When: Last weekend in August
Where: Applemore Leisure Center, Nr Hythe, Southampton
Size: Approx 250 racers
Event: Sprint Triathlon: 400m Pool swim, 13 mile bike and 3.5 mile run.
Official race website here.
- Make sure you put down an accurate swim time because the wave you get needs to be as close to your pace as possible.
- Look out for any stray horses! They wander around the New Forest and can sometimes get into the middle of the road.
- Be careful at the roundabouts on the A326 Hythe By-pass becasue traffic isn’t stopped on any of the routes and the A-road can be quite fast moving
What’s the organisation and set up like?
The event went smoothly, there didn’t seem to be any complaints from competitors. There was plenty of parking spaces available, either at the Recreation Centre or across the road in Tescos. The website gives a full briefing on the rules if you are a beginner and there are friendly officials who are happy to point you in the right direction if you are lost.
What’s the course like?
A great course for ALL whether you are a beginner, intermediate or even professional Triathlete, I spotted a few GB Age Group Triathletes. The swim is in an indoor pool so no need to bring a wetsuit and all swimmers are tapped on the shoulder and a float is held under the water when you have two lengths to go. The undulating bike ride takes you through the fabulous New Forest National Park and before you know it you are back and across the finish line.
How’s the atmosphere?
There are numerous supporters at the start and finish but it did feel a little lonely cycling through the forest, the only onlookers were the New Forest ponies and they’re not that chatty. In fact you have to be careful because one or two of them wander into the middle of the road. There was a family feel about the event, the organizers and volunteers were very friendly.
How Difficult is Southampton Tri?
The pool swim was fast but overtaking the swimmer in front was tricky so it did mean a quick sprint past so you didn’t knock in to the oncoming swimmer. It was a quick dash out of the leisure center down the steps to the transition area. The bike course was undulating with a very long steep hill out of Beaulieu which definitely tired the legs. The run is relatively flat, one or two small hills but nothing too taxing. Vote below in our poll to have your say on how tough this tri.
What is there to do Après Race?
The friendly atmosphere and support from the organizers really made the event. Refreshments were on hand afterwards and each runner received a decent water bottle. Prize giving took place after everyone had finished the course and there were a fair few in attendance. The race is held in a lovely part of the world so it could be an idea formake a weekend of it and stay in one of the numerous camping and caravan sites or in a hotel in Southampton.
Southampton tourist information here.
My Race Diary
Tri no.: 1st
It was good fun apart from the huge hill coming out of Beaulieu which was pure pain. I came 1st in my age group and recieved a fancy award. By the end of the run I felt as if I could have done it all again.