Where Pirbright, Surrey
When February 1, 2009
First Men's Team Votwo.co.uk 2:04:11
First Women's Team Robbie’s Angels 2:46:45
First Mixed Team For Goodness Shakes 2:14:51
Last Finisher 4:54:05
No. of Finishers 219
The format of this race is simple: teams of three, either single-sex or mixed, had to complete a course that included roughly 10K of running, 25K of cycling and 1K of kayaking, with a mini assault course thrown in for good measure, around
a military camp in Surrey.
The race started in two waves, separated by only a couple of minutes. The initial run spread the pack, and took in both open fields and enclosed woodland. After a quick stop-off at transition to grab bikes, competitors again headed back into the woods – and this is where things started to come slightly undone.
The difference in abilities of competitors, and the fact that teams were required to stick together, meant that several bottlenecks occurred on narrower sections of the course, with more than one rider coming off their bike as a result.
Due to the relatively short gap between waves there was also an unnerving period where cyclists coming round to complete the second loop of the two-lap course were forced to cycle precariously through runners coming up to transition for the first time. And the 15-minute wait for one of the 30-odd kayaks that were made available on the day wasn’t great either.
To their credit the race organisers were quick to acknowledge that improvements could be made – they plan to purchase additional kayaks and try and map out
a safer route without compromising on
the technical challenge offered.
These issues aside, the race was a
largely positive experience and has
a lot of potential.
The location itself
was interesting and varied in scenery, terrain and difficulty, and the sense of camaraderie among and between teams was almost palpable throughout the
race. One to watch.