scene for the inaugural Black Park Duathlon. The organiser, Chris Denman and his West Drayton MBC crew had stuck closely to the tried and tested XC MTB loops which they often promote on and this made for an exciting bike lap.
I knew there were some really good mountain bikers in the field such as Barry Stewart, Karl Norfolk and Jay Horton so I had no option but to really hammer it on the opening three mile run. Having done that it was a case of settling into the four lap bike leg and trying to not get caught in the technical sections. In the end, I was caught on lap 3 by Barry and then Karl came storming past on his cross bike (which seemed a good option in the bone dry conditions) and so it came to the manic chase back over the final 3 mile run. I was able to catch Karl but couldn't reel Barry back in as he had a really good final run in which I was only able to claw his winning margin back to 39 seconds.
It was a great event and just as importantly for me it was a chance to go back to somewhere I used to spend so much time as a teenager. In the days before the Hillingdon Circuit the 'Black Park loop' was the place to train and the chain gangs were legendary there on a Tuesday night. The off road scene now rules the roost at Black Park with a great set of forest trails which are not dissimilar to Thetford Forest really. It doesn't yet have a great reputation as a trail centre but it shouldn't be over looked if you're a West London based mountain biker looking for some sideways action and a chance to get lost in a beautiful woodland without having to drive far.
For me there's now a bit of a break from racing for a couple of weeks until I get nearer to the First Asics race, the Iceman. The build up to the series is looking great and things have never looked healthier for the UK Cross Tri/Du scene.
Have a look at the video above to see what you're missing out on. I mean, who wouldn't want to face plant into a muddy puddle on a Saturday morning? It beats going shopping!