Race report on Helvellyn from Head Coach Ben

Helvellyn triathlon involves going up the Helvellyn mountain two ways. The race is billed as a half distance but with discipline distances of 1/38/9 miles it is short all-round, this is compensated by adding some changes in altitude.

HQ for the race is next to Ullswater. The race info is good although the scheduled time table is not stuck to. This was epitomised by the 28 minutes race briefing which delayed the start of the race.

The 1 mile lap in Ullswater was nippy with the 15°C water temperature causing the typical numbness. The swim does have the nice views around the lake.

The bike route only has three big climbs, two of note. Both of these either need a granny gear or result in a grinding low cadence (~50) at about 6 miles an hour. The second climb 'the struggle' puts you deep in the red, and this makes it satisfying when your at the top. The top also marks the highest point the road goes up Helvellyn. The bike leg has some long descents which allow a reasonable average speed to be achieved.

I believe the run could provide some incredible views. My experience was 40m visibility in a cloud for 40 minutes of the run. It started with a 1km run to the bottom of the mountain. By the time I got there all my fellow competitors were hiking the climb and I just copied. The climb is in two parts, with the last 200m to the summit being a scramble along a ridge. The lack of visibility helped to not reveal the drop.

This event attracts fell runners although they have to fight their instincts and stick to the paths. When it comes to the run descent, boy can they move, almost constantly falling with style. Considering the weather was miserable, there were loads of marshals along the run course and with good signage.

This is a good event and I would recommend it as it is a bit different from your normal Tri.

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