An award winning half-iron distance triathlon with some incredible views, tough ‘ripple hills’ and great support. With camping the night before, the atmosphere in the lead up and during the race is brilliant and might just make you forget the pain.
Where: Rutland Water, Leicestershire
Distance: 1.9k Swim – 85k Bike – 21k Run (‘middle’ distance)
Size: 1000 triathletes
Race reviewed: 2013
Official race website here.
- Include hills in your bike training as the ‘Rutland Ripple’ is very tough!
- Take it easy on the first lap to get an idea of what you’re up against – you can always go for it on the second
- Keep the speed up on the down hill and use the momentum to get up the next incline
- For more bike course tips this is a good forum from Runners’ World.
An old but good video of the event
What was the organisation and set up like?
The organisation is award winning. There isn’t a huge amount of information given out beforehand though which isn’t ideal but emails are answered promptly. On the day, the set up is great with a clearly laid out transition and race course.
What’s the course like?
The swim section of the tri is in a small inlet of the reservoir which is sheltered. This is handy as it can get very windy on the water. It’s a 2 lap swim leg with an ‘out and in’ at the halfway mark which is a novelty!
The bike is also a 2 lap route which means that the renowned ‘Rutland Ripple’ has to be tackled twice … resulting in 6 pretty epic climbs. The roads are great though with nice smooth tarmac on the whole and the scenery is stunning.
Once off the bike, the run section is again a 2 lap course that takes in the Rutland dam and some incredible views … but always within sight and sound of the finish which is great on the second lap but not so good for morale on the first lap.
How difficult is the Vitruvian triathlon?
The ripple is certainly a challenging part of the course and the fact that the run was a 2 lap course was a challenge too but nothing too serious if you have put the training in. Main hills are the Rutland Ripple (about mile 6 into the lap), this is 3 hills one after the other, the middle of the 3 is the hardest. After this you take a left turn at a roundabout and its pretty much flat/gentle down hill for 5 or 6 miles, then it gets a bit more undulating.
What’s the atmosphere like?
In a word – great. The fact that so many of the competitors camp at Rutland Water the night before the event creates a great sense of occasion and the fact the the course comes through (or near) the transition area about 7 times makes for some fantastic support.
What is there to do Apres Race?
There are some fantastic little local pubs to eat in before and after the event and the facilities on site for the day of the event are great so you never feel like you aren’t catered for. For tourist advice for the local area click here.
My Race Diary
By Zoe McBeth – Ultra Crazy Girl
Race experience: regular marathon and triathlon runner. 1st middle distance race.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Vit and that feeling grew in the weeks after the event. I have already signed up for 2014 and cannot wait to do it all over again. My time was 6:42:51 which I was please will as it was significantly less than half my Outlaw (full IM distance) time from earlier in the year!! I will be looking to reduce it in 2014 though!!
If you’d like to hear more about Zoe’s incredible challenges head to her Facebook page here.
- What’s it like to take on the Ironman challenge as a woman? (theguardian.com)
- How You Can Swim Safer and Faster In Triathlons (crushingiron.com)
- Ironing Out My 2014 Plans (goingthedistance263.wordpress.com)