The following newsletter went out to all Cotswold Classic 2019 Competitors tonight:
Evening all, I hope everyone’s well and getting ready for this Sunday’s race ?
In this instalment* of the pre race info mails, I’ll cover the following :
Planning your weekend
General Rules and regulations
Our rules and regulations
*You can find all previous instalments of competitor newsletters at www.113events.com/news
I’ll get this up first, as I’m well aware that this is all most of you care about 🙂
I was at the lake this morning, and the water temperature was 21.2deg, which is comfortably inside the ‘Wetsuit Optional’ range for racing. The forecast for this week is not anything like last week, so I’m not expecting it to go up towards the ‘No Wetsuit’ range by Sunday. We will, of course, have to make a final call on this on Sunday morning, but I’m very confident that if you want to wear your wetsuit, you can do so.
Planning your weekend
Firstly, and most importantly, Parking
We use a field from a local farmer for Parking on both Saturday and Sunday, which is about 400m from the race Registration and Sunday’s start line
There is a charge for the Car parking, which is £2 Saturday and £5 Sunday payable in cash only.
On Saturday, please can you buy Sunday’s ticket as it’ll save a lot of time on Sunday morning if everyone has already payed and displays their ticket on the dash. You can buy Sunday’s ticket either when you park on Saturday, or from the registration tent. When you arrive Sunday morning, please allow yourself plenty of extra time to get parked (realistically, a good 20mins or so plus to get through the gate) as being a field, it has one entrance in, and it takes some time to get 800 cars all through and parked up.
When you do park in the field, please park snuggly up to the car next to you as we’ll very quickly run out of parking spaces if people start parking at 45deg angles or 6 foot away from the car next to you
The car park will take all competitors and a number of spectators, but only if you all park sensibly.
The parking fee goes to a local farmer, who does, in fairness to him, donate a chunk of it to a local charity (last year was Wilts Air Ambulance)
On Saturday afternoon, registration is between 12:00 and 17:00, and we will run a couple of briefings at 13:30 and 16:00
These are not compulsory, but are good to attend as we’ll talk through the race in every detail and answer any questions you might have. We’ll try and make it entertaining, as I’m conscious I’m pretty boring when I talk, and the team always give me grief for this. It takes about 45mins, and will be by the swim exit about 50m away from the registration tent.
If it’s raining on Saturday, which I hope it won’t be, bring a rain coat as the briefing is outside.
On Sunday morning, as mentioned above, please leave yourself plenty of time to get parked (the carpark opens at 4am), and once you arrive at transition, you will need to be wearing your helmet (the BTF ref needs to check it actually fits you) and have your bike sticker on your bike. You’ll get the bike sticker in your pack, and it doesn’t matter where on your bike you put it as we only use it when it comes to the end of the day, and you come to pick your bike up, as we’ll check to make sure it matches your bib number – We don’t use helmet stickers or body marking of numbers.
There is a block of 30 pre race porta-loos around 150m walk from the start line. The walk to them is on a gravelly surface, so I’d suggest you bring some old trainers, flip flops, slippers etc to wear between transition to the toilet, and then toilet to the start line. You can then leave your footwear by the swim entrance, and collect them up after the race, or if you don’t want them back, we’ll skip them on Monday.
The reason we don’t have these toilets anywhere near the start line or transition, is the smell of these on a warm day is less than fresh, so we don’t want them anywhere near where people will congregate as the start area is also the red carpet for the race finish.
We will aim to have everyone out of transition for 06:00 when the first wave goes off in the water, so pease allow enough time to arrive, get parked and get set up and out of transition for 06:00 even if you’re in the last wave as we can’t have people racking their bikes whilst the race is going on. We have to be strict on this, so please don’t turn up at 06:15 and expect to be able to rack your bike, as you won’t be allowed in.
The racking ends are marked with the numbers and each position has a sticker with your name on it, so you should be able to find your spot easily enough, but just ask the transition team if you’re not sure.
We don’t run a rack per wave, as we like that we’re able to offer people to choose their own waves and numbers as they wish (as over 800 of you have for this race), but the downside of this is that transition is mixed up with people in all sorts of waves and numbers, so it definitely has to be clear well before the first swimmer comes in.
There’s a couple of porta-loo’s in transition, but these will be closed pre race and only open once the race starts for anyone that needs the loo in T1 or T2
General rules and regulations.
Our race is run in accordance with the British Triathlon regulations and is a non drafting race.
Please excuse me whilst I go into rant mode now, as I’m not normally like this, however :
I have become aware that our races seem to have a reputation within some clubs and circles that you can get away with drafting, and for 2019, this is something we’re absolutely going to stamp out.
We have 5 motorcycle draft busters on the course and a number of my team in various locations, and they will not be taking any prisoners. At our June race, we issued 54 drafting penalties, and DQ’d 8 people, and this year, the BTF are going to be making examples of people to try and rid our sport of this issue.
We don’t have Kona slots, or prize purses, and if you’re drafting, you are only cheating yourself, so why do it.
The BTF rules are available here : https://www.britishtriathlon.org/britain/documents/events/competition-rules/british-triathlon-competition-rules-2019.pdf and we will have a poster up in registration, so please do not say we didn’t warn you.
The Ref’s will, of course, apply a certain amount of common sense to how they issue these penalties and manage the rules, but if you are obviously trying to gain an advantage and cheat yourself or your mates into a fast bike split, you will be penalised or DQ’d, so please do it at someone else’s race, and not ours.
I know that 99.9% of you all are very fair racers, and like me, hate drafting, but there is a minority that are ruining our sport, and they will be made examples of on Sunday if they try and cheat.
Right, rant over, sorry
Our rules and regulations
These are actually fairly normal rules, but things we are strict on due to the nature of the area.
We’re extremely lucky to be able to race in such a beautiful part of the country, but as with all areas of this type, littering is a big issue (not just with triathletes and cyclists, but on the whole)
There are 80ish marshals on the bike course, and they all have bin bags. There are also bins at and after the aid stations.
You don’t need to stop and put your litter in the bins or in the marshals bin bags, but please at least drop it near it or them so we can collect it all up later. The local area council put high priority on littering, and like drafting, it’s a pet hate of mine. If anyone is seen intentionally littering, it’s an instant DQ without exception and your race number will be removed from you and it’ll be the end of your day. One reported case of littering at our event could see our permit to race in the area pulled for good, so we will be very strict on this as, like drafting, there’s no excuse for it.
The other rule we have that we are very strict on is one of courtesy. The bike course goes through a few local villages, and us lot as triathletes, tend to forget that 8am on a Sunday morning is not a normal time to be up, even though you would all have been up for several hours and it will probably feel more like lunch time to you. With that in mind, please keep the noise down as you go through residential areas on the bike, as cyclists do tend to not realise how loud they’re shouting to each other on the go, and not everyone wants to be up at silly o’clock. This also goes out to your spectators if you’re bringing along a fan clubs, and as much as we love groups of spectators with cow bells and noise, please ask them not to do it in a residential area.
You will see very few cars on the road on a Sunday morning, but if you do, please be courteous to them. Not every driver is confident to drive around bikes and occasionally get very nervous, so please don’t swamp cars or undertake them, or if someone reverses out their drive, please don’t be tempted to hurl abuse at them as they’ve cost you 2 seconds more on your bike split.
When you go through the village of Castle Eaton (about 17 miles into the lap), you will be making 3x 90deg sharp corners in a row. You will absolutely need to remain on the correct side of the road for these and we can not have people cutting corners or running wide into any oncoming traffic. The BTF rules say that you must ride on the correct side of the road and follow the highway code, and you will be DQ’d if you attempt to cut a corner. Also, please be realistic about your speed through these sharp corners as going in to a sharp left hander too fast and running wide onto the wrong side of the road on exit is also a DQ offence. Castle Eaton is an area where we really need to keep residential relationships up (as we do in all of the villages we pass), so please be courteous as you ride though there and keep your eyes and ears open. Before Castle Eaton, you will see two large 113 Red signs that say “Respect the area’ and we expect you to do just that, so please be on your best behaviour on the whole course, but especially through Castle Eaton.
Another 113 Specific rule is for the bike course aid station, and the speed at which you can go through it to collect drinks.
At the bike station, we have 750ml bottles of Water/High 5 as well as Gels and half cut bananas. It is at around 23/51 miles into the course (bike course is two laps) and is on a slight downhill. You don’t need to slow down to walking pace, but please don’t try and go through there at 30mph and expect to be able to grab a bottle on the go as it’s not safe for either you or the Aid station team. Just before the Aid station is a bottle drop area, so you can chuck your old bottles and grab a new one.
As the Station is quite a long way into the course, I’d strongly suggest that you load your bike up with a bottle or two of your own before you head out on it. You can discard that bottle at the bottle drop just before the station, and we’ll gather them up into a large pile back at the finish of the race, and you can rummage through the wasps and sticky mess to retrieve it if you so wish.
Any bottles that are not collected later on race day get donated to a local charity that has links with Dyson, who put all the bottles through a large dishwasher and donate them to local kids clubs and teams, so please don’t worry that we’re creating a large plastic environmental waste footprint.
Right, that’s it from me for tonight. There will be one final email coming out to you towards the end of this week with course condition updates, links to results and trackers and then weather etc.
In the meantime, I’m here to help, so please get in touch if there’s anything I can help with this week. I’ll be at the lake all day for the remainder of the week, so only really pick my emails up in the evening. If you need anything more urgently than that, please just ring me on 07595 591612
We look forward to seeing you all this weekend, so have a great taper week and see you all Saturday for registration
Graeme, Nicci and the 113 Events team