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London 2009 help

Now there is only five weeks until London,which is my first OD triathlon the nerves are setting in. I was really looking forward to this month's 220 as they promised some hints/tips for first timers, but I was disappointed with the content.

The things that I want to know are the best way to travel to the site, when can you rack your bike, how to approach the swim for a newbie,and whats the cycle course like, and basic things like that.

There must be out there fellow triathletes who have conquered London and then looked back and said "If only I'd done that" They are the people who I want to share their knowledge for the benefit of us first timers.

I am well up for it but I do like to be prepared!!!

P****poor planning leads to p**** poor performance


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    HI Patch

    best way to travel to the site - by car. They have big car parks that are only 3-400m from the transition. I think that the DLR bans bikes on the Triathlon weekend, so the only other option is to cycle there.

    When can you rack your bike - from memory, you have to rack it on the Saturday if you are racing on the Sunday. A friend of mine couldn't make it on the Saturday a couple of years back and they let him rack it on the Sunday morning without any fuss, but I couldn't guarantee that they'd let you do this every year.

    How to approach the swim for a newbie - the swim is long and wide. You go about 900m down the docks, past a buoy and then return 600m back to the exit ramp. It's wide, so if you don't like being in the ruck then you can always start at the sides or just behind the front rank. It's easiest to sight if you spot a couple of markers before you start - there isn't much to look at when you're going away from the excel centre, but I think I found a bridge or some other building to sight off. On the return half it's best if you can breath to the right - you are close to that edge of the dock and it makes it easy to go straight - you just keep 30m away from the sides.

    Whats the cycle course like - long, straight and deceptively hilly. Other than entering and exiting the excel centre, you only turn 3 times in 40km. This means that you can stay on the aero bars for almost the entire race - it's well worth having them. The 'hills' are all the climbs out of underpasses and over bridges - they really knacker you after a while. Only other hint is to drink lots on the bike run - at least a bottle and a half if it's hot.

    Hope it goes well

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    [toPh][toPh] Posts: 244
    Thanks for that information, I'd doing London as well now.

    Is the swim upstream on the way out or the way back?
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    It's in the dock so there's no current
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    BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Error whilst Doing a Replacement, Error in srv_convert.
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    moonshinemoonshine Posts: 335
    not doing the OD but sprint and in a mad mommen looked at previous year times - on my HOW many competitors
    Do they all start together or are there waves of say 2 at a time :roll: how big is this aqua ruck going to be - maybe I can hold onto someones toes and get a tow
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    BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Dunno about the sprint, but the OD starts with waves of about 400 competitors in each. That's enough for a good old 'washing machine' start. Yes, you'll be able to hang on somebody else's toes, but no, don't bank on being able to see them well enough to stay there. If you are a committed pool swimmer then you are going to be upset by the fact that you will not get any clear space the entire way round.

    And if the sprints go on the Saturday then good luck driving across town!
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    [toPh][toPh] Posts: 244
    Bopo -thanks very much for that.
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    BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Pictures, as promised!

    Swim: Sight on that big tower until you see the marker bouys.[attachment=2:mg2nakoy]London Swim.jpg[/attachment:mg2nakoy]

    Transition area: it's massive. Make your rack easy to remember and count your paces from the end to your bike.[attachment=1:mg2nakoy]Transition.jpg[/attachment:mg2nakoy]

    Finish line area. Andrea Whitcombe (4th, I think) shows how to do it.[attachment=0:mg2nakoy]Whitcombe - Finish.jpg[/attachment:mg2nakoy]
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    FlavadaveFlavadave Posts: 749
    Great thread and replys peeps.

    Much appreciated!
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    md6md6 Posts: 969
    Bugger me that transition is huge!!!!! How can anyone find their bike??? I'm glad my first OD is going to be a nice small event. I am however going to invest in a helium ballon for any bigger event that i do - hopefully i'll be able to see that as i come into transition so i'll know where to go. Unless everyone has that idea of course
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    PatchPatch Posts: 11
    Cheers guys I knew there would a plenty of sound basic advice which is what I was after.

    Keep them coming.
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    gunforhiregunforhire Posts: 457
    Bopomofo - you the man!
    Excellent stuff - just the kind of tips I'm looking for.
    Maybe you should have written 220's 'Guide to the London Triathlon' in this months mag - what a waste of paper that was!
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    BmanBman Posts: 442
    London last year was my first OD too.

    Only thing not covered so far by the other guys that I noticed is for the swim back to the Excel centre. I went around the buoy and started heading back, thinking stay close to the side of the dock cos thats the side you get out at the far end. But as you get back to Excel I didnt know they funnel you back towards the centre of dock and a line of buoys keeps you about 20m (maybe) from the side of the dock. So I ended up zigzagging a bit which could have been avoided.

    So this year, the plan is to go around the buoys and from the last buoy, come straight back parallel to the side as opposed to angling towards the dockside.
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    brizzichickbrizzichick Posts: 166
    this is brilliant! thanks soo much for this... i entered in jan when i wasn't doing sprints so this is going to be a super sprint for me....

    man finding my bike is going to be interesting! i won't be able to get to the beach to swim before the event so will lake swimming do to practice sighting? (haven't done any open water swims yet)
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    mumu Posts: 24
    Hope the training is going well everyone.
    Not much to add, but for Sundays racing (in previous years), the morning waves rack bikes that morning and afternoon waves rack bikes the day before.
    After exiting the swim, you'll need to start getting your wetsuit off almost immediately. You have a short run up to the dockside and then there is a chute of helpers with plastic bags. It's quite narrow, and if you are slightly slower getting out of your wetsuit make sure you move well to the side. People who have stripped off can go haring through there and can knock you for six if your in the way. I was a little fuzzy coming out of the swim (forgot to get my legs going as I was coming to the end) and this happened to me. Wasn't really in the way, just arrived amongst a group and there was a bit of a bottle neck.
    The run to transition can be quite long and up some steps, so work those legs towards the end of the swim so you can get the blood circulating properly.
    Have a good day. You don't get crowds like London at many other events so enjoy the support. I'll be there adding my voice. Not taking part this year, but will be cheering friends on.
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    FlavadaveFlavadave Posts: 749
    Bumping this one back up in response to TRIumphant... Search function still... STILL, knackered.
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    TRIumphantTRIumphant Posts: 850
    Flavadave, thanks for that. I've also copied it over to BCTTT
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    JonhinioJonhinio Posts: 289
    Thanks Bopo. Really found the advice useful... Roll on the weekend
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