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Tue 21st Jan 2020
DragonSlayer Duathlon: Garmin Route of the Month
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Tuesday 14th April 2009

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So far this year in our Garmin Route of the Month series we've featured the Club La Santa Mini Duathlon, the Saucony TCR 10km Run and the Sevenoaks Sprint Triathlon.

Our feature this month is both a duathlon event, and a training and cycle race venue. The DragonSlayer Duathlon is hosted by East London Triathletes (, and for 2009 takes place on Sunday 19th April at the new Redbridge Cycling Centre ( Also known as 'Hog Hill', the purpose-built 2km circuit was built as a replacement for 'The Eastway', as part of the Olympic 2012 development. The Eastway was where the DragonSlayer first started, before re-locating to Stubbers Outdoor Centre in Upminster, briefly becoming an off-road triathlon, and now returning to it's roots as a cycle circuit based duathlon.

The route was ridden for us and photographed by East London Triathletes member Stelios Marcou.

Here's all you need to know about the circuit, whether it's for the DragonSlayer itself, or perhaps some road racing?

After a 7km off road run you will be taking on 20 laps of the Hog Hill circuit to complete your 40km. Each lap is 2km in length. The track is in fantastic condition as it is less than six months old and therefore provides a high grip tarmac surface, but you better bring your bike legs with you come race day as the course is quite demanding. Good cyclists will be ok with an 11-23 rear cassette but those not as strong would be advised to sport a 12-25.

Start/Finish line, leading to turn one
Start & Finish Turn 1

The start line is on a slight uphill, 1-2% gradient but I would advise being in a relatively big gear early on as the first half of the circuit is the quickest. The first corner comes at you after about 75m, there are a series of two corners here, a double left hander, stay wide if possible to cut in and take the racing line but definitely have a quick glance over your left shoulder before you dive in and commit to it as there is an obvious overtaking point here. Excellent bike handling skills are key on turn one if you want to nail this corner to carry speed through turn two. These first two corners are quick as you will be travelling down a hill of approx 8% gradient.

You should be carrying quite a lot of momentum through the second   corner which you will want to maintain, even bigger gear now as things will be getting faster… turn three is an open left hand turn and four is a long downhill sweeper. This is the fastest part of the circuit!

Site overview, plus turns three and four
Circuit overview Turns 3&4

You will have now dropped onto the lower part of the track and things level out. Try and carry as much speed as possible for the descent as turn five is a right hander which is fairly open so with the right line you won't need to scrub any speed off, same for turn 6. You are then faced with a hair pin which is fairly open and turn nine is a long sweeping left hander. You will now be on the back straight which is pretty flat and fast. Turn ten is long sweeping left hander too.

Ok now things begin to change, you will notice a slight rise in gradient, nothing drastic to begin with between 1-3%. Start thinking about getting into an appropriate gear. There is a gradual gain in incline as you pass through turn 11 where the gradient kicks up to around 6-7%. Coming up to turn 12 you will be at the peak of the ascent and the gradient is approx 12%. As you go over the brow you will see the start/finish line which is about 50m away.

Turn 12... steep uphill to start/finish line
Turn 12 Uphill from turn 12 to start/finish line

Now to find those run legs for the final 5km effort...

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