Competition hots up in indoor triathlon

Alnwick Tri Club's women-only indoor try-a-tri. All the competitors with the coaches from Alnwick tri club in the front.
Alnwick Tri Club's women-only indoor try-a-tri. All the competitors with the coaches from Alnwick tri club in the front.

Alnwick Tri Club

Alnwick Tri Club hosted the ninth annual ladies-only indoor triathlon – a 200m swim, 5km bike and 2km run, all in the pool and gym – on Thursday, January 29.

This event is designed to attract females into the sport of triathlon in a safe, friendly environment and is supported by the Triathlon England initiative of GoTri.

For the vast majority of the participants, this was their first foray into multisport. People came from a huge catchment area from Edinburgh in the north to Durham in the south.

At the beginning of the night, there were many nervous faces and also the unhappy faces of those who had been dragged along by friends.

During the swim, there has never been such a good crop of swimmers. Virtually all did either the entire 200m as front crawl, whereas there are normally two or three who can manage it. There were some grumbles – some said that was the easy bit done, but most were relieved to have completed the eight lengths of pool without drowning, so the smiles had started to make an appearance.

Up in the gym, there were three gym bikes and three treadmills in use for the cycling and running portions of the event, all of which were populated with women trying their absolute hardest, despite protesting at the beginning of the night that they all just wanted to complete the event and didn’t care how long it took. Once that clock started, out came their competitive streaks!

The finishers were knackered, some had concerns about being able to get down the stairs to shower and change, but most floated down on a cloud of wellbeing and a proud sense of achievement.

There was a presentation at the end of the evening and the first order of business was to congratulate everyone on becoming triathletes at which there was a mass outbreak of smiles and even a few cheers.

The evening was not supposed to be about how quickly the event was completed and as such there was deliberately no prize for the winner, but there was a very eager bunch of ‘non-competitive’ women vying to see the computer screen to see how they got on in comparison to everyone else.

Willowburn Sports Centre has always been very supportive of this event, allowing the club to virtually take over the gym for a couple of hours. Due to this event, Alnwick Tri Club is only one of two tri clubs in the UK which traditionally has more female members than male.

GoTri is a way of bringing triathlon and multi-sports to a wide range of people. Alnwick Tri Club will be hosting its next GoTri Duathlon (run, bike, run) event at Druridge Bay Country Park on Sunday, March 15, aimed to attract complete beginners to the sport in an affordable manner. For more information and how to enter, visit www.alnwicktriathlon.co.uk