Race Day Information - Sunday 19th April 2020

Everything you need to know is online and race packs will not be sent in advance. Study the following information and the course details carefully! Collect your race numbers at registration on race day.

Race day timetable (est.)

6:45 am – 7:35 am – Registration

7:45 am – Transition closes. All bikes must be racked and competitors out of transition.

7:50 am – Race briefing at the Start. If you're not there you can't race!

8:00 am – Go! There are no waves; you all start together!

10.15 am approx – Prize giving (weather and results dependent)

11:00 am – Our permission to use the park runs out. We ask you to help us out by removing your bike from transition as soon as possible after you finish racing. We're going to have to make a swift exit!


Race Packet Pickup

  • Registration 6:45 am to 7:35 am at the Bandstand, Serpentine Road.
  • If you are a BTF member you must show your race licence at registration.
  • If you are not a BTF member you must purchase a day licence at registration ().
  • At registration you will receive (a) 2 race numbers, (b) 2 number stickers for bike and helmet and a (c) timing chip.

Race Numbers/ Timing Chip

  • A race number must be visible on your front during the run legs and on your back during the bike leg.
  • Race belts are permitted but you are responsible for ensuring that marshals are able to see your number at all stages of the race.
  • Body numbers must not be folded or cut down in any way.
  • The small bike number must be attached to the frame of your bike before placing it in the transition area. It is there to ensure that you and you alone walk off with your bike at the end of the day. Likewise the helmet number.
  • The timing chip should be attached to your left ankle (to prevent it snagging in your chain).

Bike racking

  • Transition will close at 7:45 am sharp.
  • Racking is not numbered – first come first served.
  • After racking your bike it is worth rehearsing your route in and out of transition to make sure you can find your spot in the heat of competition.
  • Only competitors and select race officials are allowed into the transition area and you will need your race number to remove your bike from transition.

Bikes & helmets

  • Bikes and helmets will be checked on entry to transition so allow enough time to do this.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that your bike is safe and roadworthy prior to the event. Pay particular attention to tribars being on securely, bar ends being plugged (of both handlebars and aerobars) and brakes functioning well.
  • We provide no mechanical support on the day.
  • Only roadworthy bicycles meeting the BTF specification allowed i.e. NOT fixed wheel bicycles, tricycles, recumbents or tandems.
  • All competitors must wear a SNELL/ANSI/EN1078 standard cycling helmet during the bike section of the race. You must put on and fasten your helmet before unracking your bike at the first transition and you must rack your bike before unfastening your helmet at the second transition.
  • It is a safety condition that we must say "No Helmet? Unsafe bike? No race and no refund - you know the rules".

Chip timing

  • Your split times will be taken on entry and exit of transition and will also be used to check that you complete the correct number of bike laps.
  • Backup time keeping requires that your number must be clearly visible on your front but also be prepared to shout your number to the time keepers.
  • All competitors must report to the finish even if you are abandoning the race. Please stay in order after crossing the finish line.
  • Chips will be collected at the finish line. IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOU RETURN YOUR CHIP. Failure to do so may result in an additional charge.

Race rules

For your safety, the Mad Hatters Duathlon is a British Triathlon (BTF) registered race and follows BTF technical and Competition rules. The BTF rules can be found here . Whether or not you are a BTF member, you should be familiar with these and ignorance is no excuse! Because many of you are new to these rules; here are some that often result in penalties:

This is a non-drafting race. This means that the front of your front wheel must be 10 meters behind the rear wheel of the competitor in front, please watch the following video to explain more. Drafting is cheating and forming bunches is particularly dangerous due to the tight turns on this course. Once a competitor's front wheel is in front of yours it is your responsibility to drop back EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO SLOW DOWN TO DO SO. When passing you have 20 seconds to get in front or you must drop back. Side by side riding is also not allowed because it encourages drafting and dangerous cycling. We will have roving draft marshals slapping two minute time penalties on draft cheats willy nilly. Repeat offenders will be disqualified.

The use of headphones, personal stereos, MP3 players, or mobile phones during the race or in transition at any time is banned. You need to be fully aware of what is going on around you at all times. This is for your safety, the safety of your fellow competitors and the safety of the public. Disregarding this rule will lead to disqualification.

Securely fasten your helmet before unracking your bike. On returning to transition, dismount before the dismount line, rack your bike carefully in your own transition space and do not remove your helmet before racking your bike. All of these offences carry a 2 minute penalty but where a carelessly discarded bike or your dismount is late to the point of being dangerous, disqualification may result.

Cycle on the left except when overtaking. Definitely no crossing into the opposite carriageway. No rudeness to marshals. No nudity.

We share Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens with the public, please show them respect – competitors DO NOT have priority over other park users.

Rule infringements

Rule infringements are displayed on a notice board by the results screen at the finish line. Penalties are defined in section 3 of the BTF competition rule book.

Appeals must be made to the race official either within 15 minutes of the competitor completing the race or within 15 minutes of the posting of the infraction. The intention to write an appeal must be made within 5 minutes of finishing/the posting if the infraction, whichever is the later. A fee of £15 will be charged, refundable if the appeal is upheld.

Appeals will be heard no later than 10:15 on race day by an independent panel of three consisting of the race official, the race co-ordinator and an individual nominated by the athlete submitting the appeal. Decisions of the appeals panel are final.

The course

Start/Finish on Serpentine Road adjacent to the Bandstand.

  • First Leg: Run 1 lap of the Serpentine on tarmac paths – 4.2 km
  • Second Leg: Cycle 8 laps of South Carriage Drive (narrow road closed to traffic). 180 degree dead turn at both ends – 20.8km. Every year a few competitors complete the wrong number of laps. It is surprisingly difficult to count to nine as you get tired. A handy tip is to attach 8 small pieces of tape, one for each lap, to your bike frame. Peel one off at the end of each lap and when you have one left you know you are on your last lap.
  • Third Leg: Run 2 laps of the Serpentine on tarmac paths (water drink station at the start of each lap) – 7.6 km

You must report to the finish, even if abandoning the race. The course map is available here.

The event is fully inclusive and accessible to triathletes of all abilities. If you have a specific need please contact the organizer who will discuss your requirements. 

Your safety & safeguarding the future of the race

The entire route is on closed roads and paths within the Parks. Please be aware that the many tourists and dog walkers we share the park with are likely to move (or suddenly stop!) in mysterious ways, so be careful of this on both the bike and run course.

Anybody behaving or cycling recklessly; endangering themselves, other competitors or members of the public will disqualified.

Be especially careful at turns and on approaching transition, especially if there are wet leaves on the ground.

Hyde Park is full of litter bins and we will also have rubbish bags at the finish area. Out of respect for the park and its users please do not drop empty drink bottles, gel wrappers or other rubbish on the route or anywhere else.

Cycling is not allowed on many of Hyde Park's footpaths – when making your way to and from the race please respect this and don't risk creating ill-feeling with the park authorities and users. This might prevent this event from being run in the future.

The full risk assessment is here.


  • There is limited parking in the area – parking is available at the Diana Fountain and the Triangle Car Park, both off West Carriage Drive, and there are spaces on West Carriage Drive itself. Please note that parking is not free after 8:30 am. Underground Parking is available at the Park Lane Car Park.


  • There are no showers or changing facilities in Hyde Park so come ready to race.
  • The nearest public toilets are near the start on Serpentine Road and will be open from 7.30 am, cost 20p.
  • Food and hot drinks will be available at the Serpentine Cafe.
  • Hyde Park is a pretty nice place to hang out after the race and there are cafes at the eastern end of the Serpentine and at the Lido. If you don't come to this part of Central London much, how about a feed in the atmospheric Lebanese cafes on Edgware Road? Or head south from the park and join the ladies who lunch in Harvey Nic's! See the map on the Royal Park's website for other park facilities.


  • The Royal Parks for their continued cooperation in helping us stage this race in such a beautiful venue.
  • And most importantly, the marshals and officials - all volunteers from Serpentine Running Club – without whom this race would not be possible.
  Royal Parks