Tatton Park Triathlon is a massive event with around 2000 triathletes taking on the waters and lanes of the 1000 acre Cheshire Park. Organisers pride themselves on the scenery and it doesn’t disappoint. A great race for trial runners.
Where: Cheshire East, north west England
When: Early September (reviewed 2012)
Size: approx 2000 triathletes
Distances available: Olympic, Sprint and Super Sprint.
Official race website here.
- Rack your bike the day before or as as early as possible as this is a big event and the organisation is loose.
- Train for off-road running on grass but speedy, fairly flat biking.
- Look out for speed bumps on the bike course
- Careful on the run during the grassy, uneven sections
- Let rip on the awesome 2km downhill stretch as you get into Tatton Park!
- Keep count of your laps – maybe tape strips to your handlebars and discard as you go.
What’s the organisation like?
Tatton Park Triathlon is a fairly new event and has a laid-back style of organisation despite it’s size. There is no paperwork as everything is done online from sign-up to race-day. There’s the option to register the day before the race from 3pm and rack your bike if you wish to, with most racers registering the day before but rack on the day.
Wave times start from 7.30am after a madatory safety briefing at 7.10am and triathletes found out the day before when they’d be called up to start.
This is a little late to find out and for friends hoping to come and spectate it can cause problems and put people off which is a shame.
The race cost is around £65.00 inc insurance which is quite expensive for the organisation you get in return but you are probably paying for the brilliant setting.
What’s the course like?
Organisers pitch this as the ‘most scenic race in the north west’ and it is VERY pretty. Tatton is a picturesque park with deer and sheep running around. The water in Tatton Mere is normally a respectable temperature so no shock to the system as you get in! It is very shallow at the entry point but still a good warm temperature all the way around.
The Bike section was looped so 2 laps for the Sprint distance, for example. This was mainly on roads around the edge of the park which were still open to traffic but with the speed limits reduced and lots of marshals and police to manage the traffic who did a suberb job.
Towards the end of the bike lap you re-enter the park and enjoy a fast downhill section and either turn off to transition or straight on for another lap.
The Run course was over 50% on grass and the race pack does state it is multi-terrain. It’s really easy to turn over on your ankle on this section as it is uneven so best to train for this sort of surface in advance.
What’s the atmosphere like?
The atmosphere is fairly good but nothing spectacular as spectators are very spread out throughout the bike course. This isn’t such a bad thing as it does allow spectators to move around the park freely for the various race segments. For a similar race size with fantastic atmosphere see BLENHEIM PALACE TRI.
How difficult is the race?
Tatton is not a flat course with minor climbs on the bike but with enjoyable down hill bits to makes up for it and gain good speed. There are also a few bumps and pits in the road to look out for so it’s not a bike section you can keep your head down on.
The run on grass could be tricky for some as the ground is uneven at times and there is one particular steep hill section but this is very short. The lake is good for swimming no current to worry about and a nice easy entry especially for first timers.
What is there to do after the race in the area?
Other resources to get you ready for Tatton Park Triathlon…
Sue Lloyd (2012 – sprint distance)
Race no: 1
This was my first triathlon and I’ve done a lot of running but didn’t know what to expect. I was pleased with my time and position in the top half and would can’t wait to do another triathlon.