Don’t know what a duathlon, is from an aquathlon, or triathlon?
Hell, what’s an aquabike?
Am I fast enough to enter a Sprint Tri?
One must need to be an Olympic athlete to enter the Olympic distance (surely?) and what’s a Middle or Half Iron compared to a Long Distance and Iron distance triathlon??
Multisport may seem daunting, intimidating and unwelcoming from the outside, but having ventured into triathlon and the world of multisport in 2010 it is something that I, Mrs eKuiLibriuM, seriously wished that I had found 20 years ago. However 20 years ago it was perceived as a close knit community and access for the ‘masses’ was less easily available. With the growth in community, charity and corporate running events opening up to the masses over the last 10 or so years, it is unsurprising that the joy of multisport has become more widely available for everyone to enter. Spaces in some events sell out within 24 hours of going live!
Contrary to popular belief you don’t have to spend a fortune to get involved and give a multisport a go. The first triathlon I did was the Jenny Clark Tri a Try in Epping. That was in 2010 and it had been established for several years and is still as popular for first timers’ year on year. The event is a 300metre pool based swim, followed by approximately a 21 Km cycle around the local lanes of Ongar, and finishes with a 4k run on the fields at the back of the leisure centre.
At the time I had a fairly average priced hybrid bike to do the cycle ride (and a helmet – no helmet no ride – one important rule). I did not own a triathlon ‘suit’; I swam up and down the pool with a chum hot on my heels as he was let into the pool 15 seconds behind me, in a swimming costume and at transition 1 (the area where you put your bike and move from one leg of the event to the next) I pulled a pair of cycling shorts over the top of a very damp me and yanked a tshirt on and headed off on the bike, (another important rule, no nudity in transition and no bare chest on the course!) in normal running trainers with flat pedals on the bike. After a joyful cycle, I got back to transition 2 and then headed out on the run course (minus the crash helmet!) to find my legs were like jelly for the first kilometre. But I smiled every stroke, pedal and step of the way ( I think I did, the pics may say otherwise!). Even though I was a personal trainer I didn’t know much about triathlon training and rules – I’ve learnt a lot since then, and yes I now have a tri suit (or 2!) and a road bike. I have also trained as a Level 2 Triathlon Coach and volunteer coach in the community. I didn’t venture to do another triathlon or multisport event until I embarked on my journey to iron distance triathlon – swim 3.8km, cycle 180km and run 42km. That is a whole other story and series of blogs (check our July 2014!).
The range of events open to first-timers is growing and Triathlon England started a scheme called ‘Go Tri’ a couple of years ago. Each year more events are being offered to first timers to try. Not only triathlon (swim, bike, run), but also duathlons (run, bike, run), and aquathlons (swim, run). You don’t have to be a Triathlon England member to participate and they are priced around £10 to enter and this essentially covers your insurance for the day. The events are far shorter than the first range of adult (15 plus) events.
A Go Tri Aquathlon starts as little as a 200metre swim followed by a 2.5km run.
A Go Tri Duathlon as short as Run 1 mile, Cycle 5 miles, Run 1 mile
A Go Tri Triathlon as short as Swim 200metre, Cycle 5km, Run 2.5km
The ‘Eastern Region’ of Triathlon England has several events planned for this season and if you click the link here you will get taken to where you are able to enter them! Entries open very soon. Why not give one a go?
Multisport is fun and fully inclusive. It can be something that the whole family gets involved with as junior triathlon events start in the year a child turns 8. But there are also ‘go tri junior’ events for under 8s up to age 15. It is one of the happiest sports that I have been involved with and you don’t have to excel at any one or all the disciplines to have fun and be part of something that is a great way to stay fit and healthy. On a personal note, it is a sport that has given me the most joy in my life when life has been very challenging. Even with bloodied knees!
Go Tri! Who knows you might just find you like them!
"They helped me set realistic goals, with challenging yet achievable milestones"