I entered this sprint Tri for 2 reasons, it was very close to my parents (free accommodation) and i spent many a great day swimming in the lake so really wanted to race there.
Pre-race information was good and the pack given out at the sign in the day before had further information to put even the most unorganised or newbie at ease. Signage to the event car parks was good and easy to follow.
Race day parking was well marshalled and organised and quickly i was in, parked and starting to get my kit ready. I was able to find my racking point the day before and go through exits and entries in a calmer and less stressed surroundings.
My initial observation was that the transition area felt very small. With racking for 500 the gangways between the racking was very tight. With this in mind i kept kit to a minimum and on a small towel. More on this later.
The 750m swim was across the lake from the near bank before taking a left turn and then a further left to return to the original bank but nearer the transition point. The lake was clear and fairly warm. This was my first lake race this year and it was a nice change from salty, choppy water.
Race briefing was clear and done to each group as we entered the water. The waves were of about 50 people but as we cuold spread along the bank the start was not as frantic as i have had in previous races. The depth of the lake was undulating and i never encountered problems but i did hear of some that ‘drifted’ of he route getting grounded.
Swim exit was via a rubber mat covered ramp. The ramp just touched the water. I didn’t realise this and on exit went to put my foot down and there was nothing there! To exit i had to get my fingers into the matting and crawl out.
The route from the swim to transition was not too long (I was near the run/swim end, furthest from the bike exit/entry) Quick change, making sure to tuck my kit under the racking and i headed off for the bike leg. My earlier concerns about the size of transition soon proved correct. I got stuck behind a athlete who was getting his kit on then walking out of transition. I also found myself walking over/running my bike over others wetsuits as they had not tucked them away.
Once out on the bike course it was well marshalled and easy to follow as like the swim course it was basically a large rectangle. The roads were fairly flat with only one major junction to cross which was manned by the local police. There was a technical section involving a few left and right turns in quick succession but once again this was well marshalled.
As a Non drafting race, the straight flat roads made this much easier to comply. The trickiest part of the cycle was the dismount and transition. The dismount line was on the road with a sharp left turn off the road into the transition. This was a little hairy as some left it a little too late to stop!
Transition was once again cramped, i got stuck behind a cyclist walking in and then by a group of relay runners stood in the way waiting for their team mates.
So i headed out on the run, i was looking forward to this as it was a trail run around the lake. I was worried that i had brought the wrong shoes as it had rained the night before and i had brought my road trainers. It was a little greasy at times and i may have been a little quicker but it wasn’t a major issue!
The 2 laps of the lake was a refreshing change from road or path based runs and was very picturesque. After the second lap you had to double back on yourself to run up the finish funnel. I heard some had fallen as the corner was wet from the nights rain. I just slowed, turned and began again and had no issues.
I crossed the line, got my medal and headed to get my timing sheet. Not only had i done a fast run i was happy with my swim too! Packing up and getting going was simple. The carpark was easy to get out of and not that hectic.
Would i do it again? Yes, when does the entries open? i have a time to beat!
- Well organised
- Clear, warm lake swim
- Easy to navigate
- Good Marshalling
- Transition was too small
- Pontoon water Exit would have been better than short ramp