Video Race Briefing
Please read all of the race day info and watch the race day briefing video before the event. There will be no briefing on race day this year.
Start Lists 2023
Code of conduct
We do ask all of our competitors, spectators and marshals to abide by the British Triathlon Code of Conduct throughout the event. In the main please be respectful of your fellow competitors and marshals, practise good sportsmanship and have a good time!
If you have any concerns during the event around anyone’s welfare or any safeguarding concerns, our welfare office is tbc. They can be contacted through any of the race marshals helping around the Lake. For more detail around the Code of Conduct please see the BTF triathlon rules:
There will be a British Triathlon Federation technical official at the race venue on race day. There will also be a moto official on the bike course. Both officials will be helping to ensure that the race is safe and fair. If they do speak to you on the day day please do listen to them and be respectful and courteous.
Lake Temperature and Weather Forecast
The lake temperature at this time of year is usually around 18-20°C. For up to date information on the water please check the H2O Swim Centre https://hi5ski.co.uk/open-water-swimming/. BTF (British Triathlon Federation) rules apply regarding the wearing of wetsuits (please see page 11 of the rules here: https://www.britishtriathlon.org/britain/documents/events/competition-rules/british-triathlon-competition-rules-2019.pdf) – but in short, if the water temperature drops below 13° (extremely unlikely!) then wetsuits will be compulsory; between 14° and 22° wetsuits are optional, and at 23° and above, wetsuits are prohibited due to risk of overheating. However, we strongly recommend that all but the most experienced athletes wear wetsuits if the water temperature is below 23°.
A limited number of wetsuits are available to hire through the H2O Swim Centre; please email us with your requirements at least a week before the race and we will liaise with the swim centre to see if they have your size available.
Ensure that your kit is in good working order; please bring your own swim hat (free swim hats are not being provided this year, to minimise waste, although a limited number will be available to purchase at registration), swim goggles should be leak-free and should not mist up, your bicycle must be roadworthy with tyres, brakes and gears fully functioning and in good condition, bike helmets are compulsory, and running shoes should be fit for purpose. The run course is grassy and uneven under foot so plan accordingly. Think through each stage of the race: swim, T1 (first transition), bike, T2 (second transition) and run, to ensure you have covered everything that you will need for race day.
IMPORTANT NOTE, remember that there will be NO ATHLETE OR SPECTATOR PARKING AVAILABLE AT THE VENUE – if you come to the hotel to park you will be redirected to the designated parking area. Please note that this is different to previous years’ races and is now closer to the race venue.
Parking for athletes and spectators will be provided at nearby Green Park:
200/250 Longwater Avenue, Green Park, Reading RG2 6UB
The car park will be open from 05:00 on race morning and is a 1.6 km (~20 minute) walk or cycle from transition; please allow sufficient time. Please be aware that there is a height restriction of 2.1m for the majority of the car park. There will be a limited number of spaces for cars with bike racks on the roof, but if you do have a choice, then bringing your bicycle on a rear-mounted carrier or in your car would be HUGELY appreciated. Please follow any instructions from our car park marshals.
When you are returning to the car park after the race, be aware that there will almost certainly be other athletes still racing, so please take care and keep to the left.
There is a discretionary £2 charge for parking – please bring change with you! All money raised will go to our chosen charity Sport in Mind. You can read about the charity and its work in the local area here: https://www.sportinmind.org/
Exit the M4 at Junction 11 and head North towards Reading on the A33, staying in the left-hand lane. Do not turn left at the Madejski Stadium – continue to the entrance signposted to Green Park which is just after you have passed B&Q, on the left. The entrance to 350 Longwater Avenue is approximately 1 km down on the left; on entering Longwater Avenue you will be directed to the designated parking area. Please ensure you leave plenty of time to get to the site and register for the event.
From the car parking, look for the race signage to race registration.
Start Lists & Wave details:
Swim starts will follow the time trial format rolling start. Finalised race information will be sent to you via email by Friday 1st September, in which you will be allocated a 10 minute starting window for your wave. Please make sure firstname.lastname@example.org is in your safe sender list. If you don’t see any mail from us please check your spam folder before contacting us.
We will ask you to wait in the waiting area outside of the tennis courts, until your wave is called lake side to line up based on your 100 metre estimated swim pace. This is the time that it takes to swim 4 lengths of a 25 metre pool at your race pace (not your fastest ever 25m!)
There will be some signs on the side of the lake with four pace ranges …
- < 1:35 min per 100 metres
- 1:35 – 1:50 min per 100 metres
- 1:50 – 2:10 min per 100 metres
- > 2:10 min per 100 metres
By going in the right zone, you are more likely to swim with others around the same speed as you and this also minimises congestion and the need for overtaking.
You will then enter the lake over a timing mat, with competitors set off 10 seconds apart.
Please remember, there will be NO live race briefing. Instead, we have recorded a comprehensive race briefing at the venue available to watch.
You MUST ensure that you watch this briefing BEFORE you attend on race day, as it contains important safety and course information.
Provisional race start times are as follows:
Race Wave start time:
- The 1983 06:45
- Standard distance triathlon 08:00
- Aquabike 08:00
- Sprint distance triathlon 08:30
- Sprint relay 08:30
- Aquathlon 09:00
Registration will be on race day only.
1983 race registration opens at 05:30 and closes at 06:30.
All other races should register between 06:30 and 07:45, after which time registration will close.
This is a short window for the longer distance athletes register within; please do NOT try to register before 6am unless you are competing in the 1983 distance. It will significantly delay registration for all concerned.
You will need to go to the appropriate desk, which will be laid out in alphabetical order by surname, to pick up your Race Pack and timing chip, BEFORE you enter transition and rack your bike. You will be provided with 2 race numbers, 1 Helmet sticker & 1 Bike sticker. There will be instructions inside your race pack for how and where to affix your numbers. For the Aquathlon & Aquabike please disregard any stickers that you do not need. Check that all of the numbers in your pack are the same and ask if you are unsure.
The timing chip is valuable – make sure the chip and Velcro strap are secure and wear the chip UNDER your wetsuit. If you lose it you will have to pay £50 to replace it – so please look after it! Check your race pack carefully in case you have won a Golden Ticket! We will be giving away a number of free race entries to the Reading Triathlon and some other prizes, in randomly allocated race packs – don’t miss out!
There will be some bike racking at registration to facilitate registering prior to racking your bike in transition. Please be considerate of other athletes and do not spend any longer than absolutely necessary on this short-term racking. Once you have registered, make your way to transition (wearing your bike helmet, fastened and ready for checking) and rack your bike as directed by one of our friendly marshals. You cannot take anything out of transition without having your corresponding race numbers and bike/helmet stickers.
If you have pre-arranged to hire a wetsuit for the event, it will be ready for you to collect at registration. Please bring cash as directed to pay for the wetsuit hire.
The Reading Triathlon is a British Triathlon permitted event. If you are not a home nations e.g. Triathlon England member, you would have purchased a day licence when you entered the race, so you need to do nothing more. For more details on what day membership provides you, see here: British Triathlon Day Membership.
If you ARE a member, you MUST bring your membership card with you to registration, otherwise you will have to purchase a day licence, with cash. Day membership is £6. No exceptions!
There will be plenty of toilets available on site, and the toilet blocks will be very visible on the way to registration / transition . We will be checking for toilet paper supplies regularly!
- Sprint distance, Relay & Aquathlon one lap
- 1983, Standard distance, Aquabike two laps
- The 1983 course will be lengthened with an additional buoy to ensure it is 1600
Whilst the courses will be clearly marked with large marker buoys, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are familiar with the correct course for your event – details are in the video race briefing and there will also be a map of the course by the lake on race day. There will be marshals on hand to direct you to the start and kayaks on the water to ensure that you are heading in the right direction.
Once you have entered the water, you can spend a few seconds acclimatising to the water and then start when you are ready. Your time will start when you cross the timing mat on the pontoon just before you enter the water.
If, at any point during the swim, you start to feel unwell or are experiencing a problem, simply turn on to your back, raise your arm in the air and shout; a kayaker or support boat will come to your aid. There will be emergency cover at the swim exit.
You are ultimately responsible for your own safety and your navigation of the course although we do have a great team of marshals to help keep you safe and make sure you are travelling in the right direction. Please obey the marshals, and treat them with respect and good manners; remember they are there for your benefit and are volunteering their time to ensure you have a great race. Remember that most of the bike course is on roads open to traffic, so take care and always obey the Highway Code.
- There is one major right hand turn on the bike course. The turn comes at the junction where Palmer’s Lane meets Goring Lane >>Map Link<<. For your own safety, at this junction you MUST stop and remove your foot from your pedal and place it on the ground, in view of the marshals. Failure to do so will result in immediate disqualification. Participants have been disqualified in previous years, so don’t assume it won’t happen to you! You’ll see good warning of this junction and there will be a marshal there, but it is NOT their responsibility to ensure you put your foot down.
- There is a course split after at the Mortimer War Memorial >>MAP LINK<<. Here Sprint distance competitors should turn left. 1983, Standard and Aquabike competitors should turn right.
- 1983, Standard and Aquabike competitors will complete the new extended bike loop. You will then rejoin the Sprint bike course at the top of Mortimer Hill, turning at the War Memorial to rejoin the Sprint course.
- There is also one set of traffic lights on the bike course. However, these are on a section of closed road near the end of the bike leg >>MAP LINK<<. You are permitted to go through a red light here, but please do so carefully. No cars should be using this stretch of road, but you never know (and emergency vehicles will still have access.)
- The bike course is:
- Sprint distance: ONE 22km lap
- Standard distance and Aquabike: ONE 42km lap
- 1983: ONE 42km standard distance lap followed by one 22km sprint distance lap
This year we have a brand new run route for you. You will start with a single lap around the lake, before setting off towards the Kennet & Avon Canal. You’ll run along public footpaths and through fields. This includes grass and uneven surfaces; depending on recent weather conditions, trail shoes may be more appropriate.
There is a road crossing on the run course, which will cross over the bike route. Please listen to, and abide by, the marshals’ instructions here and only cross when instructed that it is safe to do so.
Once you arrive at the canal, those running 5km (Sprint distance athletes and Aquathlon) will turn right and run along the canal before being directed back across open fields towards the finish.
Those completing either the 10.5km or 21km runs will turn left at the canal and complete a longer route, past the Cunning Man pub (where there will be an aid station with water, sweets and bananas) towards Theale, before turning back and following the same route as the Sprint runners back to the finish. 1983 participants will complete 2 laps of the full run route.
The longer run route passes under a bridge. Please be aware that the canal towpath under the bridge is narrow, and single file only; please respect other competitors and pedestrians when passing under the bridge. There is also a stile about 100 metres after you have crossed the pedestrian footbridge.
Please be aware that the canal towpath is a public right of way, used by pedestrians and occasionally cyclists. Please be respectful of other users; we do not have exclusive access.
You will find full details including route maps of all the bike and run courses here: https://www.komoot.com/collection/2067162/embed
Cut Off Times
The 1983 race will have cut off times for the Bike and Run legs.
Bike Cut off time is 10:45am. Run cut off time is 13:00.
None of the other races will have any cut off times.
Relay participants will all need to collect their race packs at registration – one team member can collect all three. Relay change-overs MUST take place by your designated space in transition – nowhere else – and you’ll need to transfer the timing chip and strap from person to person here. Relay swimmers and cyclists should contact a transition area marshal to collect their finisher medal – you don’t have to wait until the end.
Water & Aid Stations
There will be one aid station on the 10.5km run route, close to The Cunning Man pub (located where the canal towpath crosses Burghfield Road), at 3.75km. As the run is an “out and back” along the canal, the aid station will also be accessible at 7.2km, 14km and 17.7km. Water and snacks and some Precision Hydration goodies from our race supporter will be available here.
There is no aid station on the Sprint / Aquathlon route.
Water and food will be available at the finish.
Finishing your race
Aquabike participants, your race will finish when you cross the timing mat at when you return to transition at the end of the bike leg (rack your bike and make your way to the finish line to get your medal and finisher gift).
All other races finish when you cross the finish line.
Other Operational Information
- Please make sure you bring your own swim hat (unless you purchased one when registering). In order to minimise waste we are not providing swim hats for this year’s event.
- We will supply safety pins to pin your numbers to your shirt if required; alternatively you may use a race belt and some will be available to purchase on the day – bring £5 in cash if you will need to buy one.
- Please make sure you bring your own water bottles for the bike course (there is no aid station on the bike course) and use sunscreen if necessary. As the swim is in open water, we would respectfully ask that you use sunscreen that is “reef safe” for the benefit of the aquatic environment and organisms.
- Mark the inside of your wetsuit with your name and contact details. Make sure you take the correct wetsuit home!
- For everybody’s safety, ear pieces / iPods / phones are not allowed in transition or on the course on race day. You will be stopped during the race if you are using any of these devices.
- Bikes can only be removed from transition with matching race number and bike numbers.
- No bags or boxes will be allowed at your transition area adjacent to your bike, but there will be an allocated area in transition for you to leave a small bag or box. We are unable to take responsibility for any loss or damage, so any valuables are left at your own risk, but we will do our utmost to keep this area restricted to competitors only and a marshal will be allocated to oversee it at all times.
- Race Photos – we have three race photographers who are volunteers; they will be publishing race photos available for you to download Your race photos will be available to download in the week following the event; further details will follow in the post-race email.
- When you are returning to the car park, please keep LEFT on the road, as there may still be cyclists on the route, coming the other way back in towards the hotel.
- We are trying to minimise waste and in particular single-use plastic, so will be providing water in compostable cups at the finish line and the water station on the run course, or ideally you can bring your own water bottle or flexi-cup to fill up.
After you have finished your event please stay around for the Podium presentation Ceremony, encourage the athletes still out there racing the course and just enjoy the atmosphere. The presentation will commence as soon as possible after 11:30 am adjacent to the finish chute.
There will be a range of support on hand for your every need before and after the event, and to keep your supporters and spectators happy and well fed. Our marshals are experienced and enthusiastic triathletes and if you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to ask.
We will have two massage therapists on site for pre- or post-race massage – a great way to ready yourself to race and to aid your recovery after the event. Please bring some cash along.
We will have hot food available on site to purchase.
Barista style coffee and delicious cakes will also be available from a local(ish) coffee shop and bakehouse.