Cotswold 113 is a middle distance triathlon race that takes place twice a year. It was previously in June and August but for 2021 will be June and July.
I’ve done the race 3 times! So it must be pretty good! From where I live in Coventry it’s super easy to get to and is also in a nice part of the county.
Despite being in the Cotswolds it’s actually pancake flat and super fast!
This makes it a great event for people doing their first middle distance race.
In addition the organisers go the extra mile to make it a race friendly to first timers by being generous with cut off times and also being approachable with questions.
They publish a cut off time of 7.5 hours from the start of the last wave but then say they’re pretty relaxed about it!! And I quote “Our take is that as long as you’ve not stopped at a pub on the bike course for a 2 hour roast dinner, and are still soldiering on, within reason we’ll keep the finish line open for as long as it takes for you to get there, and you’ll still get an official finish time and medal”.
Race day parking is in a field with a longish walk from the car to transition so make sure to allow for plenty of time.
It’s possible to camp the night before in some of the adjacent fields for a small fee. It’s not a formal campsite but they do put in some portaloos and I know lots of people who do this.
If you want to stay over there are lots of stunning Cotswold villages nearby that make for a nice overnight stop. This does mean that accommodation can be a bit expensive being a tourist destination.
There are no specific swim, bike or run cut offs.
They’re a small family run events company and super approachable. Graham who is the race organiser has a particular friendly style, so will send multiple long and friendly emails with race information about it.
They make a real effort to answer all your questions direct and responded quickly to all my obsessive and un-important questions about bag drop offs and such like.
They worked really hard all through summer 2020 to stay on top of the changing nature of the co-vid regulations and deliver 2 safe events in August and September. I like the fact they did this and it gives me a lot of confidence and faith in their business.
The swim is 1 lap of Lake 32 in Cotswold Water Park. There’s a little bit of a Zig/Zag so makes sure you know the course and where the buoys are. The lake is relatively shallow so will warm up and cool down quickly and is usually relatively warm compared to other places triathletes train. Being shallow it does mean it’s a bit weedy in places and in 2020 I ended up with some stuck on my face which was very disconcerting.
In 2020 there was a rolling swim start which meant it was super spread out and I had a lovely stress free swim and swam as fast as I did in 2019 despite the lack of swimming due to the covid lockdown. The down side of this is that it doesn’t feel much like a race which you get with a wave start as they’ve had in previous years (before covid).
There are lots of safety boats and kayakers on the water so you feels very well looked after. At swim exit there is a steep exit ramp and in years prior to covid always lots of volunteers helping to pull you out. In 2020 volunteers weren’t allowed to touch you, but there was still lots of support.
Transition is spacious, close to the swim and well organised.
The bike course is pancake flat with lots of volunteers out marshalling and enough supporters to make it fun. In 2020 there were no feed stations provided due to covid but in previous years it was all very well organised.
The road surface is a bit poor in a lot of places on the bike course so make sure you’ve screwed everything down tight and also keep your eye out for pot holes! In 2020 both myself and another client had bottle cages and saddle bolts rattle loose.
The run course is several laps on single track paths around the water park and some on the road. It’s pancake flat and nice to run around. There are lots of spots with tonnes of spectators which makes it fun. The only downside is being so narrow it can be hard for faster runners to overtake on some of the paths.
There were 2 feed stations per lap in 2020 with energy drink and water which worked perfectly well with covid restrictions.
The volunteers and marshals are always super encouraging, friendly, helpful and supportive. In particular in 2020 it felt like they went the extra mile to make some noise given that there weren’t so many spectators around.
In 2020 the only other difference for covid was that transition was neutralised to save people rushing through and not social distancing. This meant that everyone had 10minutes to use in transition and if you went over that time it was added to your finishing results. This made for a different and more relaxed racing environment as well as big queue for the toilet! I’m not sure if they’ll continue this for 2021.
As I say I’ve done this race 3 times I’m booked again for 2021.