An early season staple race for those new to the sport or for people warming up to the Olympic distance later in the year. Also a good event for testing kit that you’ve purchased with those gift vouchers you got at xmas.
The swim takes place in the Tadcaster community pool. A small modern 25m pool with spectators able to view from the balcony. The transition area is about 400m up the road in the brewery car park so you need to make sure you leave your trainers by the fire door at the back of the pool as thats the swim exit point. It’s quite a strange sight seeing all these people running up the high street in their Speedo’s and googles!
Ok so it’s only 14km but it does allow you to hit it flat out and not worry too much about energy gels. The course takes you left out of transition onto the A659. The roads are never that busy and are wide enough that you can get your head down and not worry too much about run over. For the most part you are riding out then into the very pretty Bramham village and then back out past Tadcaster grammar school. The course has a few little inclines but nothing requiring climbing gears apart from the little kicker by the church as you exit Bramham. 200 meters out of the saddle will see you through it and it’s a good chance to gain a few seconds on the lesser experienced riders.
One note of caution if that parts of the road surfaces are rutted and broken so take when picking you lines, especially as the best part of the road is towards the middle. If your running tub’s or any tyres at 80PSI+ then you will really feel the bumps so make sure bottles are secure on your bike.
Arguably the best bit about this event. At 7.5km it’s longer than the normal 5km sprint so a good chance to stretch those winter legs and help towards the 10k Olympic distance. The run follows the bike route out of transition for about 2km before leaving the roads and heading down towards the river where it follows the footpath along until you reach back into Tadcaster. Apart from the last 500m sprint through the town you are running in flat countryside. The upside, or downside depending on how good your running is, is that it allows you a clear view of about a mile in front and behind to see how other competitors are doing.
If you are one of the first off the bike then chances are you won’t see more than a handful of people in front of you on the run apart from a few slower runners from the earlier waves.
A well run and friendly sprint distance with the benefit of a slightly longer run through some scenic settings. Plus its been sunny every year I have done it. Worth racing.
Getting a bit quicker each year – although some of that was changing from a road bike to a TT frame and finally sorting my swimming out. Going to be a lot harder to keep improving with the same margins. Top 10% should be doable one day though 🙂