The following newsletter went out to all Cotswold Classic 2021 competitors today :
Cotswold Classic – July 11th 2021
Good afternoon all, I hope everyone’s enjoying the tapering on race week ?
This is going to be the last instalment of pre race emails before we see you all on Sunday, so I’ll apologise now as this is going to be a long one, but very important, so please grab yourself a strong coffee and a comfy chair.
in this email, I’ll cover the following :
Reminder of what to bring
Video Race briefing link
Live timing and results
Rules and regulations
Parking / Spectators / support crew
Reminder of what to bring
I’m pretty sure that you’ll all remember to bring your bikes, wetsuits and running kit, but there’s a few other things that are worth remembering on race morning that we often see people forget.
You’ll need a mask to wear in transition, and to register on the morning, you will need some photo ID and £5 cash for a BTF Day license, or a 2021 BTF race ID with a Picture on it.
It’s also worth bringing clothing for all conditions, as you’re always better to have a jacket you can leave in transition, than need a jacket and not have it. Even a set of arm warmers can make a difference to your core temperature if the weather conditions are not perfect.
Also, remember to bring a plastic bag to put your stuff on/in in transition as it looks like we might get some rain at some point over the weekend, so this will keep your stuff either up off the wet grass, or covered in case of rainfall. Having come back in from the bike in a triathlon myself only to find I had to tip water out my run shoes, I can tell your for certain that it’s not the best feeling as you squelch through the first few miles.
Finally, you will have seen in the race info pack that the bike course aid station is around 23miles into the bike course lap, so if you are intending on using the aid station, you’ve got a good chunk of time on the bike for even the quickest racers without any drinks, With this in mind, please make sure you load your own drinks/gels etc to the bike for when you first get out the water.
Don’t forget to bring a smile too, and remember, you’re racing to enjoy yourself. It’s all too easy to get your head soaked up in the race, that you forget the reason you’re actually there 🙂
Video Race briefing link
I’d like to point out early that video and the lighting in the lake cafe adds at least 20years, and Dave and I are actually in our early 20’s 🙂
Please find a link to the video of the pre race briefing as follows : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gs650ugxhVE
This is compulsory for all competitors, so please take the 7 mins or so to watch Dave being camera shy and not saying a thing, and me waffling on whilst uncomfortably twiddling a pen and tripping over my words.
Rules and regulations, and how they’re applied
We operate the race in line with the BTF rules and regulations and is a none drafting race.
You can find the rules in full here : https://www.britishtriathlon.org/competitionrules
One of the rules we get the most questions on, and how we interpret it, is getting changed in transition.
The BTF rules say no nudity, and as we don’t have changing tents, some of the competitors will want to change into full cycling kit for the bike, and again to running kit for the run. This is totally fine, and the competitors that do make this clothing change will typically do it under a towel or a Dry Robe style swimming robe. However, I’m pretty aware that this isn’t always easy to do when you’re rushing and people often don’t completely cover themselves up.
How we apply the rule is that if you’re trying to be discreet and you accidentally flash some flesh, no one will have an issue with that. However, if you’re doing naked lunges down the transition rack, or doing a full naked undercarriage towel dry with a back and forth sawing motion (this actually happened at one of our races), you will get penalised, so please be mindful that others around you really don’t need to see that at silly o’clock on a Sunday morning.
The other rule will be being strict on is especially pertinent in the current climate, which is giving people space around them in transition please. It’s between a 4 and 8hour day for you all, so losing 5 seconds in transition to give someone a chance to move is largely academic in the scheme of the overall race time, and might actually give you a chance to catch your breath for a minute and think through your transition process.
I always suggest to anyone that isn’t a seasoned racer to really take your time in transition and make sure you have everything you need, and don’t forget to remove something. Over the year’s of running our races, we’ve seen more people than we can remember try and get on the bike at the mount line with their wetsuits on, and possibly hundreds now forget to take their swim hats and/or goggles off before putting their helmets on. The same goes for people heading out on the run in their bike helmets.
I’m not keen on doing this, but I’m going to have to go into head teacher mode now, so please bear with me:
Over the year’s we’ve been running the races, we’ve had over 20,000 competitors come through our course. 99.99% are a really great bunch of people like yourselves, and until last Sept, we’ve had less complaints from the public than I can count on one hand.
However, for last Sept’s race (the rescheduled June 113) we had some very serious issues out on the course where riders were either riding really badly, were rude to other road users, or were just trying to cheat by cutting corners and ride in either big groups or 3-4 abreast on fairly narrow roads.
I’m very conscious that this was very much a minority spoiling it for the majority, but it’s a situation I cannot have happen again.
We’ve spent year’s building up really good relationships with all our local town and village residents, but last Sept’s riding/running issues undone a good chunk of this and very nearly put a stop to our races completely.
The roads out on the bike course and paths for the run course are typically very quiet on a Sunday morning and you won’t see much traffic on the road at all. However, it’s entirely possible that you might encounter some drivers who are not confident at driving on the road with lots of cyclists, and it’s their prerogative if they want to drive at 12mph as they’re frankly scared of the sheer volume of bikes overtaking them (think little old lady/man on way to church). It’s therefore not acceptable to undertake them or give them verbal abuse. We also had an incident of someone hopping on a footpath on their bike to cut a corner when there was a mother walking a baby in a buggy on the path coming the other way. I appreciate no one sets out to race like this, but last year, even the most seemingly chilled people seemed to turn into complete idiots.
We simply will not tolerate this type of behaviour out on our bike or run courses, and we will have members of our team out in the villages and country roads, who’s job it is to instantly DQ/ban anyone that is seen to be riding even remotely discourteously, littering, or riding in anything other than single file unless they are overtaking. There’ll be zero exceptions to either bad behaviour or intentional littering, and your race will finish at that point on the course.
Sorry to have to be like this, but the relationship with course residents is hugely important to me, and for the future of our races.
The June 113 competitors got the same warning a few weeks ago before their race, and were all behaved exceptionally well out on the run and bike courses, so I’m hoping all your great guys and girls can please raise the bar even higher this weekend for me please 🙂
Parking / Spectators / support crew
We have a field as per the below map that we use for race day parking for competitors only. If you have a ‘Support crew’ coming with you, that’s totally fine, but they will need to be in your car and not in a separate car. The field we hire for race weekends is, currently, being partially re-seaded at the far end, so is around 30% smaller than normal. With this in mind, please can you lift share where possible or get dropped off as this will make our job of parking all cars a much easier process and means we won’t simply run out of spaces.
The carpark is £5 cash payable on arrival, and please have the correct change to hand on arrival as this will speed the process up for everyone.
This car park is for competitors (And their support crew in their car/bubble) only and will be open from 03:45 to 05:45 only. Your ‘support crew’ will be allowed to come into the lake complex with you to watch the start, but will not be allowed into the transition area or the start chutes. They will have access to the near the start area, and around the swim finish area. If anyone turns up to the carpark who is not racing, and not in the car of a competitor, they will be turned away.
If you are a relay team, and the runner wants to head back off for a couple of hours kip after regiatering, that’s totally fine and they will be allowed to leave the carpark after 6 and their space will be there for them on their return with their ticket.
If you have Spectators coming along later, there’ll be a second ‘Competitor overflow / Spectator’ car park open from around 05:30 which is opposite the lake at the end of Spratsgate lane. This carpark will be first come first served and is £5 cash on arrival. Should you arrive to find it full, the nearest next car park is Neighbridge Country park around 700m along the spine road to the West, and is pay and display / open 24hours and something like £2 to park for the day. It’s also on our run course and Neighbridge has one of the run aid stations. You, or any spectators, cannot, under any circumstances, park your cars in the residential area of Somerford Keynes.
As you might imagine, we are still right in the middle of Covid Times so there will be lots of restrictions in and around our area of the site, and people really must socially distance when they’re spectating from anywhere on the courses, not just around the finish line area.
It’s a 28mile bike course, and the general public have access to around 2.5miles of the run course lap, so it’s not difficult for spectators to please just spread out.
Hopefully, I’m not about to jinx it, but…….. the forecast for this weekend doesn’t look too bad at all (Fingers crossed)
Although having just spent the weekend getting soaked/burnt/soaked/burnt at WSBK Donington, I know just how far out weather forecasts can be.
The good thing though is it looks like it’s going to be largely dry for most of this week, which will keep the run course in decent condition, and the current water temperature of 20deg is likely to be about the same next weekend, which many of you will be pleased to hear puts us firmly within the ‘Wetsuit optional’ temperature range.
As I mentioned in the first section of this mail, it’s well worth bringing clothing for all conditions as you’re always going to be better off having kit and not needing it, rather that shivering away on the bike wishing you’d brought a rain coat or gilet that you could otherwise just leave in transition.
Right, that’s it from me for pre race emails, unless unless drastically changes that I need to update you all on.
If you’ve missed any of the previous Cotswold Classic Competitor newsletters, you can find them all at www.113events.com/news
We’re certainly looking forward to welcoming you all along on our start line Sunday morning
I’ll be down at the lake for most of this week, so will generally only be picking emails up in the evening, so if you need to get hold of me, calling is a much easier option: 07595 591612
I’m here to help, so please just ask
Graeme, Nicci and the 113 Events team