Which London Tri??
Netty Posts: 9
in General Chat
After doing the London Marathon a few years ago I am thinking of doing a triathlon next year. I originally just thought about the Virgin London Triathlon as I thought this was the biggest one in London, however on looking i've seen the ITU Triathlon and that it does the same course as the Olympics. I am likely to do just the one olympic distance triathlon as a challenge and so want to do the best one for beginners as well as the overall experience. Any ideas on which one would be best greatly welcome! I live in London so hence the London theme. Planning early as I get the vibe that triathlons are becoming the 'thing to do' so don't want to completely miss the entry date (also very sad and overly organised!). Thanks in advance x
Biggest moan I have heard, apart from the price, is the standard of riding, riders 5-6 abreast, not understanding what to do when a quicker riders shouts that they want to come through, drafting unintentional and deliberate. With a large field and at times constrictive roadspace, a 2 lap race where faster riders encounter large groups of meandering back markers tempers can get fraught; natural bunching can occur but every year the same moan crops up and this may mar your experience. I dare say a lot of people do it in the same way they do the London Marathon, to tick the box.
There are however, oodles of events which are lower profile and offer a friendlier and more fulfilling experience and at a lower price.
I was staying just south of the river at my brothers, but couldnt find the way as the signage was useless, everyone was ending up down dead ends trying to find the way.
Finally got there very late, had to pay 15 quid to park in the Excel !!!!!!!!!!
Rushed around to the start and straight in the water. Swim was ok not too crowded but I think that was just luck that I didnt have a huge wave.
Bike was constantly trying to get round people of all abilities and (as said earlier) not understanding the moving over bit.
Run was rubbish, I managed a 45 min which is a little slower than normal but I quite literally had to pass over 100 people before I finished.
Nice to have done but wont be doing it again Im afraid.
Rant over ;o))))
As already said, the bike course is congested; in 2008 there were some roadworks too, and there were narrow sections where passing was just impossible. The swim was fine for me as I was at the back anyway and didn't get biffed. The run was quite nice - round the dockside, good atmosphere.
Now that I know "better", I wouldn't want to race my bike in those conditions - do the race if you want but don't expect to race fast unless you can get off the front straight away, and even then, it's so big that there are loads of waves, so you WILL hit traffic, and it probably will be nupties
The swim can be very busy and hectic with waves of upto 600 people - this year they split the start of the waves into 2 mini waves 2 mins apart to avoid some of the washing machine effect. The bike is busy but most of the bike is wide enough to overtake without drafting. The run is flat and great seeing the planes taking off at the City Airport the other side of the docks.
Havent done the Hyde Park one but it is on my list.
Swim in the dock was good fun, well-marked, and the wave organisation was good in terms of them asking faster swimmers to step to the front so as to minimise the chances of newbies or less-confident swimmers getting swum over. Run was good, nice run along the dockside, and a fun atmosphere out on the course with loads of supporters lining the route to give you a boost. However, it's the bike course that lets it down. Usually my favourite part of the tri, I was frustrated by the tightness of the course in some places (particularly near the Excel) which made it impossible to pass others, and the lack of awareness on the part of other riders about faster riders coming up from behind. A couple of riders were also close to cutting me up by trying to dodge through the gap between me and the person on the left that I was overtaking - nice way to potentially cause an accident, perhaps the draft-busters on the motorbikes should look out for that seeing as how it's impossible to police drafting given the number of people on the course. The speed-reducing measures in place on the roads for normal traffic (small yellow speed bumps, grippy tarmac sections) made parts of the ride positively unpleasant, and I got off the bike frustrated because I knew I could have gone faster had there been fewer people on the course.
It's a fairly well-organised event, and the signposting on the course and around transition is very good once you get there - the map in the race pack showing the course is rubbish! Marked positions in transition would be nice though, the person next to me had very lazily re-racked their bike in my spot when I got back from the bike, so I had to squeeze mine in where I could. On getting there, go by public transport if you live in London - you can take your bike on the District Line to West Ham and then ride down the road to the Excel (the queues of traffic to get away from the Excel looked horrific).
London Tri is great for promoting the sport and is a great try-a-tri event, but I think, like the London to Brighton Ride, it's a bit too big for it's own good. I'll be heading to Hyde Park for my next London-based tri.
Doing my first Olympic distance there tomorrow so have fingers crossed from another smooth running event.
Watched the woman's ITU race on the BBC red button earlier - full race repeat is being shown.
The problem with all these big events is their sheer scale necessitates ever increasing cost. I did Windsor several years ago but wasn't impressed with the organisation so haven't been back.
think I'm done with racing in London and will look for cheaper local events (doing the Reading Olympic Tri mid Sept - that was only £60 from memory).
What I do object to is profiteering. London docklands tri has got bigger year on year, however I'd hazard a guess that the fixed costs have remained pretty stable give or take inflation. So say it costs £100k to hire the Excel for the event. If you've got 10000 people entered, that's a tenner of each entry fee to cover the Excel hire; yet this year they had 16000 entries so if anything, that should have gone down, but no, the cost goes up. Back in 2002 the docklands tri took place on one day - sprint was first thing, then olympic races were later. I reckon there weren't many more than 1000 entries - so with the fixed costs now divided up into many more how come the cost has increased massively. Out of interest, I've checked back to 2002 and the sprint race at London cost £50, it's £79 for 2012, so an increase of £29 over 11 years.
I am not defending the price increases but I think we as triathletes complain about the price of events but then go and spend huge amounts on crap just because someone says it will gain us 5 seconds over a 2 hour event ..... go figure.
IMO London Triathlon (Docklands) Standard distance is good value for money and is a great event ... yes its busy and not cheap ... but other events are as expensive and you get less for your monet ... racing through London on closed roads is great. BTW I tink standard distance is only about £10 more thans sprint, I would assume this is due to the fixed costs been pretty much the same for both events and ultimately people willing to pay for that ...
So an IM branded IM distance event these days costs upwards of £300
An IM branded 70.3 costs upwards of £200
London tri, & other similar events are £90 ish
Sorry for the rant but I just don't get the complaints ... if you don't like paying for it then don't do it .. there are plenty of other people that will do ..
Ohh btw I resent paying £300 plus for IM so this year have gone for the £100 cheapy option of doing the BIG Woody
The thing to bear in mind is that the ITU race does have a time cut off (3 hours on the Sunday) and as such, this scares off a lot of the crowd that The London Triathlon (Docklands) attracts.
Both are great mass participation events with good crowds etc but due to long transitions aren't particularly time friendly, i.e. despite both being relatively flat, you are highly unlikely to set a pb (or indeed get near it) at either.
Depends what you are looking for really, London tri has much more of a 'charity runner' kind of feel to it, whereas the ITU race has a bit more glitz and serious event feel and it's great to watch the pro's do it after.
Having said all of that, as mentioned, ITU London now not happening until 2013 due to the Olympics.
I've done them both once (as a Londoner I felt I should) but have ticked the box and won't be going back to either, I much prefer smaller, more intimate events.