Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Wokingham Triathlon Festival

The sun was shining and he breeze was carrying the sound of the loud speaker into the bedrooms of those who were not up and about at 8am on a Saturday morning. It was a great day for a triathlon!
You could be forgiven for thinking that Human Race have the monopoly on triathlons in the Berkshire area but Barnes Fitness put on a great Sprint distance triathlon. 2015 was the second year of this lovely event taking place in Dinton Pastures country park. It attracts a lot of first-timers but plenty of seasoned triathletes too, such is the friendly and inclusive nature of all of Barnes Fitness' events. 
The overseeing official
Everyone was in good spirits, competitors and volunteers alike. Registration seemed to go without a hitch, aside from one or two people forgetting to bring their Triathlon England membership cards, and soon enough it was time to head to the waters edge and acclimatise for the swim. It was quite a sight to see everyone getting into the water and bobbing about before the start. The swim course was an out and back, designed such that it was possible to see almost the entire thing from the bank, just around the corner from the start.
The leaders put quite some distance between themselves and the pack, and were soon out of the water and running the 650m to transition. Not ideal but it did at least give the legs a chance to get used to being on land again. The bike leg was out on the open roads; a route that is regularly used in the Barnes Fitness events such as the duathlon. Plenty of signs and marshals ensured that everyone got round safely and I was able to see most of them come back into transition to set off on the 5km loop of the park.
The transition and finish lines were close together and near to the cafe so it was a veritable hub of activity. The winners were crossing the finish line before a good portion of the other competitors were out of transition but everyone got cheered on as loudly. Friends and family joined newly-made triathletes as they crossed the line, arms were thrown in the air and a few grimaces made it over the line too. As many name checks as possible were given and applause was plentiful.

Every finisher walked (or hobbled) away with a superb medal in their goody bag and, I hope, a sense of achievement and satisfaction regardless of their placing. A special mention to the penultimate lady who was taking part for charity and made her children very proud indeed.
Once again, I relished being involved in this event, from a marshal point of view. It's unlikely I'll get to take part in this event myself but I hope that people looking to take part in triathlon continue to seek out and support their local events, whether first timers or not. The organisation may not be as shiny as at the bigger events, but they are friendly, well priced and a great way in to the sport.

And remember, events such as these rely on volunteers so please consider donating some of your time to marshal, hand out water, or help with registration. It takes all sorts and allows these fantastic events to keep on going. Join the mailing lists or email the event organisers, or look for opportunities on Join In.

No comments:

Post a Comment