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Talkback: Ironman 70.3 Staffs 2015 – in pics

Copy of a post I've put on IM Staffs Facebook page..This was quite possibly one of the worst organised events I've ever taken part in. From the inability to use credit card machines in the shop, the embarrasing fiasco of the buses to the swim start (which we were told would be delayed and weren't), the dumping us in the middle of nowhere with nobody telling us where to go when we finally did get to the start, the lack of toilets at the swim start, the lack of buoys in the water, the appalling distribution of blue bags at the finish and the awful queue to get out of the car park. On the plus side the bike course was suitably challenging and the not so flat run was great. IM and Staffs council seriously need to rethink before doing this race in the future!


  • kobestarrkobestarr Posts: 1
    here is my review of my race yesterday! I had fun!

  • NJLNJL Posts: 7

    Hi Guys,

    I have to agree with the complaints on this one. It was a complete shambles.

    Ignoring the poor organisation registering on Saturday (as above, no card machine?? It's 2015 for god sake)...

    On the day:

    Arrived at Shugborough at 05.20 and missed my 07.10 swim by 20 mins, no time to properly sort my bike before hand. This was down to the woefully inadequate buses that were planned by IM. The stupid thing about this is that until 06.50 they were still loading people to the coaches based on first come first served basis, including spectators. Finally someone had the bright idea of prioritizing athletes by Swim wave but it was far too late by this point.

    We actually got off the bus and walked ten minutes in the wrong direction to Chasewater, there were no staff, no signs and it turned out we had to go down a dirt path, up a muddy hill and into the swim venue.

    The swim itself was so poorly marked out. Very infrequent buoys and by the final leg, the field was so far spread width wise, i'm sure some athletes will have clocked up 2km+

    The bike leg was well marked by signs but very sparse coverage by anyone from IM, drafting was no problem at all it seemed, which most people took great advantage of.

    The run was well fueled but as a route it was way too narrow to pick through walking athletes at certain points, but not a disaster. It certainly seemed like the morning / swim was the low point.

    As for leaving Shugborough, it took about 2 hours to get off the car park. The grounds staff obviously pointed out the fact it was a single lane exit and there were roughly 4000 cars. Surely this might have been a warning to plan a better route out? Apparently the second exit was blocked by the run course, which again seems very poorly planned.

    Good day overall and very happy to finish in my target time, but what a shambles it was in terms of organisation. Hopefully it's just first year teething issues, but there are certainly lessons to be learnt from this year. More staff, more information!



  • NJLNJL Posts: 7

    oh yeah - The blue bags, forgot about that. That was a great mess too.

  • TudorwTudorw Posts: 7
    I agree with earlier comments. My first ironman event and very disorganised compared to other events i've been too. queued up for an hour to register...to find out the queue was for the Brit tri race license...no guidance or crowd control. some people just walked up to the desk bypassing the queues.. very annoying. Toilets were scarce at the start as well...as i stepped out to find Javier Gomez waiting to use the one i was in..although he obviously didn;t have to wait the 20 mins i did to use it.

    I was lucky with the blue bag collection...but the other trucks were having a tough time.

    Journey out of the grounds took forever...and then to find i had to do a 30 mile detour to get back to hotel in Rugeley..4 miles away !!

    Positive note though...Locals were awesome. so much support on the run route...especially the hill through the village. enjoyed the bike course...not as flat as i assumed.

    will probablly do it again next year in prep for a full.
  • Dunc73Dunc73 Posts: 1
    Here is my email I have sent to Ironman Staffs.

    I am writing to you to share my frustrated at my experience from Sunday at Staffordshire.

    Now my own problem was no ones fault. I have trained hard for 5 months in preparation for this race and something happened to me on the swim. I became very cold and could not feel my hands or feet, could not get my breath and was pulled from the swim 3/4 complete.

    It was the after care from this point which disappoints me greatly and I would like some answers.

    The guys on the boat were friendly but did not know what to do. They gave me a foil blanket to cover myself. They dropped me at the jetty and there was no one to meet me and I wondered off in a daze. A spectator asked if I was ok and my answer no I am not. She kindly asked me to sit down and get a hot drink for me. After a few minutes a first aider appeared and got me a hot drink and took me to small cafe at the swim exit. He kept asking me what can I do for you? repeatedly... Why this was nice, due to the state I was in I did not know what I wanted. He did not check me out health wise, did not offer to take me somewhere safe to recover. I was confused and very cold and looking back did not know what I am doing. This was not first aid.... Just someone asking me if I am ok and what can he do for me.... I work in social care and know what first aid should be and I wasn't offered or given any.

    I was then left on my own shivering and very cold. I walked around in a daze not knowing what to do or where to go. I asked Iron man staff who did not know either. I was still cold shivering and very confused. I have told my partner my symptoms and she is a nurse. She believes I had mild borderline hypothermia and that was the reasons for the way I felt. Potentially I could have become very ill but I am thankful that I didn't.

    I went to transition and a great guy Kieran said they could transfer my bike to T2 and I could collect it later. I asked how do I get there and he said I had to use the shuttle bus. This is crazy......Why was there not a plan in place for athletes like myself to get us back to the finish safely and in comfort. I HAD NO SHOES..... I had to walk barefoot to the bus and from the drop off to get my white bag at the end and get changed. My feet are a mess and I probably won't be able to run for 2/3 weeks due to the blisters and cuts I recieved from walking barefoot. This was pointed out but was told nothing we can do......All the time I was still wet and very cold and confused. I had no warm clothing and no one helped from Ironman. I was able to get my swim to bike bag but not help as no clothing in it.........

    Very disappointed with this and unlikely to race any of your events again due to this.

    I spent a lot of money to race this event and expect a high level of safety and aftercare for athletes in my position and this was evident it was not in place.

    I will send a copy of this email to British Triathlon as I believe they need to me made aware of my concerns and experience from Sunday's race.
  • Peter 6Peter 6 Posts: 5

    The support from the locals was just amazing, at times the support and noise was almost at a 'French cycling event' level. The volunteers, as so often, were just wonderful - so a HUGE THANK YOU to the locals and volunteers. The paid security staff and stewards (not all of them) again as so often, were fairly useless.

    However the organisation overall was pretty abysmal (especially for the spectators who seem overall to have had a pretty stressful day trying to get from one place to another) and a bit of a shock given the prestige and price of the event; and don't even get me started on the lousy organisation on the Saturday registration - BUT it was still a pretty amazing race day.

    One safety comment - did anyone think the bike section through the narrow lanes shortly after the start was on the dangerous side? (not to mention the awful road surface).

    Overall a good day but I doubt I'll be doing another Ironman branded event.

  • It was poorly organised but the atmosphere was great and the support from locals was amazing. This was my first Ironman event and compared to challenge Roth, which I did last year, the organisation was amateur. BUT......... I love racing and I loved the course and would do it all again tomorrow !

  • Sam 0033Sam 0033 Posts: 1
    I can't believe people are complain so much about Staffs 70.3?!? Really you didnt go to the bike racking on the saturday and you didnt realise its the same route to the swim ? Yes not many toilets this was an issue I couldn't believe the lack of porta loos on the whole course at all. I didnt find a lack of buoys in the water ??? it is part of the swim to sight

    I don't want to sound like Im being mean but really people are complaining about the slightest thing if you went to a huge event like a festival would you really expect to leave along side 2500 other people easily ??? why not stay and shout the last finishers in ???? where is the Ironman spirit with the athletes???? Why are athletes openly drafting I don't and won't your only cheating yourselves!!! Ive read people moaning about the grassy Transitions have they not done other events even the worlds at London had a hilly grassy Transition which ended up being muddy. and moaning about sleeping policeman pn the route Ironman UK has this too ... Triathlon isn't easy planning and preparation is key to any event down to planning for your spectators and support team. I just don't quite fathom why people think it should be as easy as a running event when quite simply it isn't and will never be as easy as its 3 disciplines. Why is everyone rushing from the event moaning about queues etc why not chill out relax and take your time you have just done a 70.3 enjoy the atmosphere thank people chat ... I must admit they need to change the advertising of a flat fast course thats not true.... but you would have known that if you read the course maps and elevations or even tried to recce the course but it was obvious on the virtual maps...... read your athlete information people its all in there even down to the road closures and advice for specatators not using the buses it did tell people why can't people do as there advised ? !
  • lloyd foxlloyd fox Posts: 10
    I got to shugborough for 430am and got a bus no problem but there were issues afterwards, I agree with the amount of competitors and spectators there were not enough toilets and the collection of the blue bags was a feasco, I feel its a shame because the setting and support was brilliant but having the transition 13 miles apart is a nightmare ! I think the location of the swim need to be reconsidered for next year may be blithfield is better ?. But my first IM loved it did really well and thinking of a full IM next year !
  • I've got to agree with Sam0033, I had a great experience overall. Having gone to rack the day before (as everyone did!) I checked out where the swim start was and how long it took to walk from T1. In terms of marking it was incredibly clear. Believe me, I've got a tendancy to not swim in a straight line and I had no problems (apart from nearly swimming into a pontoon near the exit). I would have appreciated a bit of matting on the road into t1, but that's a minor niggle. I thought the bike course was great, very tight over the first 10k, but I think that helped me not to go off too fast! The run course was stunning, great support throughout and a nice mix of road, trail and a bit of off-road! My only moans would be a lack of toilets in the finishers area and no-where to check your times (there was no wifi/3G signal on the estate). Staying around to cheer on the last finisher was actually one of the highlights of my day (and getting a World Champs 70.3 slot another!).

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