London Tri 2009

A New Pirate asks ....

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The Evil Pixie    pirate
04/10/2008 at 13:48

guys so far I have done 2 pool based tris and sworn never ever to do an open water event or anything over longer than a sprint.

Icklechick thinks we should, however, do the London tri.

So my questions are ....

is it suitable for a newbie and a slow one at that?
how much OW training do you need to do?
is it a good event anyway?

it looks expensive so I would need persauding and I also don't have a wettie but I believe you can hire those(?) so need lots of words of advice!

cheers guys

 Pixie

JPenno    pirate
04/10/2008 at 14:13

it is suitable for a beginner BUT it is expensive, it is well organised, but there are issues with the bike course particulalry if its wet.

There are better first time olympics, let us know where you are and people will recommend local ones

04/10/2008 at 14:26

 Did the olympic race this year and in my opinion try another race first.

I found the swim a complete nightmare with over 400 in my wave and being a slower swimmer got stuck in the middle of the lot and couldn't wait to get out of the water hated it. But then found the bike and run great.H ave done other races and much prefered them.

No matter what you do swimming in Open water before hand is invaluable and even beter is if you can get a few of you out together and get used to people around you .

No matter which one you choose ENJOY!!! 

04/10/2008 at 14:28

I've done it as a slow beginner and it's fine.  But the swim start can be very busy, even if you try to keep yourself to one side. 

And it's in a deep dock, so you are treading water from the moment you enter the water.  Which is fine if you don't get freaked out, but I'd definitely recommend some OW practice in a place you can't touch down or see the bottom - doesn't need to be much, just enough to learn that not seeing the bottom does not mean drowning.  I was way more comfortable in my 2nd London than my first.

I found it well organised, but too big.  And the parking's horrendous to leave...both times we queued for over 1 hour to leave the multi-storey.  No idea why as there was no queue on the roads! 

So I'd agree with JPenno...there are better choices available

04/10/2008 at 14:33

The Eton sprints are great for getting you used to open water, the Thames can be a nightmare with currents etc.

Heron Lake (M25 jct 13) is a really good place to practise your open water swimming and will be open end of April start of May would be well worth swimming in open water for a few weeks before your first event.

On the wetsuit front, hiring is a good way to go but make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get yourself used to your wet suit otherwise you could end up having a nightmare on the day!

Imeccentric    pirate
04/10/2008 at 14:50

Ive done London a couple of times and loved it.

Cons 

  The traffic is a mare and having to rack Sat if you are racing Sun for an Olympic is lunacy.

The swim is busy ish and its a deep water start (actually this helps spread the field) Try IM France for some proper punch ups.

The bike course is great if you go all the way to Westminster but dull and narrow on the other route with some safety issues caused by the number of cyclists and novices on the course 

The run has an annoying ramp at the end

Its expensive for an Olympic , though others are catching up now that Human Race at Dorney and Windsor have caught on to what they can charge. 

Pros

Its a great weekend with all the hoopla of the expo and great for becoming part of the bigger triathlon gig. 

The bike course is flat and fast

Lots of other novices do it so you are unlikely to find yourself lonely and demoralised at the back  

Support on the run probably the best in the UK. Windsor is quite close though.

Id say it one you should do at least once as a Triathlete , it is a bit of a marmite event people tend to love it or hate it. Personally I thought it was great and only havent done it a third time because of the long stuff not fitting in with it. My view is biased by the fact that Tim Don was in Transition warming up when I came into t2 one year and told me to hurry up !

The Evil Pixie    pirate
04/10/2008 at 18:48

thanks guys, I didn't realise the water started treading I assumed you kind of jumped in!
I am very slow but my goal for next year is to stick to shorter distances running and improve my speed and do more cycling (I am doing L2B too)

The OW does worry me. can you do OW sessions without being a club member?

I live up near Leicester but parents are in Reading so convient, I did think about the eton one but I guys we are draw by the "big event"  of london (like the marathon)

04/10/2008 at 20:07

I live in Woking, and this year only done pool based events.  I want to do open water events next year and thought London would be the ultimate end to the season.

I have already considered the Eton sprints for training, Windsor sounds good, but I'm really not too sure about river swimming. 

I think Heron Lake has to be a definate for regular training next year, is there any form of wetsuit hire or testing there and/or training?

Also general thoughs on wetsuit hire please, I wouldn't hire a bike or shoes.

04/10/2008 at 21:38

Neil....... SBR run the swim at Heron Lake and they will hire wetsuits to you (New ones at the beginning of each season I think) you can hire them as a one off or for the whole season.

They also do wetsuit testing with a view to buying the one you happy with (not cheap but will give you an idea)

The best thing about Heron Lake has to be the bacon sarnies and coffee on a Saturday morning, makes the cold water worth it!

For God's sake dont buy one off ebay (only one way of warming up a wetsuit in very cold water!)

I live in Farnborough and am always interested in meeting up with keen people to test my training (fast or slow)

I am already paid up for first Eton of the season and it was my very first tri, a good one to break yourself in on.

River swimming ...... not for the feint hearted...... dark dingy, cant see a thing , but once you get past that it's great fun!!!!!

04/10/2008 at 23:02
Pix - there's a lake Vrap and I did kayaking at a few years back - they probably do OW swimmign there too.  Can't recall the name off hand but V probably'll know it
The Trickster    pirate
05/10/2008 at 11:14

I wouldn't hire a bike or shoes.

Don't know why not? I hired my bike last year and then kept it (they kept the deposit) - it worked well for me.

The Evil Pixie    pirate
05/10/2008 at 12:00

thanks for the info guys

does this fill early or am I ok to wait for a few months? I am worried about the cost as I may be made redundent as my company has been taken over this week

JPenno    pirate
05/10/2008 at 15:26
entries normally clos end of january
The Evil Pixie    pirate
05/10/2008 at 19:01
oh lord really?
05/10/2008 at 19:55
I hired a suit this year from TriUK - £25 for the season (Apr-Sep). Postage 2 ways came to about £15 so £40 in all. Worked out ok for me, and I'll probably do the same next year.
05/10/2008 at 20:28

Pixie - I did London tri this year. I was wibbling all over the place about it, but was also determined to have a go. As a newbie to this distance I really did not know what to expect. As others have said it is probably that some adore London tri and some hate it. it is a big event. Considering the fact that I didn't take to FLM too much what with the crowds, I wondered how I'd get on at London tri.

I have to say once in the water, I absolutely loved it. Actually it was before then! When I racked my bike on the Saturday I was shaking, I was so nervous and so very worried about the swim.

On the day, when I went to the swim assembly area, I found that there were loads of other girls that have never attempted this distance either. That really helped. Also the guy that was doing the commentry was very good. He asked who had never done this distance before - and lo and behold all these hands shot up - not just mine. Phew - so I was not alone. That really helped to calm my nerves. I mean if I was worried then I bet they were too!

Yes we did have to tread water for a while before the start. That is true. But for me this was a really good thing, as it helped me to calm right down. Prior to that I was in a flap. Bobbing around in a wetsuit (they are so bouyant) and getting to grips with things and having the space to ensure I was at the back and out to the side, really helped to give me confidence. The swim was fine for me, although yes I agree it was conjested at times. But if you don't panic you can just move over. Some people seemed to be really really good at zig zagging which was a bit annoying. But hey for a first attempt who cares anyway!

The bike was really good, although some of the newbies were pulling out to overtake without looking behind first which was a bit dangerous with the faster cyclists coming through. I really loved the bike though, it was a bit conjested at times, but apart from that it was fab! Flat, fast and fun!

The run was excellent and this is from someone who suffers on the run. It is 2 laps. They play music for some of it so you can have a little bop if you're not too tired. To be honest the atmosphere is really great, lots of support, but not so much that it is overwhelming (which is how I found FLM), great music, flat route and finish inside too.

Ok the goody bags ran out. But for my first oly, I can honestly say, WOW! What a day! Really really loved it and will be back next year as want to get under 3 hours now - did 3.06.

Best of luck and really you will be fine.

Edited: 05/10/2008 at 20:31
The Evil Pixie    pirate
06/10/2008 at 07:47

that's really good

where you at the back or were there a lot behind you? I know (just now) I would be a lot slower than that so I wondered how I would fare  I know there is lots of time to train mind!

06/10/2008 at 13:08
Pixie, no there were quite a few slower than me in the end. I had thought I'd do it in about 3 1/2 hours, but found I was much quicker on the bike than I had estimated. I'd say I was probably at the bottom of the second third, so a good third of women came in behind me. As I say it does seem to be very beginnger friendly whilst also being very well organised. Well that was my experience. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to having another go next year.

P.S. I didn't bother with those clippy shoe things and cycled in my running shoes! And I also rode my hybrid.
06/10/2008 at 15:46

Hi Pixie,

I did Eton Super Sprint as my first ever race this year. It was great. Practised OW swimming with Rick Kiddle at Heron Lake, and alternated between there and Liquid Leisure in Datchet. There are a couple of lakes near Reading as well.

If like me you are a complete novice to OW swimming (apart from jumping in the sea on holiday) then my advice is get a couple of lessons and you'll be fine. I now find it more fun swimming in OW than in a pool.

I'm planning on Eton and Windsor next year. Possibly London as well. Have been bitten by the Tri bug..

06/10/2008 at 18:50

Pix - I googled and found this discussion

interestingly it seems to rule out Carsington which is where we did kayaking

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