This weekend is Long Course Weekend for Tenby in Pembrokeshire.
A festival of sport, over three days, that has grown to include events and distances for all ages and abilities.
The main competition for serious long distance triathletes, and those preparing for Ironman Wales at the same venue in September, is the 3.8km swim on the Friday evening, the 112 mile sportive on Saturday followed by the full Wales Marathon on Sunday.
Although you can enter each event separately, do as many as you like, and have a choice of distances for each discipline, there is an overall competition for the athlete that completes the full distance at each event in the shortest time.
That competition has been won on four occasions by Tenby native, welsh Ironman record holder and Pedalcover sponsored triathlete Olly Simons.
He’s back this year in search of his fifth title and is in good form. Recent results include a win at the tough Titan Brecon middle distance triathlon, where he also set a new course record, and a second place finish at last weekend’s Equaliser Triathlon, again a half ironman distance event.
We caught up with Olly and asked for his tips for the forthcoming weekend of events:
Positioning is key. It’s a mass start on the Friday evening so make sure you position yourself according to your ability and be ready for the melee. Sighting can be difficult with the sun going down behind the hotels on the cliff top so make sure you sight often and give your legs a good strong flurry of kicks just before the end of the first lap to prepare for the short run.
Olly’s hoping for good weather for the bike as it can make a huge difference. Be ready for a fast first half of the course and don’t go out too hard, saving something in reserve for the lumps and drags in the latter half of the event. The course will be busy so ride in a group if you can, sharing the effort and saving energy.
The run will be the hardest day, and its a tough course. There’s a fairly flat jog out to Pembroke to start but a hilly run back, especially up through Manorbier. Olly suggests you hold back early on in the run and make sure you carry your own nutrition. You’ll find the aid stations are a little more spread out than on the Ironman marathon so you may need gels and fluid more often than are available.
Olly is not only hoping to win this weekend, but also to use the events as key training sessions for Ironman Wales in September. You can follow Olly’s progress this season on his website here:
And if you are competing this weekend let us know how you get on via @Pedalcover on Twitter, or at https://www.facebook.com/pedalcoverinsurance/