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On a weekend with perfect weather - possibly the last of the summer holidays if the weather forecast is to be believed - and whilst everyone else was in a large queue at the London Triathlon, we covered two triathlons - one on Saturday (that's a bit unusual?) at Bewl Water, and one on Sunday over at Crowthorne near Sandhurst at Wellington College. The last time I had been there was as a 6yr old waving at the Queen on her Silver Jubilee as I used to live just around the corner, so a bit of a trip down memory lane for myself. The tree lined avenues are all a bit bigger 40 years later.. but I digress...
Some good racing at Bewl with over 360 competitors in the standard and sprint distances- the swim in the reservoir is one of the most scenic open water swims that there is - although I'd always have that nagging fear of being sucked into the plughole for the water companies water supply. You'd think the ride and run around the water would be flat. You'd be wrong - with multiple valleys feeding into the reservoir the surrounding area is anything but flat making it one of the most scenic and challenging triathlons about !
Wellington college used two pools - the outside one for the sprint distance being as wide as it is long - and with the swim in the middle lanes - you might as well have been swimming in a lake it is so large. Note to self - take the 2x teleconverter next time for a little bit more reach. If anyones wondering - as per the shots below - they do come up very nice indeed ! The inside pool was a different matter - ISO5000 of darkness if anyone is wondering - with low voltage flickering lights that had every colour of the rainbow changing on each flicker - makes for some interesting results, if not some unique images of people on the turn of their swim looking determined. It's a great race - with a lot of first timers trying the super-sprint distance which is good for getting the adrenal glands going if you're more accustomed to the slog of an ironman.
Overall great to see both events go smoothly
Last week we did our bit for supporting local education and had Megan here on work experience. Putting Photography, Law, Business studies and Psychology together apart from looking at copyright for us, was a perfect mix of studies to put a small marketing infogram video animation thing together for us - all about those Pic2go Barcodes - she did a great job - and all is explained in the video - you can have a look here:
Here's a taster of the action from Bewl Tri for you:
|Bewl was a non-wetsuit swim - warm waters for the summer races|
|Hilly bits around the water worked the bike course|
|every up has a down ! super speedy|
|That Dam wall...|
|Fast and flat. You can see that plug in the background..|
|A sense of victory as you near the finish is always a good feeling|
|mind the tennis balls, roaming loose in the pool|
|Having two forearms per arm I'm sure is cheating|
|Turn and take it back faster at the indoor pool|
|It was buzzing in transition with pre-race preparations|
|All going ok|
|Unless you forgot your bike shoes ?|
|fast work after the hill|
|in-ride refreshments are not difficult if you take the whole picnic hamper with you|
|Wellingtonia avenue - longer and taller than it was 40 years ago!|
|strong into the finish|
|Job Done !|
|Nothing beats family support at the finish|
|except your Son beating you...|
I'm minded to write to the BTF about tri numbering. The only reason that tri belts were "invented" was because the bike rules (taken from Bike road racing rules) section says you need your race number on your back for the bike ride. As it happens - real bike road races have their numbers on their shoulders. As per running rules it says the run section needs a number on your front - so we can see who you are - originally for the manual timing of races, but also so marshals can give you specific advice if required.
Frankly - whilst tri belts allow a single number to be positioned in both positions, tri belts don't hold them down, they flap about, so they have a zero readability even if they are in the right place. Have a look at the pictures above for a quick spot survey of their effectiveness compared to pinned numbers.
The rules say the number needs to be visible from the back for the draft busters and marshals on the bike route - but flappy numbers on tri belts arn't visible from the back either, and all but the most elite riders don't lean forwards enough to obscure the view of their front race number, so marshals can read that instead can't they ?
The simple fact is that tri belts don't work and they don't do the job that the rules say they are supposed to do, and it is indefensible to say they allow the bike marshalling to be done effectively. Perhaps a strict race referee could start handing out 2minute penalties for anyone using a tri-belt that doesn't work to show the number ? That'd be popular :-) mind you - they wouldn't know the number of the runner to give it to would they !!
If the race is that "big", then they can put numbers on the back of saddles like number plates - far more effective and much clearer and viewable - if you really needed to.
If the BTF want to improve the simplicity of their races and make them less "kit expensive" then a single race number pinned to the front would improve the situation greatly. Not all triathlons are covered on TV (when you need side viewable numbering for the comentators) and for all you saying - "well you couldn't pin it on for the swim" - actually - yes you can. And if you don't like pins, then there are alternatives like http://eventclip.net which wont' damage your tri-suit.
So, get rid of tri belts, pin your number on the front and sort out the rules BTF because it's pointless at the moment and does nothing for nobody except make marshalls shout a lot at competitors to sort their numbers out when they could be encouraging people instead- making things even friendlier !
Right, on that note - until next time, enjoy the last bit of summer before the rain...
all the best