Race Day Information
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.
Please do not attend the event if you have any Coronavirus symptoms, have tested positive during the last 10 days or have been contacted by NHS track and trace and told to isolate.
When on the event site, you should ensure that you remember the following throughout your event day experience:
- Whilst social distancing regulations have been removed, please be considerate and respectful to other participants and volunteers
- Maintain good hygiene. Use hand sanitiser throughout your event experience and try to minimise interaction with touch points
- Hand sanitiser will be available at registration, in the toilets and at the finish area. We would recommend you bring your own sanitiser with you though
This year the event briefing will be via video. It is your responsibility to watch this prior to the event to fully understand how the event will work.
We have limited numbers compared to previous years to allow for more space in transition.
The swim start will take place in a time trial format, rather than a mass start.
Code of conduct
We do ask all of our competitors, spectators and marshals to apply by the British Triathlon Code Of Conduct throughout the event. In the main please be respectful of your fellow competitors and marshals, practice 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 Zoe Hawkins. Zoe 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: https://www.britishtriathlon.org/britain/documents/events/competition-rules/british-triathlon-competition-rules-2020.pdf
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-2020.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 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; 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 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.
Ample parking for athletes and spectators will be provided at nearby Green Park at:
100 Longwater Avenue, Green Park, Reading RG2 6GP
The car park will be open from 06:00 on race morning and is approximately 1.2 miles walk or cycle from transition; please allow plenty of time. It might be a good idea to bring only what can be carried in a backpack, and then cycle over with it.
Please be aware that there is a height restriction 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 be aware that you will be filtered accordingly by our car park marshals.
In addition, when you are returning to the car park after the race, be aware that there will likely 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 Katie’s Legacy. You can read about Katie Henderson, in whose memory the legacy was founded, here: Tribute to Katie. Funds raised by Katie’s Legacy go to the British Triathlon Foundation Trust.
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 100 Longwater Avenue is approximately 200m 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 the Reading Lake Hotel, RG30 3UN.
Start Times & Race Briefing
Wave Start times:
In order to comply with BTF event guidance, and to ensure the safety of our entrants and event crew, there will be no mass starts this year.
Each competitor will be given a ten minute time window to start in. This will be communicated to you via email by Friday 10th September. (Please make sure email@example.com is in your safe sender list).
We will ask you to wait in the waiting area outside of the tennis courts, until your hat colour is called lake side to line up.
We will ask you to line up based on your 100 meter estimated swim time. This is the time that it takes to swim 4 lengths of a 25 metre pool at your race pace (not all out!)
There will be some signs on the side of the lake with 4 time windows
- < 1:35 min per 100 meters
- 1:35 – 1:50 min per 100 meters
- 1:50 – 2:10 min per 100 meters
- > 2:10 min per 100 meters
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 spaced 10 seconds apart.
Please remember, to further minimise mass gatherings, there will be NO live race briefing. Instead, we have recorded a comprehensive race briefing at the venue available to watch now. Please follow the link to view.
You MUST ensure that you watch this briefing BEFORE you attend on race day, as it contains important safety and course information.
Your wave / start time will be communicated to you on Friday 10th September, by email. Please ensure that 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.
Your swim hat colour will correspond to your wave start time.
|Olympic Distance||Sprint, Relay & Aquathlon|
|Yellow: 08:00 – 08:10||Red: 08:50 – 09:00|
|Orange: 08:10 – 08:20||Blue: 09:00 – 09:10|
|White: 08:20 – 08:30||Pink: 09:10 – 09:20|
Registration will be on race day only, from 06:30am. Follow the signage from the car park to find the registration area.
You will need to go to the appropriate desk [Olympic / Sprint & Relay] 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. Check that all of the numbers in your pack are the same and ask if you are unsure. The timing chip is valuable – please 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 are giving away a number of free race entries to the Reading Triathlon, a My Sporting Times event or Barnes Fitness event, and a 1-2-1 open water swim coaching voucher, in randomly allocated race packs – don’t miss out!
There will be some bike racking at registration to facilitate registration prior to racking your bike in transition. Once you have registered, make your way to transition and rack your bike in your designated space according to race number. 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.
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. 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 adjacent to the finish line . We will be checking for toilet paper supplies regularly!
- Sprint distance, Relay & Aquathlon one lap
- Olympic distance two laps
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. 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 and raise your arm in the air; 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; we do have a great team of marshals to help keep you safe and make sure you are travelling in the right direction however. 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 are two right hand turns on the bike course; one minor, one major. For your own safety, you MUST stop and remove your foot from your pedal and place it on the ground, in view of the marshals at the major right turn; 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.
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 each bike lap. 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!
The bike course is:
- ONE LAP for the sprint distance
- TWO LAPS for the Olympic distance
Here you will find full details of the course: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30752500
- The sprint distance & Aquathlon run is three laps.
- The Olympic distance run section is six laps.
On your final lap you turn right to run down the finish straight, instead of heading straight on to start another lap – the finish gantry is VERY visible. A sensible suggestion is to spend a minute checking the route to the finish once you’ve registered. It is your own responsibility to count your laps. If you are worried you will lose count under the pressure of race conditions, you can use elastic bands on one wrist, which you transfer at the end of each lap to remind you how many you’ve done.
Remember that the run course is predominantly on a grassy track around the lake which may be affected by any recent weather – please watch your footing and run within your capabilities. If it has been very wet, then trail shoes may be more appropriate.
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.
There will be one water station located near the start of the run lap. Water will be in compostable cups; please use the bins provided to dispose of your cups where possible – we do understand that this can be difficult on the move! Water will be available at the finish.
Other Operational Information
- 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 sun block if necessary.
- Mark the inside of your wetsuit with your initials/name. 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 just within 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.
- Race Photos – we have two 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 you can bring your own water bottle 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 after 11:30am as possible in the area near the finish.
The Event Village
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 massage therapists on site to give you a post race massage if required. 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 & bakehouse.
There will also be an ice cream van on site (fingers crossed for some sunshine!).