Doing the DBmax Westonbirt Triathlon for the first time? We answer some common first timer questions.
How early should I get to the race?
Give yourself plenty of time to register, get transition set up, sort out any last minute issues, walk to the pool, potentially queue for a last minute toilet trip and be poolside ready to go 15 minutes before your start time. You’ll need at least an hour for all this if you don’t want to be panicking!
Can my family watch?
Of course! There is a small event village that they can watch from which can give them a good view of transition and the run. There is also a small viewing area above the pool so they can watch you swim. For kids there is a large cricket pitch that they can run around and a small play park between the pool and transition. There will also be the ability to purchase hot and cold drinks and bacon butties!
What should I wear?
Ideally wear a trisuit as this is the most comfortable and quickest option as you wear this for all three disciplines. Otherwise, a great idea is to buy a pair of triathlon shorts. These have a small quick drying pad to make the bike more comfortable without getting in the way of running. You can swim in these then just throw on a t-shirt in transition (or if you are a lady swim in these and a sports bra).
If you don’t want to buy anything especially for your first triathlon then you will have to try and get changed in transition, remembering that there is a no nudity rule! Also, it is worth knowing that trying to put a t-shirt and shorts on over wet swimwear and skin is a really tricky job and can take up a lot of time in transition.
I’ve heard the first transition is quite long. Can I wear running shoes?
The short answer is yes. Dbmax set up a mini transition area outside the pool where you can get into your socks and shoes. In our experience it is worth it, even if you are intending to get into bike shoes as the run to transition area 1 is around 400m and can be a little sore under foot.
How does the swim work?
You will be given a coloured swim hat when you get to the pool. Everyone with the same start time as you will get into the pool at the same time (shallow end). There will be a few of you in each lane, each wearing a different coloured hat. The race official will set one hat colour off at a time with a few seconds between each person. It is your responsibility to count 16 laps, however there will be someone at the end of the pool who is counting and will signal to you when you only have 2 laps to go, usually by sticking a pool float into the water in front of you. You will exit the pool at the shallow end (a bit of a leap needed here) and walk straight out side to the first ‘mini transition’ area where you can put on your shoes for the run to T1.
What is the bike course like?
The good news is that the bike course is gently rolling with no significant hills, mostly through pretty countryside. The road surface is mostly ok but be aware that some of the roads will have potholes or mud on them (this is the countryside!) There is one foot-down turn which will be highlighted to you in the pre-race briefing and there will be marshals to remind you. This means you must come to a complete stop and put one foot on the ground.
Also be aware that you will have to negotiate speed bumps and cattle grids to get in and out of Westonbirt school. This shouldn’t be a problem unless you happen to be grabbing a drink or taking your feet out of shoes at the wrong time.
Do I need off-road shoes for the run?
Although some of the run course is off road, it is usually pretty dry. The areas that are on grass are also flat so there isn’t too much risk of slipping. Normal road shoes are absolutely fine for this race.
What if I get lost?
The good news is that it is very hard to get lost on the course. There are clear signposts and marshals on route to help you. Remember that every turn on the bike course is left!
If you want to chat to someone about the race feel free to pop in to store or call us. There is usually someone in store who has done it before!
We love to support local races and are pleased to be able to sponsor the Westonbirt Tri again in 2018. We'll be there from early on the day with a retail stand full of all the race day essentials, deals and some nice kit to tempt you.