Speaking to our athletes it’s clear that whilst most people are able to carry out some level of exercise/training during this time, the one thing people are craving is competition. Something positive to train towards and a chance to once again enjoy race day excitement and banter. So this got me thinking, how about a Lockdown Freedom Triathlon? The date will be as soon as possible once racing is permitted whether it be August, October, or even December. I want this to be one of the first post lockdown events.
The proposed format is a 400m swim – 21k bike – 5k run. The venue and course will be the same as for the Bolton Triathlon centred around Turton Sports Centre. Entry fee will be the absolute minimum required covering only essential things like insurance and venue hire but there will also be an expectation that competitors will help set up and run the event including putting race signs out, timing fellow competitors etc.
The emphasis will be on everyone supporting each other during the race and encouraging a real community spirit. Entries will be limited to 30 (dependant on any government advice) on a first come bases.
Although it’s a work in progress and obviously subject to change my initial thoughts on how the race will run are:
We will organise the swim as normal with waves of similar ability swimmers. Each wave will be timed by fellow competitors who will also act as lane counters. Once everyone has completed the swim competitors will move to the cycle start.
Once everyone has completed the swim they will be able to change into cycle clothing and start the bike section. As the vast majority of triathletes have some means of recording time and distance this will be self-timed. The course will be signposted. As each cyclist finishes, their bike times will be recorded, noting both distance and duration. ( to ensure that every one complete the correct course)
On completion of the bike competitors will change into their run clothing and will be directed to the run start. The run route will be signposted and again be self-timed. At the end of the run competitors will submit their run time and distance.
Once competitors have finished their race they will be given their timing record sheet and invited to work out their own finishing time. We are hopeful this can take place either at a local pub (in the past we have been very welcome at the Station Pub) or in one of Turton sports halls. Whilst there may not be the usual post race presentation we will acknowledge winners and are hoping that competitors will be able to swap race stories, claim bragging rights, make the usual excuses and generally celebrate being able to compete once again.
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