The Diamond Triathlon organised by The Human Race team was held last weekend in the picturesque surrounds of the 2012 Olympic rowing venue of Eton Dorney lake. Team Trivelo were fortunate enough to have places in the Olympic distance races, the longest race held on the day with shorter distances including a scoot-a-thon for the rugrats.
With the sun shining and the winds light it was set to be a glorious day with plenty of opportunity for personal best times for all. Arriving early to meet up with sponsors including our partners at British Bike Hire (www.britishbikehire.co.uk) the temperatures were chilly hovering around 8 degrees but the promise of warmth was not far away. Registration was slick with no issues and race numbers were issued along with your race pack and timing chip. Transition is located right in front of the boat house which is helpful for finding your spot later when disorientated coming out of the water. No jockeying for the prime positions with allocated numbers on the racks able to position your bike in your allocated slice of real estate.
The swim is 2 laps of the lake which was reported to be 18 degrees but felt a touch colder – wetsuits were certainly needed and I didn’t see anyone swimming without one. The start takes place from the water and we were lucky enough to be given a pep talk by the legend that is Daley Thompson before the starter pistol. Sensible sized waves mean not too much carnage in the swim for the first turn although lots of reeds meant it wasn’t for the faint hearted or any that had yet to train in open water. Exiting the water you have a short run into transition. In reality it couldn’t be any shorter with a 20 yard dash into the transition area.
The bike loop is 8 laps of the grounds on closed roads with marshals dotted throughout to help and watch for any drafting infringements. The course is very flat and due to location tends to mean in one direction you head route one into the wind and in the other are hustled along by it. The road service is a good quality with only a handful of cobbled sections that won’t trouble even the thinnest of tyres. The field were a pretty serious crowd with a fine display of bike porn on offer. Throughout the bike you get a great view of the lake with supporters concentrated around the boat house end. There doesn’t appear to be any time check points on the course so disappointedly you can’t review your per lap progress. It also means I am not sure how they enforce the correct number of laps are completed?
Completing the bike course you head back into transition which depending on timing can be a bit chaotic with other waves milling around not heading in the same direction as you. Leaving the transition area you head out for four laps of the run course which is an up and back along one side of the lake. There is a water station at the start of the run but no freebie gels on offer so if you need them make sure you take your own. The run is pretty tight along a footpath which is a good surface but means when overtaking you can find yourself running headlong into someone doing the same headed in the opposite direction. Same story as the bike with no timing mats for lap times which means again need to bring your Garmin to help with that one. Finishing you head to the boat house one last time welcomed by an alcohol free beer and much needed rest.
A huge disappointment was no finishers medal although they did hand out t-shirts to all but personally I prefer a nice chunky medal to add to the box at home. That said it is a well run event and hugely family friendly with a bouncy castle, ice cream van, refreshments and associated options available. The multi lap course also means supporters get to see you a number of times and don’t have to relocate between each stage of the race. Well worth a bash if you haven’t done one there before and for first timers with a flat course and closed road bike it is very accessible.
About the author
BILLY – Founder of Trivelo Bikes Billy is pretty comfortable on the swim but out of the water doesn’t tend to feature so highly. Doesn’t stop him competing and loving it though….most of the time!