The ITU London Triathlon World Champs 2013


TSUS_ITUWorldChamps

Went to the 2013 ITU Triathlon World Championships in Hyde Park London earlier today. While the elite men, including Olympic supremo’s Alistair and Jonnie Brownlee will be racing tomorrow, I went to watch my housemate compete in the Open Age Group event. Funnily enough, the same housemate went to school and studied with the Brownlees, he even did youth/junior cross-country races with them too, just a shame he never learnt to ride a bike properly because he’s recently gained a reputation for crashing into cones or other street furniture! Luckily he managed to keep it upright today!

The event was ace. I’ve never been to Hyde Park before so it was nice to have a good walk and explore around there. I’ve also only ever attended one other triathlon before (the 2008 or 2009 BUCS Sprint Tri), but this was exactly what I expected. It was a fantastic venue and race, well organised and full of enthusiasts eager to drink some lake water! I’m reliably informed by my housemate that visibility in the Serpentine Lake was dismal, and the taste of the water wasn’t great, but to be fair, we’re both used to good old Yorkshire water, and the stuff down here in London is never going to win in that competition!

After the housemate had finished his race and we’d all congratulated him and I’d got some suitable photos of him looking bedraggled and knackered, I left the group and went off to explore the Triathlon Expo on my own. I’d been made aware in advance that there was a large expo and lots of triathlon based companies and shops present with their stalls and displays, and was impressed with what I saw as I walked around. I searched out my friends at Tri Training Harder (http://www.tritrainingharder.com/) straight away and found founder and co-director Phil Hatzis by his stall just before he left for lunch. Had a quick chat and catch up with Phil, sounds like everything is going well for them and I’m really impressed by what they’ve been doing this year out at their training camps in Portugal, and by how much they’ve grown in exposure too. The TTH stand and display shop was great, and I saw they’ve made great use of their new promotional video, presenting it on a flat screen tv in ‘front-of-house’ position for all to see. Their shop looked great and I’m mega impressed with the range of products they’re selling these days too.

After that, had a good nosey around the other stalls and made a stop at the TrainingPeaks stall. For those that don’t know or aren’t familiar with endurance sports, TrainingPeaks offer and online tool (of the same name) for recording, planning and analysing work outs and long term training plans. Typically adopted and used by Triathletes and Road Cyclists, I’ve been using TrainingPeaks for the last year, it’s a cool and very powerful piece of software they’ve developed and apparently a new version is due for release soon.

Must have entered 3 or 4 competitions too, so fingers crossed I’ll be winning a shiny new pair of carbon road wheels, a new bike, a training camp holiday in France and a new smart phone. Sweet! Also jumped at the chance to have a go on a Watt bike at the Huwaei stand. Watt bikes are a relatively new phenomenon in cycling, a new take on the traditional stationary gym bike, but with the advantage and appeal to pro level athletes of offering power measurement; a serious tool and a big buzzword in cycling and triathlon these days. Anyway, the guys at Huwaei were running a competition on the Watt bikes – pedal like a mad man for 1 minute and see how far you can travel in metres. I felt sick as a dog after getting off! Managed 877m in my minute, needed 916m or more to get on the top10 leaderboard, so not too far off, and in jeans and flat pedals too, so not my usual race kit! Good fun!

Sam