Date: Sunday the 10th of September 2017
Location: Lake 62, Ashton Keynes, Wiltshire
Event Type and Distance: Standard Distance Triathlon 1500m swim - 41km bike - 9km run
Entry Price: From £52
What better way to experience the beauty of the Cotswolds than with a swim in the lake and a bike and run around the surrounding grounds? Lake 62 is privately owned and the swim starts in deep water with all competitors starting in one wave. The bike course is 2 laps around the beautiful scenery and only features a few gentle inclines. There is free parking available and the course is very spectator-friendly. This really is a unique event and will allow you to enjoy this stunning area of natural beauty while racing.
A triathlon belt is a race bib number holder that is worn during races in order to hold your race number. The point of wearing a triathlon belt is so that you do not have to pin your race number onto your trisuit thereby poking holes into the material and potentially ruining a piece of kit you paid a lot of money for.
The main benefit to wearing a triathlon belt is that you need your number to be visible from the back on the bike but from the front on the run. If your number is pinned to your tri suit using safety pins, you won't be able to swap it round. If you wear a triathlon race belt, you will be able to easily swivel your number from your back to your front between disciplines, saving precious time during transition.
The London Triathlon is the world's biggest triathlon, attracting over 13,000 racers and up to 30,000 spectators. If you are looking for a triathlon to test you or for an exciting and exhilarating initiation into the world of multi sport, this is the triathlon for you.
Amateur and professional triathletes are regularly joined by celebrities for this huge occasion, with London Triathlon finishers including presenter of The Gadget Show Jason Bradbury and TOWIE star Lydia Rose Bright.
There are several different triathlon distances on offer to suit all level of competitors. From super sprint to Ironman, the distance you choose depends on your fitness level and also your experience, as diving straight into a full Ironman is definitely not advisable if you are a beginner triathlete!
Swim Bike Run Super Sprint 400m 10km 2.5km Sprint 750m 20km 5km Standard/Olympic 1500m 40km 10km Middle Distance 2.5km 80km 20km Long Distance 4km 120km 30km Ironman Distance 3.8km 180km 42km
It's important to check the exact distances of the race you intend to participate in before you sign up as some race distances can vary. An Ironman triathlon is a specific brand of triathlon and the distances vary slightly from that of an ITU long distance triathlon.
How to use a triathlon belt
Using a triathlon belt is very easy and straight forward. Ever spent ages trying to fix your race number to your top using fiddly safety pins? A race number belt is so much easier to use and means you don't have to puncture holes in your activewear.
Your triathlon belt will feature two toggles at the front. Simply take the toggle off the elastic, slide your bib number through the pieces of elastic, and then replace the toggles so that the race number is fastened into place. That's it! You can wear your triathlon belt wherever is comfortable on your body, whether that's round your waist or round your hips. You can easily swivel your triathlon belt so that your race number is either at the front or at the back.
Ironman 70.3 Western Australia has been one of the major races in the Asia Pacific triathlon scene since 2004. It takes place in the scenic town of Busselton, in the south-west region of Western Australia. Busselton is famous for its beautiful jetty, which stretches 1.8km out to sea and forms the focus of the swim for both the 70.3 and the full Ironman.
This race had been my focus for training throughout 2017. Having done one 70.3 previously, I was keen to see if I could improve on my time. The day started early with a 03:30 alarm call and arrival at transition at 04:30. The sun was coming up and with the first rays of sun you could sense how hot the day was to become. We all collected on the beach and shuffled ourselves into self seeded groups according to our swim speed. Looking like little beans in our multicoloured swim hats we stood nervously waiting for the start.
The gun went off and the first swimmers entered the water. Before I knew it I was being moved forward and off I went, running into the turquoise sea and looking ahead to the red buoy in the distance marking the point at which we would swim under the jetty before heading back to the beach again. I was feeling good and although the sea had some chop to it, I was managing to keep my stroke steady. As I looked up to sight the buoy I noticed the life guards were pointing at the jetty. I thought nothing of it. With the next look up, I noticed the helicopter above me and heard the whistles of the life guards. Everyone around me was swimming as fast as they could away from me and towards the jetty. Shark! Get out of the water! That was my quickest 50m swim sprint ever! Everyone was evacuated from the water and we walked back to the beach along the jetty feeling very disappointed.
The race was started again from the beach, with a rolling start into transition. There was a fair amount of standing around waiting my turn and finally I was called forward and I ran into transition and went through the motions of helmet, shoes, bike etc until I was ready to run out of transition and jump on my bike.
Out into the forest roads we went. Along the coast and then more forests. The course is one of the flattest, which also makes it one of the fastest. There’s no respite here. You go on full power for 90km. Drink stations came and went but I stuck to my own fluid and nutrition regime, eating and drinking every 10km. I couldn’t quite believe that I was hopping back off the bike after 2 hours 30 mins.
Off the bike, the heat hit hard. It was now 34-35 degrees and with very little breeze. The run was on the coastal road and footpath and the sun radiated off the tarmac. You could see that everyone was struggling. Every aid station became a game of ice down the front, ice down the back, water on the head and water in the mouth! Local families stood in their font gardens with their hoses cooling us down. I kept hoping that my body would suddenly get used to it and give me some more energy, but alas it didn’t and I had to simply push on to the end.
The support was amazing. Family, friends and club members all out to support each other. The noise down the finishing shoot was amazing and I was delighted to cross the finish line and be able to make the most of the free ice-cream in the recovery tent! With such a poor run, I didn’t even bother to look at my result until I was on my way home. To my utter astonishment I had come second in my age group and 14th female! We headed straight back to the awards ceremony and I excitedly accepted my place at the Ironman 70.3 championships in South Africa next year! No rest for me!
Natasha Pertwee is a Sundried ambassador and competes as part of the Team GB Age Group team in triathlon.
Xterra is what happens when triathlon meets the wilderness. Think ocean swimming, mountain biking, and trail running. It's definitely not for the faint-hearted, but Sundried ambassador Rui Dolores made it to the coveted world championships. Here's how he got on.
Maui, October 29, 2017
The day starts early. The first move is to look out the window to check the weather. The weather has been very changeable recently but today the sky is clear and provides a day of sun and warmth.
I have some breakfast, cycle to the start, and check out the water. It's choppy and hectic, which is just how I like it.
After a chaotic start and being knocked around amongst the other competitors, I find my place in the group. The front-runners are strong and soon there are spaces between the groups. As I exit the water, I hear someone say that I'm in 25th position. Time to move.
In Xterra, the bike course is a hilly, muddy mountain bike trail with jumps and surprises at every turn. After an initial tough climb there were some sharp corners which required full concentration to avoid crashing. I start to gain positions but had to keep a steady pace so as not to lose control. There are long climbs and the Hawaiian heat is almost unbearable, but I continue pushing up the climbs.
After passing my support crew, I'm filled with energy and positivity.
I start the run in 20th position which gives me hope that I'm not out of the race just yet.The first 6k of the course is mostly uphill. It is essential to get a good pace in the first half and I was feeling good. After a few inclines and declines, I had caught up with a few athletes ahead of me.
There are fast sections followed by sections littered with tree roots that you have to navigate and jump over, before a final descent back down to the beach.
The countdown has begun and on June 3rd, I face-off against the unquestionably intimidating and universally bucket-listed Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon!
Nervous? Me? Absolutely! The internet is littered with videos and stories of this legendary race: the highs and lows, the successes and failures, but when I line up on that boat ready to face the strong currents of that icy, choppy and shark-infested water I can only hope that I am able to turn those nerves into a single sentence mantra: “You got this!”
There is no way I could say that I am ready, or that I have trained as hard as I could have. Ultimately, the Gremlins got to me too many times. I mean they had a fair bit of help in the form of unexpected levels of work and home stresses and a bout of tonsillitis that put me out of action for over a month... but they did get to me and I just couldn’t beat them off all the time.
Not to say that I haven’t trained at all... I mean: I still ride to and from work, a few run intervals, maybe a swim or 2 and a long run each week, a long bike here and there, so I am not in bad shape... but could be better. I am currently out in Tampa, Florida and enjoyed a particularly hot 22km run just this afternoon as my last long run before taper week and whilst my recycled coffee Olperer men's training T-Shirt was my obvious choice... not even that could wick away the buckets of sweat... sorry Sundried!
So why do I think that suddenly I am going to be able to say “You got this!” ? Because my goal has changed. I believe that I am nothing, just lost in this world without my family and friends... and so made the decision to focus on them; if that means not going swimming first thing in the morning so I get to have breakfast with my son, or not getting out for a long ride at the weekend so I can spend the time playing at home, visiting friends or even shopping with my wife... so be it and more importantly... I just gave myself a break. I mean why let this become a needlessly added stress!?
I do want to say at this juncture, I have the most supportive wife, she never asks me not to go training and is on hand to listen to my boring chat about meal prepping and homemade energy snacks... but in order for me to be fulfilled, I need more than just training and racing, I need my family, I need to know that I am supporting them them as much as they support me. So if you are feeling the pangs of guilt over not training, or not being at home as much as you would like... give yourself a break and maybe adjust some goals, you will be surprised at what you will still be able to achieve!
And so it has been for me, for the past few months, I have found that putting time into my family has been more important than putting time into my training; and that has led to a shift in my goals (more on those in another post to come)... which for this race is simply to enjoy it, give it everything that my body has and soak up all that this iconic race has to offer. Whatever the time, whatever the result... it really doesn’t matter as long as at the end I can call myself an “Escapee!”
About the author: Tom Collins is a dad, triathlete, and Sundried ambassador.