This long-distance triathlon was initially part of the Challenge Family, first rolling out the welcome carpet to competitors in 2014. This year it is under the Ironman banner and includes both a full and middle distance race.
Starting with a two-lap 3.8km open-water sea swim in Weymouth Bay, athletes then hit the rolling 180km bike course, which weaves through Dorset countryside offering competitors closed, partially-closed and managed roads for a fast, smooth cycling experience. To finish, it’s a four-lap 42.2km run along the Esplanade and through the town.
On the return into the beach, make sure you pay attention to your sighting as the current was inclined to push you along the beach, giving you a longer run than necessary to get back to start lap two.
Don’t go out too hard as the steepest climb of the day is early on, as you leave Weymouth behind. But later on the return leg, if it’s a westerly wind, then the long draggy section after Wool can be tough, too. Even with the climbs, it’s definitely a course for a TT bike.
Depending which way the wind is, one direction or the other along that sea front is going to feel tough! Just watch your pacing, and don’t go too fast with that tailwind or you’ll regret it back into the headwind. However, the ‘beer mile’ is a great area that provides plenty of encouragement through the town!
But the run is where the suffering really starts. It’s largely flat along the promenade, but there are a few ramps and steps around the Sea Life Tower area which can break up your rhythm, so just be ready for them.
Enjoy the support of the feed stations, each manned by different local groups from Weymouth. It’s also worth planning your hydration so that you don’t carry a full bottle up the climb out of Weymouth to weigh you down. Last year there was an aid station just at the top!
Last, but not least, don’t forget to enjoy it! Long-distance racing always has rough patches, where you wonder if you’ll finish. However, the support in the town from spectators and other holiday-makers will keep you going to the finish line.
(All images: David Pearce)
Are you racing Weymouth? Let us know in the comments below!