The following email went out to all Cotswold 113 Competitors on Sunday March 21st
Cotswold 113 – 6th June 2021
Good morning all, I hope everyone’s well ?
Firstly, let me apologise for not getting an update out sooner. Since Boris’s roadmap was presented a few weeks back, it’s taken quite some time to digest how it all works for Triathlon. As you might imagine, our races have a lot of stakeholders, and as everyone’s interpretation of the rules have been different, it’s taken a bit of time to get some common consensus on what we can and can’t do.
The good news is, we’re planning on going racing, and in this newsletter, I’ll cover just how we’re going to do it.
This will be a pretty lengthy email, so being as it’s a Sunday morning, I’d suggest you make yourself a strong coffee and grab a seat before starting on it.
Over the next couple of months, I’ll be sending out various emails with more info as it becomes fixed, and we have a better idea of how things are panning out in terms of the relaxing of lockdown, so I’ll apologise in advance for bombarding you all with lots of info right now, but think it’s important from our side as an organiser to keep you all in the loop to avoid any unnecessary worry or speculation. I find Transparency to be important in uncertain times, so I’ll make sure to keep everyone up to speed.
Today, I’ll cover the following :
What we can and what we can’t do
What to expect and when
Basic race outline
What we can and can’t do
In terms of Triathlon and the Boris Roadmap, racing can actually start again from March 29th and this is the date on which the BTF are starting to permit events again from. This is good news for us, as in the current world we live in, we never seem to know just what’s around the corner, so assuming that we can at least meet the stage 1 criteria in a few days, the race can go ahead in June.
The next key stage for the June 113 is the May change, which allows crowds back into outdoor events up to a maximum of 4,000 / 50% capacity.
This is a bit of a grey area for Triathlon, as we’re not actually selling tickets for spectators (like you would at a Football match or Music Concert), and actually, anyone that comes along to spectate at our races are generally family and friends of competitors and this comes more towards the category of ‘Support crew’ of which there aren’t any [clear] restrictions post March 29th. What this means for the race is that ‘spectators’ will be allowed on site, which wasn’t able to be offered for last year’s two races, and is a welcome return.
What it is clear that we won’t be able to do in June is run Registration and briefing’s on the Saturday. The reason for this is that where we hold the briefing’s has limited space, and having 300 people (typical attendance for each briefing) in that space would make any form of social distancing very difficult. Even if we ran twice as many briefings, 150 would be a push. Also, registration is made in a large tent, and having 1000 people queue and come through over a number of hours would put us firmly into ‘Indoor control’ rules, and just not possible to do safely neither for our team or for yourselves.
What this means is that we’ll do postal registration like we did last year. Around 7-10 days out from the race, we will post out everyone’s race bibs to them. You will then come along on race morning with your bib, bike etc, and we’ll have your timing chip and swim hat in your place in Transition ready for you. You’ll then collect your goody bag and medal at the finish line. The briefing will be made available about a week before the race in a video format, and a link sent to all competitors. The reason we don’t send this out earlier is that we would like competitors to watch it as close to the race as possible so that everything’s fresh on race weekend.
We’ve always done all our racking on a Sunday morning anyway, so this isn’t a massive change, but will mean you’ll need to plan a bit more time on Sunday morning as we’ll need to check everyone’s BTF membership or photo ID on arrival to Transition.
It’s looking very unlikely that we’ll be able to do mass starts, so the race will start at 06:00 and go off in 6 waves, which will be in a ‘Rolling start’ format where we set each competitor off at 5 second intervals and competitors for the 1900m will start in two chutes a few meters apart.
More on waves and swimming later in this mail
We will be able to run aid stations etc as normal, but I’m afraid we won’t be able to provide massage in the finish area.
I’m afraid the other sacrifice this year is going to be the familiarisation day for the race as it’s just not going to be possible to take a couple of hundred people out for a ride at once in groups on public roads. However, I live close to the lake, and if anyone wants to come down midweek, I can take you for a spin around a single lap of the bike course and a lap of the run course so you can see the courses before race morning. The lake is open for Swimming each day before 10am too, so if you wanted to swim as well, I can arrange a guest pass booking.
My day’s of being a faster cyclist and runner are long gone though, so as long as you don’t mind ‘leisurely paced’ 🙂
I’m very conscious that many of you have lost a good chunk of Swimming time over the last 2 and a bit months. With this in mind, although we will still run the traditional 1,900m Swim, we will also (like we did last year) offer a 400m Swim option for those that still want to swim but not the full 1,900m, as well as the option to simply skip the swim and start on the bike. You won’t need to make that choice until race morning, and we’ll have timing mats laid out at the start of the two swim options that will let us know which you have started, and we’ll produce separate sets of results for all 3 options. All three options will still, of course, finish on the same finish line and collect their medals and goody bags as normal.
Open water and outdoor swimming is allowed to start again next week, and indoor pool swimming is allowed to start again on April 12th.
We had the same options for last year’s races, and the shorter swim and no swim options were quite popular with around a 10% uptake, although the majority still did the full 1,900m. Like said above, you won’t need to decide which distance you wish to do until race morning, so use the 10weeks of open water swimming, and 8 weeks of indoor swimming to see where you’re at with distances, and then choose on race day.
What to expect and when
You’ll get a number of emails from me over the next couple of months with various bits of info as the roll out of Boris’s map happens, and more info gets fixed on the race. I’ll try not to bombard you, but will send out info as it’s required and try and drip feed it rather than putting loads of info in like in this mail.
In about 3 weeks time, I will send out the race info pack by email, which contains everything you’ll need to know about the courses, aid stations, rules etc
Around 5 weeks out from the race, you will get an email also asking if you would like to choose a specific wave or race number (or group of race numbers if you want to rack with your club or mates). These are on a strict first come/first served basis, so please do not try and request a wave/number before that email comes out as I won’t be able allocate it
Basic race outline
In advance of the race info pack coming out, here’s a rough outline of the race
Swim start, Transition and finish line are all within a hundred or so meters of each other and there’s no split transition
The Swim course is a single 1900m lap, and as mentioned above, we’ll lay out an alternative 400m option too
The water is typically around 5-7 foot deep for 80% of the lap, and there’s a couple of spots where you can stand up and take a break. We don’t have a specific Swim cut off time, and as long as the water safety crew don’t think you’re a danger to yourself or others around you, will allow you as long as it takes as long as you’re making reasonable forward motion between breaks.
Typically in June, the water temperature will be around 18-21deg, which will put us firmly in the ‘Wetsuit Optional’ range.
The transition is on mainly grass, and we’ll carpet the sections that aren’t and also the run from transition to the mount point, which is around a 40m run from transition to the road.
The bike course is two 28mile laps, and is fully signed. It’s not closed roads, but we have Police and Traffic Management contractors stopping traffic at the main junctions to allow you right of way over any traffic (At that time pf the morning there’s very little traffic on the road in the area). The Bike course is not yet finalised to a point where it’s ready to be published, and will be including in the race info pack in 3 weeks time, but for those that have raced with us before, it’s 95% the same as the course we’ve used previously, and is very flat.
We will have 4 moto referees and 4 moto support riders on the course. The support riders will carry basic tools and spare tubes, but ultimately, it’s your responsibly to carry your own tube and kit, and they are there just for emergencies
We have around 90 marshals and 200ish arrows on the bike course, and very few turns, so it’s almost impossible to get lost. We will have a GPX file available nearer the time if you want it though.
The bike Aid station is towards the end of each lap and will have 750ml pre-filled bike bottles of High5 Energy drink and water. We will also have High5 ISOGels. There will be a bottle drop before the aid station to dispose of your old bottle, and you can grab a bottle on the move as you pass through it.
The run course is 3 laps of 4.36 miles and is around 50% tarmac, 45% hard packed lake paths and 5% grass. It’s very flat and has around 3m of elevation change per lap. There will be 3 aid stations roughly equidistance per lap.
Two will have Cupped water and High5 gels. The 3rd will have as follows :
Cupped Flat Coke
High5 ISO Gels
Half Cut Bananas
Salted Peanuts (In a separate area for nut allergy sufferers)
There are around 70 pre race toilets, which also double up on the run course. Two Toilets in transition which are only open once race has started. Two Toilets at the bike course Aid station, and 3 sets of toilets around the run course.
Competitor Car Parking is in a field around 400m from the start of the race and will be open from 04:00
This is just a basic Outline, and the race info pack and video briefing’s will cover all of this is more detail
We are really proud of our reputation of having some of the best marshals in the sport, and it really is the marshals that make the race on the day and help dig the competitors spirits out of any low points.
We have around 190 paid positions for marshals, and although around 50% of these posts are regulars to our races, we recruit the rest from you guys if you have family, friends or team mates that would like to be involved please
We pay all our marshals too, and they can choose from either £20 cash on the day or a £40 113 Events Voucher to use on our future races
They’ll also get an event team shirt, everything they need, Paired up with someone more experienced if required and we’ll keep them in hot food drink, cold drinks and ice creams all day.
They don’t need any experience at all, and our course managers will take them through a full briefing on race morning. All we ask is that they’re enthusiastic, know their left from their right and are over 16years of age please
As anyone that’s ever worked in events will know, getting marshals is one of the hardest parts of organising racing, so if you have anyone coming along with you, or you could bring, that wants to get involved, please drop me an email at email@example.com
A couple of weeks ago, we found out that the Campsite next to the lake we race at isn’t opening for business this year (The campsite isn’t anything to do with us, and I’m not totally clear on why they’re not opening, but will, apparently, be back for 2022)
With this in mind, I am currently compiling a list of all local campsites to the area and will list them on our website in the next week or so at https://www.113events.com/cotswold-113/location/
I’m afraid none of these are within walking distance though.
We are also in the process of talking with local farmers and land owners to see if we can set up our own close by camping area, and will get info out ASAP if this is possible.
If you are looking for a hotel, AirBnB or lakeside lodge to stay at (there are loads of lakeside property rentals and AirBnB’s close by in the waterpark), the postcode for the race start/finish is GL76DF
The closest, and by far the best, hotel to the race is the Devere Cotswold Waterpark hotel. It’s around 3miles from the start, on the bike course, and as they get a lot of competitors stay there on race weekend, have in the past put on early race day breakfasts and have been flexible with you keeping your bikes in the hotel.
Right, that’s it from me. Hopefully you’re all still awake and I’ve not put any of you to sleep with my waffle ?
We’re here to help, so if you get any questions or there’s anything we can help with over the next few weeks in the run up to the race, please just ask
Thanks and happy training
Graeme, Nicci and the 113 Events team