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The little woody.

Hello everyone, has anyone ever done the little woody? If so what's it like, is it well organised etc etc.

Also it's only 65 quid.



  • It's a blast. My first go at HIM last year, in my first season, and I made it to the end. WooHoo.

    A very low key event, only about 130 did it last year, with a further 50'ish doing the Big Woody.

    Probably the best thing about it, especially if it's your first attempt at HIM distance, and the reason I had a go, is that there was a 1:20 cut off for the swim, and then no cut offs for the bike and run, so in theory you could take as long as you like. I think they planned on shutting the course at 23:00, which is when the Big Woody was supposed to finish, but that would give you 16 hours to complete the course.

    The swim and T1 are remote from the main venue area, about 15 miles away, but transport is provided to take you to the swim/T1.

    Swim was two laps of a small, warm'ish lake, few ducks and a bit of weed. One end of the lake was shallow, so you had to walk out of the water, across a beach and back in again. Initially, I didn't like the idea of it, but in practice it made a huge difference. Just the cahnce to get vertical and move blood around your body seemed to make the swim so much easier and more enjoyable.

    The bike is hard. It's about 15 miles from T1 to the main venue, and then a lap of about 45'ish miles, bringing you into T2. The Big Woody does a 2nd lap. Bike route initially follows the River Wye, but then there's quite a hill up through English Bricknor (renamed Bitch'nor), and then akes you through the Forest of Dean, and down towards the River Severn, before returning back via Bitch'nor. Roads are OK'ish, some minor rural, some slightly busier A roads, but no too much traffic, just quite alot of hills.

    Run is a multi lap out-and-back affair, through the woods, mixing up road, paths and trails, but very pleaant, and not too hilly.

    Only real downside is that the finish is a bit of a non-event. When I crossed the line there was really no=one there, other than a few family members.

    All in all a good event, thoroughly enjoyable, and bloody good value. Providing I've recovered sufficiently from IMUK, then I'll be back to have another go. Should be slightly better attended this year, as BCTTT are using the event as their Middle Distance Club Championships.
  • Hi i also did it last year, i think Triumphant covered it really - Its a real low key race (although Spencer Smith competed last year & won), but none the less well organised.

    The split transition cost me hours of worry before hand especially with them being so far away from each other, but in reality it was nothing to worry about because of the transport that was laid on.

    The swim was fine, the lake was a bit murky and a bit awkward in the run out at the top end of the lake, but all in all i enjoyed the swim.

    The bike is a bitch!!! Full Stop!! Some of the climbs are killers, a couple of which must be attacked twice (three times if doing the Big Woody). When i pulled up in T2 and was getting changed into my trainers there was another guy in there saying the bike course made Wimbleball (IMUK 70.3) look flat.

    The run was good, no major hills maybe a slight one coming back up onto the road from the forest, the trails were flat and no lumps.

    I do agree with Triumphant about the finish for the Little Woddy guys, there was nothing at the end no announcement not even a bottle of water, i was there by myself, so i just crossed the line walked off to grab my gear then off to the car a big anticlimax - still i knew i'd just done a HIM!!!!

    I'm not going back this year but thats because i've got 2 IM races scheduled in June and August, but i am tempted to return in 2011 for a bash at the Big Woody
  • GGBGGB Posts: 482
    I did this as my first half last year and thoroughly enjoyed it - will definately do the little again or attempt the Big next year. As said above the finish was an anticlimax with no cheering an dno medal etc ... I do think 2010 will have a better finish though as you now get a medal and I beleive there will be more entrants this year.

    The free camping was a bonus too ..

    Depending on how I am after IMUK and if there are any places left I may well do LW this year or the LW Aquabike.
  • I did IMUK last year and that was a great experience (expensive) so wanted to do a half this year.

    I think the real one though is the free camping and a medal!!!

    Cheers everyone, great reports.
  • I've also signed up for the Little Woody this year. It will be my first HIM.

    I keep hearing how tough the bike section is. In terms of HIM how does it compare to others in the country? I am starting to think I may have bitten of more than I can chew.

    Also would you recommend a standard road bike over a tri bike?

    Thanks for your help guys.
  • It's hard, but it's do'able and immensly satisfying. Worst hills are on the leg from the lake to Race HQ, which you have to do twice, three times in the Bug Woody. The ride is pleasant though, quite scenic, and on quiet roads. Downside, if you're slow like me, is it was quite lonely, with only 100'ish competing, you can quickly loose sight if anyone.

    As to how hard, there was a thread on TriTalk that compared the total climbing if all HIM races, and the Woody was up near the top. I'll see if I can track
    it down and post a link.

    As to which bike, I can't really advise as I only have s road bike, which was fine.
  • Once again i agree with triumphant here, i found the bike mega tough to the point where i was totally fed up with it by the end. Looking back though i'm proud i completed it and then nailed a half marathon!! The worst of the climbs are in the section from T1 to race HQ, in fact there is a long climb as soon as you turn left out of T1. Dont let that worry you though its definitley do-able, cycling is my weakest tri element and i got round in a touch under 4 hours. As for road vs tri bike, i have both and it was a question i was posing to myself before the race last year, i made the decision to go with the road bike in the end mainly due to most of my training being done on it (i used the tri-bike for sprints and Olympic distances last year) and i dont regret it although i reckon i could've been faster had i used the tri-bike. If i was doing it again this year i would give it a go on the tri-bike with a slightly less aggressive set up. It really is a personal choice, there were many people using tri-bikes and many on road bikes. You wont be in the aero position for 3 - 4 hours and if you're comfortable climbing on the tri-bike then i'd give it a go, it depends how comfortable you feel on the bike.
  • I can't really add anything that hasn't really been said before.. My first HIM last year and I did it as a pratice training event.

    I would highly recommend it to anyone thinking of stepping up distances.. I can only really remember 2 hills of note, English Bicknor (you do twice) and a hill going up to a village about 15-20 miles into the lap.

    I will be back this year, probably for the Big Woody with just a simple "finish and enjoy" goal..
  • We rode the little woody bike route a couple of weeks ago. Be under no illusion it's tough, but not as tough as IM UK. Standard gearing will suffice if you do not have a compact as there are only a couple of nasty little climbs.
    There are plenty of places to recover some speed. Staff at the centre (race HQ) were very friendly and i'm pleased to see there is transport to the start, though they could have stated that on the web site!!
    If you're racing there in a few weeks i'll see you at the start line, good luck and watch out for the steep hill you have to ride twice (4 times for the nutters on the big woody!!!!!!!)

  • is it well organised

    In aswer to my own question, from what I've seen not the best organised.

    It took me about four atempts to get hold of them!! ended up having to put a TRI220 firum cry for help to get hold of anyone.
  • Sorry to hear that, maybe I'll think before making a rash judgment. I think because triathlons are normally such large events I assume that it's more people organising them.

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