When you see a bunch of hi-viz wearing, annoyingly happy volunteers turn up at Aireville Park at 5:45 on a Sunday morning, it can only mean one thing…Go Tri is taking place today.
Go Tri is a low-key triathlon event, specially designed for beginners. There’s no pressure for competitors, lots of support from volunteers and at the Skipton event, there’s usually cake afterwards!
So how did Go Tri end up at Skipton? Well, that’s mainly down to Alison Bell, a local primary school teacher who has completed several triathlons over the last few years. She is a member of Craven Energy Triathlon and Multisport Club, they mainly train here at Craven Swimming Pool as well as a few open water swimming sessions during the summer months.
I caught up with Alison after the event today, here’s what she had to say:
Why did you want to bring Go Tri to Skipton?
Doing triathlons has done so many things for me. It’s not only improved my overall health and fitness but I’ve also met some great people along the way and I wanted other people to benefit from this as much as I have. I know it can be a difficult thing to build up to so I thought Go Tri would be great as it is really accessible for anyone to give it a go.
What challenges have you faced through organising the Go Tri events?
Finding a manageable course for people who won’t necessarily have done a lot of training, which can be difficult around here as there are so many hills.
What would you say to someone who is unsure about entering an event like this?
Just to give it a go, there are lots of marshals and volunteers to help and answer any questions you might have. You don’t know what you are capable of unless you push your own boundaries.
Alison manages to rally a small army of volunteers for these events, I usually help with the timing, not something you want to mess up really (“Can you just start again? I didn’t press my stopwatch!”). Here’s my account of the Go Tri event at Skipton…
Sunday 17th July (06:00am)
As competitors start rolling in it’s clear to see some of them are very nervous, a kind smile awaits them at registration (even at this ungodly hour). We chat about how the event will go and where they need to be at what time. We write their race number on their hands and legs and they scurry off to the changing room.
6:50 soon rolls around, time for the first poolside briefing. I run to the other end of the building to start my two stopwatches (just in case I cock up with one!).
I start the stopwatches on the sound of the whistle, and they’re off! I make my way back to registration to help a couple of people who are due at the second poolside briefing, change into my walking boots as the grass hasn’t quite dried off at this time in the morning, and make my way up to the finish.
Eight pool lengths later competitors begin to come and go from transition, out on to the bike section, two laps of a small circuit around Skipton, which was disrupted by road works (a big thank you to our resident street dancers for tricking the sensors), and back in to complete the run section.
The run, which is two laps of Aireville Park, can only be described as ‘bloomin’ hard work’ after going out on the bike, with many competitors likening their legs to jelly until they got half way round.
There’s lots of cheers and clapping as our triathletes come through the finish, lots of smiles, and LOTS of sighs of relief. I note their race number and finish time down whilst Catherine directs them towards the well-earned cake!
As someone who has never done a triathlon, I am in awe at their accomplishment! They are all worthy of the title ‘Go Tri Triathlete’.
Here are a few of my favourite photo’s from the event this morning:
Well done to all who took part, we hope to see you next time!
Until next time, AAUK