The London Triathlon is the world's largest triathlon, and the only triathlon coming to the city of London on the 6th and 7th August.
The 13,000 athletes descend on the streets of London viewing iconic British landmarks, The London Eye, Westminster, London Bridge and the O2.
This huge triathlon takes place across the city of London and is tourist friendly with plenty of sights to see. The race starts at the London Docklands Excel centre, with 4 different distance races taking place for the 13,000 athletes over the two day period, with 16 wave starts on the Saturday and 20 on the Sunday. The bike ride is one of the few which is bike free and takes in wonderful views all across the city. The race distances are standard, sprint, super sprint, olympic plus and team relays.
History of the London Triathlon
The London triathlon is now 21 years old and has become the largest event of it’s kind in the world since it’s beginnings in the nineties.
The event attracts first timers, seasoned amateur triathletes, charity fundraisers, celebrities and elite athletes from across the globe. London Triathlon is a must-do event and offers a friendly atmosphere for all participants.
Previous winners include Tim Don, Stuart Hayes, Vicky Holland, Helen Jenkins, Jodie Swallow and Emma Snowsill. The 2015 elite male and female races were won by Peter Kerr and Helen Jenkins, respectively.
Since the relocation of the ITU Triathlon last year, this years event is set to be highly competitive as the only triathlon taking place in London.
Super Sprint: 400m swim, 10km bike, 2.5km run
Sprint: 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run
Olympic: 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run
Olympic Plus: 1500m swim, 80km bike, 10km run
The event raises huge amount of money for charity. This year's lead charities will be Macmillan cancer support and Bloodwise. Other charities include Cancer research UK, Scope, Justgiving, Asos foundation, Alzheimer's society, Beanstalk, Bipolar UK, Brainwave, British Kidney Patient Association, British Heart Foundation, Centrepoint, Concern Worldwide, Connect, Contact the Elderly, Cranstoun, Daisy’s Dream, Danceaid, Diabetes UK, Epilepsy Research UK, Great Ormond street, Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice, Havens, Herts Young Homeless, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, Lighthouse Construction Charity, Make a Wish Foundation, Over the Wall Foundation, Panathlon Foundation, Rethink Mental Illness, RNIB, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, Royal Hospital Chelsea, Stroke Association, Taunton Mencap, Teens Unite against Cancer, Thames Reach, The Air Ambulance Service, The Scouts Association, The Silver Line Helpline, Stoll, VSO International and Wellbeing of Women.
As the race takes place in the centre of London there are a variety of transport options available for competitors and spectators to attend, however bare in mind roads are closed for the event and train may experience a disrupted service on weekends. Check your journey in advance so you don’t get stuck on the day.
Car: These main routes include the M25 and M11, the North Circular, A406 and the A13. As you get closer you’ll pick up signs for Royal Docks, City Airport and ExCeL London. The parking is pay and display.
Train: The Jubilee line and DLR services on London's underground are the easiest ways to access the Excel. The stations are Custom House for ExCeL (for the west entrance) or Prince Regent for ExCeL (for the east entrance or the ICC London).
Plane: For foreign entrants the nearest airport is London City and it is recommended that public transport is then used to complete the journey.
The Set Up
With 13,000 participants, getting your setup right is critical. Registration, the start, transitions and finish all happen from the Excel, which also hosts the AJ Bell London Triathlon Expo, which last year had 38,000 visitors checking out all things triathlon, from the latest bikes to tri suits from over 60 exhibitors. Memorise where your bike is, as with so many, it may be hard to find. All race entrants get a race pack which has a two page guide to the race, even if you’ve done the route before, it changes most years and is well worth giving a read.
There are a variety of race times and depending on your particular distance will depend on when you start, the race times are released on their site prior to the race.
There is a group warm up which gets everyone revved up and ready to go for this incredible event.
The swim takes place in London Docklands, so although participants need not worry about a current, there are rumours of the ‘thames tummy’, which can be prepped for by a few practice runs in rivers and lakes, which is what most athletes will do anyway. The temperature averages at approximately 20 degrees, last year it was just under. It’s a deep water start and can get choppy due to the sheer volume of athletes within each wave. You collect you swim cap at the marshalling point. The swim itself is an out and back swim down the dock, with a 180 degree turn back to the start, where you can swim all the way up to the ramp.
Spectators can easily watch the swimmers and are encouraged to show their support.
The London Triathlon has a fair distance between the swim and bike tracks, so participants strip their wet suit into a carrier provided in order to keep the paths as slip free as possible.
Bikes are marked in lined racks by wave and marking up your rack is not allowed. It is recommended prior to the event you visit the transition area and make a mental note of the ‘in’ and ‘out’ signs. Dependant upon which race you have entered, your race route will vary around different London Landmarks including Canary Wharf and the London Eye. The roads are shut which makes it a great race. There are also a few surprise hills to watch out for.
A tricky transition is from the beginning in the Excel to outdoors, be aware of the change of surface, change of light and tight bends.
To transition back to the run stage of the race it is clearly signposted for the ease of competitors before they tackle the final phase.
The run route has been changed in 2015 to accommodate a better view for the 25,000 visitors expected at the event. The course is a loop, whichever distance you opt for. Each lap returns into the Excel centre on an incline, so save some energy for the uphill runs. All athletes are provided with an ankle timer to wear on their left ankle throughout the event, but you need to count your laps, if you don’t complete the right amount your result is disqualified. The run is packed with supporters and the atmosphere is electric as you come to the finishing chute. Once you’re finished you have the entire expo to check out so it makes for an exhausting day!
GPS : GPS signals are hard to find on smart watches around the Excel, so be sure to start looking for signals with plenty of time before your start time.
The course transitions are slippery, despite the wetsuit removal simply due to the nature of the event and the sheer volume of people.
London is very busy to access over the weekend so it is recommended you travel up before and take public transport into the event where possible.
The Triathlon Expo is huge, so make sure you pack your money, or credit card!
Be cautious as you enter the swim, as with so many competitors it can be easy to take a kick or punch in the first scrabble of the race.
Count your laps, or have your supporters shouting them at you!
The ground is uneven in places around the run, despite being flat for the most part, so it is important to watch not to fall.
Take advantage of post race nutrition and recovery on offer all around the Excel.
For further info on The London Triathlon visit:
To view exhibitors at the Triathlon show visit:
Review the 2016 London Triathlon
Are you entering the triathlon this year? Would you like to receive free Sundried kit and sponsorship? Review the London Triathlon for Sundried and receive a Sundried Triathlete T shirt. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Highlights of the show will be broadcast on Channel 4.