WOKING NOVICE SPRINT TRI 2017
Woking GoTri Sprint Triathlon was put on by Fullstream events. A sprint race that is open to everyone of all abilities, and good for those who are new to triathlons. £15 (16+) to enter, it was based in Woking leisure centre in Woking park.
They had this event on different dates:
2ND APRIL 2017
14TH MAY 2017
25TH JUNE 2017
6TH AUGUST 2017
10TH SEPTEMBER 2017
The event we took part in was on the 6th August. It was a 9am start and you have access to the changing facilities in the leisure – a welcome site and usually race have portaloos and thats it!
The distances were a total of 200m (Snake) for the swim, 11km bike and a 3km run. Perfect for beginners starting out at the event.
Walking up and down the transition area, to me, it looked like some of the competitors very clearly weren’t novices. It was a little bit intimidating, when you’re expecting novices to be turning up and the standard of bikes being racked up certainly were the opposite!
The events leading up came with some hiccups! When we started getting the brief, it was on poolside and it was one man giving the brief to a few competitors, the ones at the end asked if he could talk louder and the reply was “I’m talking as loud as I can, if you can’t hear, I’ll explain later” – not sure whether they got their brief but as a beginner it would have been better if they made every effort. You also had to line up one by one in time order, some people don’t know what their times are so had to go to the end. The one by one was okay but it was a long time waiting before you could start the race.
There was also some questions regarding the bike route, there wasn’t a map of the routes at the event (there might have been but I couldn’t find any) and someone asked about the bike route and where you go when you leave the transition zone. The reply was “there’s signs it’s obvious”, however even when I walked around the car park I didn’t see any signs either. It wasn’t the best response again if you were a beginner and needed to know what the route was.
The swim route was 8 laps in the pool, snaking in and out of lanes. You had to do 2 laps in one lane and then go under the lane ropes each time before you finish the 8 lengths and run out of the pool. It was one by one with 30 second gap in between, they took down your name and number and timed the exact moment you pushed off the wall. I actually really enjoyed the pool session, it felt good to be back in the pool. The 30 seconds in between swimmers was actually quite good, it kept a good distance between nearly all of the swimmers. If you caught up with someone you had to tap their feet and wait until the end of the length to overtake. I only had to do this once and so slowed down a little bit but completed my 8 lengths with a good time.
The cycle route was relatively straightforward (as was stated in the briefing). You came out of the car park and onto the 2 laps of the 12km route. The only downside of the of the cycle route was that you had to cross 2 lines of traffic to get onto the route as you come out of the car park of the leisure centre. I had to stop and wait for 2 other competitors and 3 cars before I could continue with the race.
The cycle route was fairly nice, for a beginner almost perfect. It was fairly flat, there were 2 slight uphills and 1 really awesome downhill part where you could really build up your speed. The race is all on the road, you have to pass 3 roundabouts in the loop, the first big roundabout there was a marshal pointing the way but the others were pretty clear both times I passed them. It felt like a fast cycle route, through the streets of the surrounding area; there was nothing that really sprung out on the route as parts were through residential areas, shopping streets and just general roads. There was plenty of room on the the roads, cyclists will easily overtake you and cars (if they are nice) give you plenty of room to get past.
The running route is 3 loops of the local park. This was a good route, relatively flat and quick and the prettiest part of the whole race. When I say relatively flat, I mean that for the most of it, apart from the big hill that you have to run up 3 times just before the route down to the finish. The hill is quite steep and doesn’t last long but the lady marshalling at the top was definitely needed, she was so encouraging! The 3 laps came past the finish every time; with the scattered starts of the athletes there were people finishing and some people still starting to head out onto the route. This was where all the spectators were standing as well so there was always encouragement when you have to run past the finish for the 3rd time!
The route follows a little bit of the gardens and the surrounding fields, and the sprint finish it down hill which is great!
The finish was good, the marshals were very lovely shouting and cheering everyone along. No one else was running into the finish when I was coming in so there was a good cheer. The results were uploaded almost immediately which was good to have (also good to see how far last I was). The results were shown through age, gender and all competitors. You also finished to a banana and water bottle, no medals or anything else though! I think if this was your first it would have been good to have something for finishing.
One thing I would like to note about this race, was the marshals and how great they were. On the run route especially, it was lovely to have such happy and encouraging people dotted around on the route. Something that was noticed by other athletes as well as I heard a few comments in the transition area when we left how thankful they were for the marshals. The photographer was great as well, he was cheering just as much as the crowd and got some great photos of the event.
Overall the race went well, it was good to compete in one in short distances to get your body used to different activities. It was well run and a great event for beginners. I will probably have a go at other try events and triathlons – who knows, it may be the start!