In short: Challenging, and that was just the weather In full: We went to Anglesey and made a weekend of it, this being my big race for the year. Weather forecasts had been a bit dire but the day before the race was not too bad, if a little gusty. The registration was a little low key, a couple of tents in a field but very efficient.
We decided to head down to the beech to check out the swim conditions. £3 access fee is a bit rich! It was also at this point that we realised it is a couple of miles from the town to the beech, along a road that would be closed for the race so you need to be prepared to walk down or be boxed in for 5 hours. Not great for us as we had our 2 young children with us.
The sea looked choppy but not too bad and all set for the following day.
Overnight the wind really picked up and between arriving and setting up in transition the heavens opened. Rumour was circulating the swim was cancelled but the organisers did a brilliant job moving the swim a mile up the beech to a more sheltered location. Only a 5ft swell to comprehend with. So with briefing out the way we all walked to the new swim location decked out in wetsuits and trainers.
The swim was BRILLIANT. A challenge out and back against some big waves but the water was warm and clean, fabulous. Back on to the beech, on with the trainers and a 1 mile trail run back to T1.
T1 was, lets say cosy, but not daft. I was a little concerned it was on loose gravel and the potential for punctures was high, but most got away with it.
The bike course was undulating into what felt like a vicious wind and on open roads. The local traffic was v considerate and the marshals excellent in giving encouragement and directions. Back in to the forest after a little over 2 hours and in to T2.
The 10k run followed the trail path used to get to the new swim location then turned in to an incline going up and away from the coast. It was a really beautiful route, mostly along canopy covered trails. The last 2k or so featured lots of leg sapping sand through to the finish chute.
Plenty of refreshments for finishers, although I was more concerned about keeping warm.
All in all loved it, and hope to do the Slateman next year. Really well organised, if not spectator friendly, in a superb location.
In short: Fiddly transitions but flat bike course and friendly run. In full: I'd heard really good things about Nantwich Tri and given the cost, expensive for a sprint, I had high expectations. The set up for transitions is a little complex given that T1 and T2 are in different locations but the directions given helped and as long as you give yourself enough time you'll be fine. A word of advice though, don't get to T1 too early as it is on the small side and you'll only be let in 20 minutes before your swim time.
The swim is in an outdoor brine pool at at 16 lengths of a 33m pool, slightly longer than a typical sprint. You'll set off at 20 sec intervals and swim 4 lengths of a lane before switching to the next. The first lane is a little crowded but seem to thin out after that.
After T1, you're out on to an estate and quickly free of Nantwich and on to the roads. Junctions were well marshaled and the course well sign posted. The roads are not closed but this does not cause any issues.
T2 is nice and open and the run for the sprint was 4 laps of a 1.3km park route. Nice and flat and plenty of opportunity for high 5s and encouragement from your supporters. The run is in a park so ideal for partners who are left holding the baby / babies!
The finish is manned by a commentator, although he was busy putting in the ground work with a lovely assistant when I crossed so no name check (not that I am bitter).
All in all a good race. Where did it fall down?
V expensive and the goody bag was nothing to write home about, a medal and bottle of Gatorade (come on, you can do better than that). No chip timing and the real time results broke at 10:30 so you had to wait until the next day for results. Even then, there was no notification and I could only find them by going on the Tri247 website. And don't get me started on the costs of photos from the event. Date of review: May 30, 2012
In short: Fantastic setting, well organised, bloody tough In full: My first tri and what an experience. The pool swim was ok if a little hectic with the staggered starts. The ride takes you from Buxton, up and down the Goyt Valley and on to the Cat and Fiddle road, a tough route for a first. The run is a 2 lap route around a road circuit, nothing special but not enough to detract from a great race. Date of review: April 28, 2012