The following newsletter went out to all Cotswold Classic 2018 Competitors today:
Cotswold Classic July Newsletter – Edition 5
With only a few days to go before race weekend, this is instalment 5 of our newsletter.
I think you’ve all come to realise by now that I can waffle on for England, and this could be a long one, so please grab a strong coffee (Or whiskey, depending on how you feel) and get comfortable.
In this Mail I’m going to cover the following :
Tracker and Results
Fitting your timing chip
Water Temperature update
Race Day Parking
Racing in the heat and how to do it at our race
Tracker and results
For those of you that have people wanting to track your progress during the day, they’ll be able to find the live tracker and results here :
There’s a smartphone version link on there too, and most of the area around the lake has reasonable 4g signal for those of us that have upgraded from a Potato to a Smart phone 🙂
Fitting your timing chip
When you come to register with us on Saturday, you will get a timing chip and strap. This should be fitted to your left ankle, and should go either below or underneath your Wetsuit should we be racing in them on Sunday.
The reason you cannot wear your chip over your wetsuit is that when you remove the Wetsuit for the bike, there’s a good chance you will pull the chip strap off with it, and we then won’t get a time for you post swim.
We’ve seen a few people lose chips during the race, so the guys at DBMax, who time our event and we rent the chips from, have created a short instructional video on how to fit the chip correctly to the strap. I appreciate Will from DB max is perhaps not the most charismatic Youtube host, but hopefully, this will stop anyone getting out the water without their chip
If you’re not sure, please just ask any of our team on the day, and they’ll gladly help you
Water Temperature Update
There’s good news and bad news in this section, so if you were going to pour a whiskey, now’s a perfect moment 🙂
I have been down on site today, and the water temperature has come down from nearly 27, and is currently around 22deg after the 3 days of rain we’ve had over the weekend. The ‘Wetsuit optional’ to ‘Wetsuit Banned’ temperature cut off is 24deg (actually 23, but we can read that as 23.99)
However, I’m sure you’ve all seen the weather forecast for this week, and it’s looking like from today onwards, it’s going to return to 29deg and Sunshine, which is not great for keeping a lake cool
What this means, and I just wanted to give everyone advance notice, is that we’re going to be touch and go as to whether we’re going to be Wetsuit Optional or a non Wetsuit race on Sunday.
I will monitor the lake temperature closely this week, and keep updates on our facebook and twitter pages, but we cannot make a decision on Wetsuits until Saturday afternoon.
As I’ve said in my previous mail, we have some movement in this, and A) we can find somewhere a little cooler in the lake to make the ‘Official measurement’, and B) We have some room for adjustment for Air temperature.
However, if it’s drastically over 24deg, it’s simply not safe to bend the rules and send Swimmers out in Wetsuits as you’ll simply cook yourselves.
If we do have to ban wetsuits, I just wanted to make sure that everyone understand the rules that are set out by the BTF, which you can find in full here : https://www.britishtriathlon.org/britain/documents/events/competition-rules/british-triathlon-competition-rules-2018.pdf
The basics of these rules are that you cannot wear any form of Wetsuit (including shorty style wetsuits), and any Tri suit or swim suit must not extend beyond either your knees or Elbows. You cannot wear buoyancy shorts or a tow float (which is a strange rule, but it’s a BTF rule as it can be seen as a form of buoyancy aid or performance advantage), and you’re not allowed to wear Calf guards as these are seen in the BTF rules as a hydrodynamic aid (?)
I’m afraid we must follow the BTF rules to the word though, and we are simply not allowed to make any exceptions or they’ll review if we get a race license again -The swim element of any race is the most safety critical part of the whole day, so please understand that I simply cannot bend the rules, even if you didn’t want to have an official finish time, we simply cannot allow you to get into water in anything other than correct gear according to the rules, sorry
I genuinely try and be as flexible as I can to help people out, but when it comes to safety, we absolutely have to be strict.
There’s benefits to this hot weather though, and the lake has dropped a foot or so, which means there are a couple of spots where you can stand up to take a break (in fact, you’ll need to stand up and walk for around 5meters unless you have arm to body proportions of a T-Rex, as the water is around a foot deep)
We don’t have a swim cut off at all, so if you wanted to swim breaststroke with your head out the water for the whole 1900m, you can.
I’d strongly suggest that if you get a chance this week, that you please go an have a trial swim in a lake without a wetsuit. If you’re local to the Cotswolds, you can swim in the lake we use for racing Tuesday and Thursday evenings after 5, and Saturday morning before 10am. You might find it’s actually quite a nice experience, but please give it a test before the weekend.
Even if the water does measure in at 22-23 deg and we fall into the Wetsuit Optional range, I personally, would be swimming without one, but that’s just me (and I’m now a fat git that doesn’t dissipate heat well)
As I said above, I will keep the facebook and twitter pages updated with Water Temperatures from Thursday onwards, and we will make our final decision on Saturday afternoon with the water crew and the BTF referee as a group and let everyone know.
Race day Parking
Parking for both registration and Race morning is located in a field a few hundred meters from the lake. Parking on Saturday is £2 cash and Parking on Sunday is £5 Cash payable on the gate. Please can I ask that you allow plenty of time to get parked on race day morning, as although it will seem like a simple process on Saturday when no-one’s rushing and you have everyone coming over a 5hr period, on Sunday morning when it’s Dark and you have 1000 competitors turning up over a 60minute period, there will inevitably be a reasonable sized queue of nervous triathletes sat in cars to get in watching the clock and worrying that they’ll miss their starts.
The car park on Sunday will take all competitors and a few spectators, but please can I ask that you park as close to the car next to you as is reasonable possible or we’ll run out of parking spaces before any spectators even arrive, and they’ll be forced to use the Waterpark car park, which is £14 for the day if they can even get in (it gets very busy on a sunny day)
Racing in the heat and how best to make a strategy for our race.
Everyone knows that racing in the heat is not easy, but I just wanted to give you all some tips and advice on how it can work for our race on Sunday for each discipline.
1) Swim – Please get into the water well hydrated. Whether we are in wetsuits or not, the water is very warm right now, so you will lose a lot of fluids through sweat in the swim. If we’re looking like a wetsuit optional swim, we will position a drinks station for water right by the swim exit
2) Bike – We have one Aid station per lap on the bike (it’s a 2 lap bike course). Due to various reasons, the only place we can position this Aid station is fairly well into the lap (around mile 23), so you will have a good period of time on the bike (around an hour for even the fastest racers) before you can get a drink, so please load your bikes up with drinks before you start.
Our bike course Aid station has 750ml bike bottles of both Water and pre-mixed High5 (along with Iso Gels and Half cut bananas), and there’s a bottle drop point just before the Aid station. If your bottle is special to you and want it back after the race, we will pile them up close to the HQ tent, and you’re welcome to fight your way through the wasps to retrieve it as they’ll be a rather sugary mess, and a magnet to wasps.
3) Run – As it’s looking to be rather a hot day on Sunday (hopefully I’ve not just jinxed it), we’ll add another water station into the run course at around 0.75 miles into the lap. We purposely buy very large waxed paper cups, as although we only half fill them, it means you can squeeze the top and run with it in your hand without spilling too much. We did talk to the waterpark about using sponges, but they won’t allow them due to the amount of waste and litter they create.
The second aid station is at around mile 3 and has pretty much everything you could possibly ever need at it:
Cupped Flat Coke (Full fat red stuff, which is currently fizzing away in my kitchen and conservatory, and driving the cats nuts)
Salt and vinegar Pringles (The saltiest crisps I could get in the cash and carry)
Salt stick crisps
Jamaican Ginger cake
The Third aid station is just before you cross the finish line, or start lap 2 and 3, and this has cupped water and ISO gels.
We’ll also put a mist shower out here, or at least have someone spraying you with a hosepipe (A job my kids love on race day)
We’re not, unfortunately, allowed to provide or apply sunscreen, which is a strange rule, but to do with the insurance saying that if we apply it and you still get burnt, we then become liable for it. With that in mind, please make sure that you bring some and slap it on as much as you can.
About 30% of our run course is around the lakes where there’s some shade, but it’s not a massive amount, and if it’s anything like the last few weeks of weather, it’s going to be a warm run
Right, that’s it from me for today’s newsletter.
We’re here to help, so if you need anything from us in the run up to this weekend, please just ask
As I said in my previous email , I’ve got to be out of town on Thursday on my day job, but I’ll be picking my mails and voicemails up in the evening on that day, and am on the end of my phone for the rest of the week
We look forward to welcoming you all to our registration and start line this weekend
Graeme, Nicci and the 113 Events team