GO and TRI a GO TRI
GO TRI is an initiative set up and funded by Triathlon England to make multi discipline sport more accessible to everyone. The GO TRI events are generally shorter in distance than 'normal' events with slightly relaxed rules and a huge emphasis on giving it a go and having fun. These events are designed to be very beginner friendly with the majority (if not all!) the participants completing something like this for the first time.
The GO TRI events don't even need to be triathlon, they can be aquathlon and duathlon as well - what better way to get into multisport by starting with two rather than three disciplines. ....and this is exactly what we did.
In the beginning...
Tri Training Harder have been working closely with The Oratory School, Reading, to put on the first of a series of GO TRI aquathlon events and below is an event report of the day itself.
We would normally say that a lot of hard work and effort went into organising this event, but as far as events go - GO TRI was remarkably fun to set up and deliver. This is probably because the whole event was centred in and around the school grounds so the only permissions we needed to get were from the School themselves (which in all reality was a question that went along the lines of 'Please can we hold this event in this location on this date - here are the maps of the proposed routes.')
The usual things needed to be organised, getting a permit from British Triathlon, risk assessments, the start times, the transition area, the run route, signage, marshals, online entry, advertising, answering questions, and pulling together the event pack for participants. On reflection, that is actually quite a lot of things that needed to be organised - and this is where having a good team around you and a fully on board venue (Oratory School), pays dividends!
Event day came around very quickly and armed with a list of 16 entrants for the first round, we set off to the School with all the signs, banners, flags and swim hats in the car (plus spare goggles, because we all know that goggles only start leaking or break on race morning. Fact.)
After setting up the course with signs and doing one last recce of the route to check for any changes to the route (fallen down trees, boggy patches) we waited at the Sports Centre (which is open to the public) for the participants to arrive. Much to our astonishment (and pleasure!), people were turning up and asking if they could enter on the day - and in the spirit of GO TRI, yes indeed you can.
After a very short briefing with participants and the obligatory Sharpie number drawn on your hand, the now 20 participants were shown to transition so they could get prepared for the changeover from swim to run.
Map of the swim
The swim started as a 'drip feed' into the pool rather than wave starts, so that by 4 minutes in everyone was in the water. We had designed the swim so that you swam two lengths and then ducked under the ropes into the next lane and swam two lengths, making your way across the pool and exiting at the far side from where you entered. Benefits? No-one has to count more than two. This being some people's first event, the swim was a little crowded in the middle, but in true multisport fashion, everyone was very polite, kind and incredibly encouraging to one another...including one person who waited for their friend to get out so they could run the run together - how about that for team work!
The run was an off-road 2.4km run around the School grounds - huge shout out to the local Scouts who came to marshal the transition area and the beginning/end of the run to help participants around the course - with the finish flags in front of the Sports Centre so spectators could see their athletes finish the swim and then finish the run.
Everyone is a winner....
In the event pack that was sent to participants, they were asked to bring along some enthusiasm and a finishers smile (along with some more practical items such as a swimsuit and trainers) and without a doubt every single person who crossed the finish line did so with a huge smile on their face.
"To see the same level of accomplishment in those who completed their first ever multi sport race at a GOTRI event we put on at The Oratory as those at The World Championships in Kona was superbly humbling."– Philip Hatzis
The event was a huge success and we very much look forward to the next event in December - this one features junior entries, something for all the family!
A huge thanks to everyone at The Oratory School for what looks set to be a successful series of events, to the Scouts for their enthusiasm when marshalling and cheering everyone on, the noisy spectators who definitely cheered every single person over the finish line - however, the biggest thank you has to go to those who took a deep breath and ventured into multisport for the first time, our hat goes off to you!
Our next events
If you're thinking that you might want to enter the next event, or know someone who is looking to get into triathlon (or even just to have a look to whet your appetite) then click
Just one final thing to add - if you're more experienced at triathlon but want to be involved somehow to support your local event, or just grassroots sports, then consider marshaling or volunteering in some way instead. Remember your first event? How about YOU be that marshal that was super encouraging or incredibly welcoming when you arrived and really weren't sure what to do or where to go - we all know that triathlon has a reputation for being friendly, why don't you give something back - email
and she'll add you to the team for the next event.