Race report: Wiggle Tri Relays

All the action from the first Wiggle Tri Relays, held at Eton Dorney Rowing Lake last Sunday

Finish line shot from 2014 Wiggle Tri Relays

With the sun shining on Eton Dorney Rowing Lake, last Sunday (25 May) saw the first ever Wiggle Tri Relays at Eton Dorney Rowing Lake, comprised of three relay formats: Team Time Trial, Triple Relay and Team Relay.

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First, a quick explained of the different formats: the Team Time Trial sees three teammates swim (500m), bike (31.8km) and run (5km) side by side, with drafting allowed in the bike leg. Teams taking part in the Triple Relay complete their swim leg (500m) one after another, tagging each other at the waterside, then their bike legs (15.9km), then their run legs (5km). Lastly, the Team Relay is the format most of us are familiar with – one team member completes each leg (500m swim, 21.2km bike or a 5km run). Whichever format teams take part in, everyone can finish together.

Kicking off the day at 9am was the Scootathlon, where children aged 4-8 can take part in their own mini triathlon, scooting 390m before jumping on their bikes for another 390m, then finishing with a 250m run. Littlelife provided jazzy high-vis vests for this year, which made for an impressive sight on the way round the course. This year’s Scootathletes were a particularly confident bunch with some very smooth transitions! A special mention also goes to Ryan, who took on the Scootathlon on his own after unfortunately missing the start. Well done Ryan! Frog Bikes took on the responsibility of lead bike, and later on could be seen carrying out demos of their super lightweight kids’ bikes over at their tent.

Meanwhile, the various adult teams and their kit had been arriving, racking their bikes and discussing final team tactics. The first teams off were in the Team Time Trial at 10am, with Team Black Line London (Swim, Overbike, Walk) establishing a strong lead with a 7:05min swim. After a lightning quick transition, they jumped on their bikes and carried out some of the most impressive and professional drafting Dorney Lake has seen. The rumbling of the disc wheels and the team’s tucked in aero positions was a spectacle to behold, and they maintained a good four-minute lead right through to the finish, taking an impressive 1:17:35 to complete the course. Team Dkl Racing from Trowbridge and Wilts Hot Chilli Tri weren’t far behind at 1:21:31, and produced such a fantastic run that one of their team members achieved a new 5km PB! Team Two Rights and a Wrong came home third in 1:29:25.

At 10:45 the Triple Relay teams gathered at the waterside to start their swims, with the second and third team members waiting in a pen to be tagged by their teammates as they came out of the water. The triathletes had only a short rest before moving over to the bikes to begin their bike legs, before progressing to the run. The great thing with this format is that the two who aren’t out on the course are there to encourage their teammate as he/she passes. Plenty of cheering and clapping was heard at Dorney today, and it was fantastic to see. Phoenix Triathlon Club dominated this format, taking the top two places on the podium with Boys Dream Team! finishing in 2:51:15 and Tri Phoenix in 3:01:57. Tri Sandhurst Squad came home just behind them in 3:02:30.

At 11:45, the more traditional Team Relay set off, with the swimmer from Team Branson Tipple streaking ahead with a 7:47 min swim. This format had the speediest transitions of all and a fresh athlete to complete each leg, making for some amazing times. Team Branson Tipple kept their lead and came home in 1:02:22, while Team Tri Hard were breathing down their necks (their 17:22 min run was the quickest of the day), and Team Panda Cousins came in third in 1:05:35. The joy of this format was the team encouragement and camaraderie seen amongst teammates as they joined their runner to cross the finish line together. Today definitely saw some of the best finish line photos we’ve ever had!

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Were you racing at this year’s Wiggle Tri Relays? How did you get on? Let us know in the comments below!