Recommended Olympic Distance Race

MsEMsE ✭✭✭
The title says it all really. I need to find a standard distance race to enter to have a bit of a practice before my inaugural attempt at the HIM distance at Wimbleball in June 2011. I am focusing on training for the VLM up to April and then plan to focus exclusively on tri training for what will be my first 70.3. Somewhere between the marathon and the HIM I thought I should enter a standard distance race but am unsure which one would be a good one. I suppose it should be hilly and ideally not too far from London so I can get myself there without leaving my OH too disgruntled at being left home alone with our 4 kids. It goes without saying I would prefer a well organised one too! Any suggestions gratefully received. Thanks in advance.


  • Hmmm, scratching my head a little on this one.

    BTF site is normally good for event listings but May is still a little early season- of those listed Olys I've not done any of them.

    Edited: keep an eye on the listings as it's possible that not all of the 2011 events have been fixed yet.

  • Hey, MsE. There are some well organised (if very flat) races at Dorney Lake, lots to choose from, usually run by Human race or F3 events.
  • most of the early HR ones are sprints

    there are a few - very few - standard distance ones for May 2011 listed on the events page of Little Beaver is one

    the problem with outdoor events in May is that the water is often too cold for many hence they tend to be shorter or pool based - or if you are a masochist longer like Marshman Middle/Middle+. Ferret liked that one 2 years ago.....
  • Xpost. Also there's the Windsor Triathlon. I also think Bala Standard Distance is in May as well. 

    The May 2010 event search also showed:

    Merchant Taylors' Triathlon Northwood, Middlesex

    It may be run again but the officials may still be trying be to confirm use of roads etc with the local authorities.

    I've not done any of the above though image
  • Windsor is in mid-June and is full - and would clash with IM70.3 as it's the same day!

    Bala standard is in September
  • Was sure Windsor was just showing up in May. It's not. Sorry. 

  • MsEMsE ✭✭✭
    Thanks for all the very helpful responses. I think I may keel over on my Bianchi from the boredom of doing more than a supersprint at Dorney so would ideally like to find something more variable and hilly! I shall keep an eye out in the meantime although may book a slot at Dorney for the sake of having a back-up race in place.
  • Hi MsE

     Last year I did the New Forest Olympic(ish) distance as a prelude to the 70.3 at Wimbleball. Swim was cold (1st weekend in May), bike undulating, and run mostly off-road and a bit hilly.  I think the 2011 race will be on the 1st May.  Very well organised event. Finances permitting, I'll be there again next year.


  • MsEMsE ✭✭✭
    Thanks, Laura! I will have a look and then decide between that and the Little Beaver which is a few weeks later I think. I suspect I will need the extra time training that the Little Beaver gives me though as I will be marathon fit but have forgotten how to swim and a liability on my bike in early May image
  • Little Ninja wrote (see)

    The May 2010 event search also showed:

    Merchant Taylors' Triathlon Northwood, Middlesex

    It may be run again but the officials may still be trying be to confirm use of roads etc with the local authorities.

    I did the first Merchant Taylors'  as my first standard tri a couple of years ago.  It was a good event with a (freezing) lake swim and some testing little climbs on the bike course. 

    Seems to meet all your criteria so worth a look as long as it's run again next year.

  • Found a link for Merchant... 

    Sunday 22nd MAY 2011

    And hope this link works but here's a list of a lot of the May standard distance events. Looks like the best ones have been covered above image Linky thing

  • MsEMsE ✭✭✭
    Thanks, Trogs and Little Ninja. That looks really good actually. Much closer to home for me. I suspect the only thing holding me back from that one as opposed to the Little Beaver will be the extra week of swimming I could squeeze in... Plus I have friends doing Little Beaver whereas I suspect I would be doing the Merchant Taylor race on my own (cue: Norma No Mates emoticon).
  • The Raw Energy events are very well organised.
  • If you can't find an Oly tri that suits, another option might be one or two of the spring duathlons, even the ones before VLM as they're good alternatives to the usual pre-VLM road races IMO.  There are a few standard distance (10/40/5) ones around London (Emberton Park, Steyning, Cambridge - although I think that clashes with VLM next year), or for something more hilly the spring ballbuster.
  • MsEMsE ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the suggestion, Cheerful Dave. Although I suspect I will be better off trying to get as much swimming in as possible. In particular, as I can foresee myself doing no swimming until after the VLM...! I have always wanted to do the Ballbuster although someone said you would need to be marathon fit for it. Have you done it and would you tend to agree?
  • "Have you done it and would you tend to agree?"

    LOL - CD was 8th overall at the recent Ballbuster so is well placed to answer that!!
  • I did the Ballbuster in a puncture repair over 4 hours last week. I've never done a marathon, but I suspect I am not yet marathon fit. Cheerful Dave does silly marathon times (2.35 or so at VLM this year) and a slightly slower time on Ballbuster this time round. But cycling is easier than running per time spent I think (ie an hour cycling is less taxing on the body than an hour running imho), so I'd be surprised if it is as hard. Certainly CD didn't think it was as hard as a mara when someone asked him the same question once before.

    I did the Steyning vaguely Olympic triathlon as a pre-cursor to Sawashbuckler in May this year. An 800m pool swim rather than OW but at least it wasn't cold (until you got on the bike!)

    I can't believe that no one has yet pointed out that a June 70.3 is perfect training for an August IM - in, say, Regensburg, Germany perhaps?! image
  • You don't need to be marathon fit, but it helps image

    If you're training for VLM in April, and have kept some cycling going over the winter as well, you'll be in perfect shape for the BB in early March.  It takes longer than a marathon (for most of us) but the bike leg is a lot easier on the knees.

    Ali may not yet be marathon fit, but he's closer than he was before the BB this time last week image.

  • MsEMsE ✭✭✭
    CD - I got all excited about doing the spring Ballbuster only to find it falls the day prior to the Bath Half which I have entered image

    Still undecided between the Little Beaver or the Merchant Taylor race...
  • MsEMsE ✭✭✭
    Trogs - I have just entered the Merchant Taylor's event. If the competitor list remains static, I should be able to win my category and come third female overall (at least)! image
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