The following newsletter went out to all Cotswold 113 Competitors today
1 month to go……
Good Afternoon all, I hope this email finds everyone well and raring to go in 1 months time for the 20th Sept Cotswold 113
Over the course of the next 4 weeks, you’re going to get few emails from me with more info, but this one is going to outline what we’re planning for the day, and also what to expect over the next few weeks in terms of info etc.
In this email, I’ll cover the following
Deadlines and address changes
On the day outline and how things will work
What’s coming and when
Covid Situation and stoppages
Deadlines and address changes
The start list is now fixed and frozen, and we cannot now change any names. However, you will get an email from Dbmax at some point in the next week asking you to confirm your postal address as I’m conscious that some of you may have moved house since entering the race, and as the race packs are going to be posted out, we don’t want them going missing. Replying to that emails from DBmax will be your chance to update your address, and from around the 1st Sept, they will start posting out your race bibs and bike stickers (You get the rest on the day – more on this later). Please can you make sure you respond to them promptly if you have changed address.
On the day outline and how things will work
Firstly, and most importantly, having run our first event in this stage of lockdown being relaxed on August 2nd in the form of the Cotswold Classic Middle Distance Tri, we appear to have satisfied all the powers that be that we can indeed run our events in a totally Covid safe format, not just for the competitors, but also for the Marshals, our team and local residents too.
We went belt and braces on everything related to eliminating the spread of Covid-19, and this is hugely important to us in order to be able to portray Triathlon in a positive light in the area and to be totally confident that everyone on site is 100% safe and we’re not risking any further spread of the virus in the area.
The way we have sold the idea to the BTF, and the way the BTF have subsequently agreed the permit with the UK Government DCMS is that competitors will come along and compete in a bubble of 1. Triathlon has always been an individual sport, so for our events this works and we’ll put various measures in place to ensure that this is entirely possible, but it’s important that you remind yourself of this on race day please.
After the August 2nd race, we have sat down as a team and with various groups to debrief on the day in minute detail to look at what we need to adjust or change in order to run the 20th Sept race in a mildly scaled up format (still at circa 50% the normal capacity we run at)
Most of the changes we’ve made are behind the scenes, so won’t effect you at all, and the same format of the race weekend will largely apply (you can still do a 1.2m swim, 56m bike and Half Marathon as you would do traditionally). However, we have devised a change to the bike course some of you may have ridden before to remove the turnaround point crossing over the run course as this lead to the potential for runners having to wait to cross cyclists and this could present a risk to keeping a 2m bubble. More details on the revised bike course will be released in due course.
In the coming two weeks, you will get a race info pack with all the details, but in summary, the event will run like this:
- Registration will be made by post
- All competitors will be temperature checked on arrival to site, and anyone showing a temperature over the UKGov’s guideline will be turned away (this is the same process for our team, marshals and officials)
- All competitors will be asked to wear a mask in transition in the morning for bike racking (like you currently do to visit a shop) Although you should not need to, this will allow you to impede within someone’s 2m bubble when you are racking your bike and kit at your allocated spot – You will not need to wear a mask during the race
- You will find your Timing chip/strap and swim cap in your numbered transition space ready for you
- All Marshals and team will be issued with a Medical grade mask, gloves and hand gel in case they need to get within 2m of a competitor (In reality, it’s unlikely to be needed as all marshal roles can be done at distance other than transition assistance, where they can wear masks/gloves)
- >70% Alcohol Hand gel dispensers and cleaning stations will be available in all areas of the race day, and should be used frequently
- The Swim will start* in a waved rolling fashion with each competitor set off at 5 second intervals monitored by our team and extended if, for example, the person in front gets in the water and stops to adjust their goggles
- We’re very conscious that many competitors will have not had a good block of swim training in order to confidently undertake the full distance, so on race morning, you can decide to either swim the full 1.9km distance, start straight on the bike, or swim a shorter (approx 300m) course that we will set out. All 3 options will still get a medal etc and cross the finish line, and we will produce 3 sets of results. You can make this choice on race morning, and don’t need to notify us in advance
- Transition time will be neutralised** to reduce any rush to get through and remove the risk of someone running through the area and going within 2m of another competitor
- You will need to be self sufficient on the bike in terms of Aid. We will have an emergency aid station available for those that either cannot carry enough drink on their bike, or have a leaking bottle, emergency or it’s just a 30deg day.
- The run course will have 2 Aid stations per lap (it’s a 3 lap course) that will provide cupped water and High5 Iso Gels. They will work in a two chute system***
- You will be still be able to collect your medal, goody bag and shirt at the finish line, but there will be no post race food or massage
- When you finish, you will need to remove your own timing chip/strap and drop them into one of the many drop buckets with disinfectant in.
*The race will start at 07:00 and competitors will be split into 6 waves each with a 15minute window. Typically, we love that we can normally offer groups of friends or clubs to be racked together and go off in the same waves to race together. However, as part of our many concessions we’ve needed to make to ensure social distancing is entirely possible throughout the race, we needed to actively avoid this this time, so the waves and bib numbers will be set alphabetically by surname and sliced equally into 6 with A being the lowest numbers and Z being the highest. We felt this was the fairest way to do it, and still in some cases, helps families travelling together with logistics.
07:00-07:15 Wave 1
07:15-07:30 Wave 2
07:30-07:45 Wave 3
07:45-08:00 Wave 4
08:00-08:15 Wave 5
08:15-08:30 Wave 6
** A Neutralised transition means that your overall finish time will not include transition 1 (Swim to bike) and Transition 2 (Bike tor run) times up to a maximum of 10 mins for T1 and 5 minutes for T2. I’ll give you a couple of examples to help explain:
Competitor 200 takes 6 minutes in T1, so his/her T1 time shows as Zero
Competitor 201 takes 13 minutes in T1, so his/her T1 time shows as 3 minutes
Your overall finish time will be Swim, bike and run times added together, not your complete start to finish time.
This will allow you all the luxury of time that if the person in the slot next to you is getting changed on the floor, you can stand back and wait for a minute or five to allow them to finish rather than encroaching within their 2m bubble.
*** The two chute run aid station system operates with a double channel aid station. For example, you will be directed into the left channel, where there’ll be tables laid out with Cupped Water and High5 Iso gels. Whilst you are using the left channel, our team will be cleaning, disinfecting and re-stocking the right channel. When the left channel starts to run low, runners will be directed in the freshly cleaned and restocked right channel and our team will move to the left channel to repeat the process. There will be hand gel cleaning stations before each aid station, and competitors must use this on entry to the station before anything can be touched.
We are working to get agreement to allow spectators into the Swim start and race finish area, but this is not an easy process for us simply as we can control social distancing and track/trace for competitors, but spectators can be a law unto themselves and can be much like herding cats. We’ll keep everyone posted on how these negotiations go, but please can you assume at this point that No Spectators will be allowed around the finish area and swim start. In reality, this is actually only a small part of the site, and most of the run and all of the bike course are open to the general public. We will also, like we did on August 2nd, put out live video of the swim exit and race finish area, and will have a live tracker. We will overload marshals around the finish area too, and have an announcer and photographer to retain that normal race feel.
In later emails, I’ll explain by map where, if this is the case, you can get into and can’t and how to access the waterpark where you can stand on the edge of transition to see competitors come out the swim and on each run lap etc.
It’s been a long and complicated road to get to hold these events, and although I appreciate they are a little unusual compared to triathlon pre covid, it’s important to us that we can hold our heads up high and say in all confidence that we have put these on entirely safely.
We were very proud that the BTF and UK Government gave us permission for the August 2nd Cotswold Classic as the first proper sized triathlon in the UK to run in this stage of lockdown being relaxed, and we truly hope that we gave everyone that came along on the day just a small snippet of normality again. However, we rely on the Competitors to help us portray Triathlon in a positive light, and everyone that lined up on August 2nd did a great job of that by following social distance rules out on the bike and run, so I truly hope that we can expect the same from all of you on Sept 20th please.
What’s coming and when
I don’t want to bombard you all with loads of info 1 month out, and chances are, you’ll have forgotten it all by race day, so we get it out in dribs and drabs.
In rough terms, here’s what to expect and when in the next 4 weeks
4 Weeks out – Address check email from DB Max
3-4 Weeks out – Start list with waves and numbers will be published at https://www.113events.com/cotswold-113/start-list/
2-3 Weeks out – Bibs and bike stickers will be posted out in batches by DBmax
3 Weeks out – We will email out the final race info pack
1-2 Weeks out – We will email you a link to the online briefing video
Final week – Last updates on courses, water temp etc
Covid Situation and stoppages
This has been a rubbish year for everyone, and although the Situation with Covid appears to be under some form of control and decline, we really never know what will happen next.
As it stands currently, the BTF and Uk Government DCMS have permitted the race to happen on Sept 20th in the proposed format.
However, the caveat for that is that if the Cotswold Water park area situation declines, and goes into a local lockdown like we recently saw in Leicester, that Permit can be pulled with zero notice. We are not expecting that to happen as are monitoring the situation very closely, but with this being 2020, pretty much anything could happen. We will, of course, keep you all posted if anything changes
The marshals are what make our events, and without them, it simply cannot happen
We still need more, and even more so in the current situation, where we’re overloading areas of the course with them
If you have anyone coming with you that would like to be involved, we’d welcome them to the team with open arms
We pay all our marshals too, and they can choose from either £20 cash or a £40 113 Events Voucher to use with us for future races.
All marshals will be fully briefed, issued a 113 Events team shirt to keep and we’ll keep them in food and drink for the day.
In these Covid times, although they don’t need to get within 2m of competitors, they’ll all be issued with a Kit bag that includes a medical grade face mask, gloves and hand gel. None of which they will have to wear/use unless in an emergency, they need to help attend to someone within their space bubble
All we ask is that they’re over 16, know their left from their right and are enthusiastic. We’ll make sure they have a good time too and they’ll be properly looked after.
All marshals are allowed on site of course too, so if we cannot allow spectators, the run marshals will be the ones able to watch the swim start and the bike course marshals will be finished in time to see the finish of all but the very fastest competitors
If you have someone you can press gang into getting involved, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Right, that’s it from me today.
Apologies that this was quite a long one, and we’ll try and keep the further update emails a bit shorter as I appreciate the last thing you want to be doing today is reading through my waffle.
We’re looking forward to seeing you all in a few weeks time, but if you have any questions, please just call or email me as that’s what I’m here for
Graeme, Nicci and the 113 Events team