Bideford Triathlon 2012

8th July 2012 saw the third running of the Biddy Tri which is held in and around the Torrens River and the Bideford area.  It has always been very well supported by WCT and this year was no exception and with Mike on the mike once more, it was home from home!

The primary aim of this triathlon is to raise money for charity and over the first two years, the entry fees alone have raised £6,600 for the local Rotary Club and at least another £5,000 having been raised by individuals for their own chosen charities.   For this reason they encourage everyone to take part and welcome relays from local clubs and businesses so as well as familiar faces, there is always a lot of people taking part in their first triathlon.

The race is also an excuse to enjoy a weekend by the sea and both Ceeli and Michelle’s families journeyed down on Friday to camp.  Unfortunately the wind and rain on the Friday night was exceptional, even by 2012 standards and Ceeli’s new tent turned into a kite at 2am on Saturday morning and Michelle found her van a little cramped for three people and three dogs.  Both returned to Somerset to dry out.  

Thankfully the forecast was much better for Sunday’s race and they both came back down for the race.  At Saturday’s registration, we saw last year’s start area which was absolutely full of logs and saw that the course would need to be changed.  After the race briefing, we were walked up river to another slipway and we stood there looking at a very uninviting river with a considerable amount of debris floating downstream after the heavy rain.  Despite this being a much shortened swim (approx 400m) it was one of the most challenging, not helped by my early entry into the water when I accidentally walked off the edge of the slipway!

Once out of the water and onto the 23.5 km bike course.  We had already been warned at the race briefing of flooding and it was unnerving to come across this area with an ambulance parked nearby but as long as you heeded the marshal’s warning to slow down, it was OK.  This is an undulating course with nothing too extreme with a flatter ride back into T2 and with the slower swimmers setting off first, plenty of opportunity for overtaking which is always good for the confidence.  Unfortunately in my case, after a stop to put my chain back on, I had to overtake several riders twice!

Back into T2 and off for the run which starts by taking you over the river and through the town.  The run is hilly in places which tests tired legs, but is great with lots of twists and turns.  It is a ‘long’ 5km which takes you through the houses and then back along the banks of the Torrens and into the park to the finish line and the familiar voice of Mike cheering in everyone – especially WCT members.

Without doubt this is one of the highlights of my triathlon year and a unique race over an interesting course!  Perhaps I’m biased as I love this part of North Devon and a weekend away with family and friends with a great race and hopefully some sunshine is my idea of a perfect weekend.  I’m looking forward to 2013 already.

Congratulations to Martin, Ceeli, Michelle, Dave, Ali, Jo, Bev and Barry for completing the course and for also picking up many of the prizes!