Staff writer Tom Ballard gets stuck into some speedy race action at the Wiltshire Times DB Max Trowbridge Triathlon.
The Wiltshire Times DB Max Trowbridge Triathlon provided an exciting sprint race that catered to the fast twitch fraternity and served as a great introduction for multisport beginners.
Credit for the race’s excellent organisation this year goes not to DB Max events, but its offspring, DB Max Triathlon Club, who took the race on and rose to the occasion.
The 400m pool swim was exceptionally well ordered, with the rules of the lanes and overtaking procedure duly explained with perfect clarity so as to leave no one in doubt as what to do when their wave-time arrived. The waves were seeded by each athlete’s estimated 400m split, meaning the Trowbridge Triathlon is perfect for first-timers or those less confident about swimming in a pack of varying abilities.
As a regular open water competitor, being able to watch the other racers in the pool gave a different perspective, allowing me to get a sense of the race’s friendly, supportive atmosphere. The waiting was also hard though; while I assumed a pool swim would be less nerve wracking than diving into a lake, race nerves kicked in all the same as athletes came and went before my 10:35 wave, more than 90 minutes after the first athletes got into the pool. With volunteers to count lengths and let you know when you’ve got two to go, the swim itself was panic and incident-free.
A quick dash around the pool and into transition signalled it was time to get stuck in to the 26.2km bike course, which took place on fast, undulating roads with the odd incline and around 169m of climbing. About a third of the route used smooth but fairly busy A-roads, which could be a consideration for beginners. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable ride that lets you maintain momentum and get up to fast cruising speeds with only a couple of short sections that could be considered technical. Marshalling was fantastic, with luminous-yellow volunteers at every single junction to keep the event safe and racers on course.
Nipping back into transition, there was just the 5km run to finish. Heading out through quiet residential streets, the route turned off-road through a field – giving the feet some respite on soft ground – then onto a series of tracks leading back to the streets around Clarendon and back into the school’s grounds. A final lap of the playing field and the 100m sprint finish challenge and it was all over – a great race with a wonderful, inclusive atmosphere and brilliant organisation.
The race was won by Iain Gillam (M20-24) in 1:05:46, who also clocked the fastest bike split of the day in 39:52. Second was Matthew Griffin of Cycology Bikes (M16-19) in 1:06:08 while University of Bath Triathlon Club’s Matthew Everest (M20-24) came third in 1:08:39. For the women, Katie Synge (F20-24) crossed the line first in 1:16:14, with Helen Dyke (F35-39) taking second in 1:18:31 and DB Max Triathlon Club’s Melanie Nicholls securing third in 1:23:53.
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