The following pre race newsletter went out to all Cotswold 113 2022 competitors today
June 5th – Competitor Pre race newsletter #2
Good afternoon all
We’re just a few days away from race day, so we’re now just getting the last few bits of info out to you all to be totally ready for Sunday’s race, and we can’t wait to welcome you all to our start line
I’ll try to keep this one fairly brief as I know you’re all getting ready for racing too, and don’t want to be reading through war and peace length waffle on this sunny Tuesday afternoon.
In this email, I’ll cover the following
Online Video briefing
Bike course info
Competitor and Spectator parking arrangements Sunday
Food and drink on site
Weather and prep
Online Video briefing
Here’s a link to the online video briefing for everyone to watch where you can see myself and Dave’s faces for Radio.
Those that have raced with us before will be slightly shocked at how quiet ‘Noisy’ Dave is, but the poor guy actually gets really camera shy, much to my amusement 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8-zbxntWRc
I know that you’re all wondering why Dave and myself haven’t been snapped up by the global modelling industry with our dashing good looks, but you can now see why our faces for radio are best suited to organising events
As you have seen from our last competitor newsletter, we’ve got a slight tweak to the bike course for this weekend’s race as a result of the Queens jubilee celebrations.
Like you might expect with an occasion like the Jubilee, there’s a chance the roads might be a little busier than normal for a Sunday, and although we start intentionally early for all our races in order to beat any traffic that might come on the roads mid morning onwards, this Sunday might see an increase over the very quiet roads we’re used to.
We have around 80 bike Marshals, Police and traffic Management contractors on the course, and the latter two are positioned at some of the busier/Key junctions to stop any other road traffic to give you right of way and to keep the flow of your riding. However, it’s really important that you be prepared to slow down if they don’t feel it’s safe to stop cars to let you pass or they just feel you’re approaching too fast for the conditions.
I’m going to have a quick 2 minute rant now in order to prepare you too, so please accept my apologies in advance.
Over the last few year’s, our sport in the UK and beyond has seen a fairly rapid decline in cycling standards at Triathlons. I appreciate this is really only a very small number of competitors spoiling for the majority that cycle really well, but as I’m quite good friends with some of the organisers of the UK’s bigger middle distance races, I know they’re seeing this too and worse than us in many cases.
At 113 Events, we are slightly different to many other organisers in that we spend a massive amount of time, money and effort into building up good relationships with all the local residents on our courses, and we don’t just steamroll our way through their villages without their blessing. I would really really like to keep those relationships going, and some of the riding standards I’ve seen at other Middle distance races in the UK, and in a couple of small cases, at our races in the last couple of years, have been truly terrible and shocking.
In order to hammer home my point, I want to give you a couple of quick examples :
1) A cyclist cut a left hand turn by hopping up a curb onto the path to undertake a slower cyclist and went into the path of a mother with a baby in a pushchair walking along, who they then shouted at to get out their way.
2) A Cyclist got impatient waiting behind a car that was awaiting a chance to overtake a slower cyclist. They then proceeded to undertake the car and shout abuse through their window – That driver was a late 80yr old women.
Both of these incidents resulted in instant DQ, and in one instance, I lifetime ban from 113 Events (the other sent the recipient some flowers through us and a long letter of apology). Both of those incidents were also by seemingly decent people, who just got the red mist as they were chasing a specific time to beat their PB or to qualify for a BTF Euro Spot, which resulted in them somehow forgetting common courtesy and general decency.
It’s really important for triathlon as a whole to be represented well in the open view of the public road, and I want to ask that small minority of competitors who appear to become ‘head down idiots’ endangering themselves and others around them, really have a long think before they act like this. We will have 5 moto referees, 4 moto marshals and a number of our core team placed around the course. If we see, or hear of, any discourteous riding to either other road road users or other competitors, you will get instantly DQ’d and you will not be allowed to continue the race.
It’s massively important to me that our races cast a positive shadow on the local community, and that the locals continue to welcome us in with open arms. This type of behaviour jeopardises that, and will not be tolerated in any way, shape or form.
I appreciate this is only a very small minorty of maybe a couple of competitors per race, and that we just ask that everyone rides with their eyes open and their moral compasses engaged, but those that do appear to want to be fast at all costs, tarnish it for everyone else.
Sorry, rant over 🙂
It’s also worth reminding you that our races, inline with the BTF rules, are non drafting. I appreciate that the new version of the Highway code allows you to ride two abreast on the road when you’re out riding with mates, but for the purpose of our race, it’s single file only unless overtaking, and the person being overtaken then needs to drop back to the correct drafting distance straight away please. We keep a keen eye on clubs as we often see them trying to work as a peloton only dropping back when they hear a motorbike ref (this happens way more than you might imagine), and any drafting will result initially in a time penalty, and secondly (without us having to give you warning) a DQ and non continuation of the race for that individual or group of individuals.
Anyway, back on track
We’ve been out this week and marked potholes and imperfections on the bike course. Largely, the course is in good condition, but with this being the UK, there’s a handful of potholes that don’t mix well with Carbon wheels.
The ones I’ve spotted have been marked with a Yellow Line before them to make them a bit easier to spot. I ride this course pretty often and they’re all really easy to spot and here’s a few examples taken yesterday on my phone
Competitor and Spectator parking arrangements Sunday
On Sunday morning, we will have two car parks. The main car park is the one shown at the north of the picture above, and is the quickest one to walk to transition from. The overflow carpark is for when the main car park is starting to fill up and also for any spectators that are coming along.
Both carparks get pretty full very quickly if people don’t park sensibly, so please can I ask that you park nice and close to the car beside you, and follow the instruction of the marshals guiding you in. They’re both fields, so if you were planning on coming in a Lamborghini, I’d suggest you consider bringing something else. You can park a normal car no problem, but for the very lowest of sports cars, just be mindful that it is a field, not a smooth tarmac car park.
Both car parks are £5 per car payable in cash only please and on Sunday morning will be open from a little before 4am
For those of you that are coming along to site on Saturday to have a look around or attend the briefing at 15:00, the northern Main car park will be the only one that is open on Satruday, and this will open at 14:00 and shut at 18:00.
Car parking on Saturday is £2, and you can buy Sunday’s pass at the same time to save messing around early in the morning on way to race.
The main competitor car park will shut at around 06:00 on Sunday morning as we want to avoid having spectators trying to drive past the mount/dismount line, so should head to the southern ‘Competitor Overflow and Spectator’ car park as that will be open for the duration of the race.
Please also ask any spectators coming after around 08:00 that if coming from the A417/9 direction (as most will) that they’ll be driving along the bike course and to be mindful of bikes please
We get lots of request to ask if Dogs are allowed on site if coming with spectators, and that’s no problem at all as long as they’re kept on a lead please.
Food and Drink on site
Lots of people having been asking what provisions we have for spectator (and competitor post race) food and drink on site. Around the start finish area, the lake guys have a nice little cafe that does a whole load of healthy (and unhealthy) burgers, jacket potatoes etc as well as some really nice homemade cakes and coffee’s. They will also have a BBQ going beside the cafe and there’s going to be a burger van too and a couple of smaller stalls. If you’re family/freinds are looking or something to do whilst you’re out on the bike course, the Beach and Country park, which houses our transition and you will walk through from the main car park to the start, has another nice Cafe and a pizza place which does stone cooked Pizzas to order and a few other bits and bobs. The run course goes right by their cafe/shop too as the Park contains about 40% of our run course.
They’ve also got a really cool ‘Total Wipeout’ type course in the water if your family wanted something else to do during the day – Info on the Beach and Country park – https://www.cotswoldcountryparkandbeach.com
Weather and preparation
If you are to believe the accuracy of BBC Weather forecasting, it looks like we may well be getting wet during the race (not just in the swim)
With that in mind, I’d suggest a few things to prepare for this :
1) Bring a large plastic bag (bin bag or similar) to put your stuff in under your bike in transition, or to keep it up off Wet grass
2) Bring some waterproof kit for the bike and run, and a change of socks as getting on the run and pulling running shoes over really wet socks from the bike sucks
3) Bring an extra tube for the bike as heavy rain can often wash crap onto the road
4) We’re pretty relaxed with the rules around dropping off extra items of clothing with marshals and loved ones around the course, so you’re better off to have more layers than you need and shed them, then not have enough and get cold
Right, that’s it from me for today. The next you’ll hear from me is a short mail towards the end of the week with a quick reminder of what to bring with you on the day, and any updates that might happen between now and then
We’re here to help, so if you get any questions or we can help with anything, please just give me a ring as I’ll be down the lake during the day all week getting everything built and ready, so won’t have much access to emails during the day – I’m on 07595 591612
Cheers and happy tapering
Graeme, Nicci and the 113 Events team