Tuesday, January 24, 2012

ACROSS THE POND....

Me in our old hometown of Bath, England. Now we call Yorkshire our second home.
Oh, how I love England. Oh, how I love to have two amazing places we can call home. One here in NC and one in majestic England. I am really missing England at the moment. I cannot wait to head back to the UK in a couple months!!! I woke this morning to find an email about London Triathlon in my inbox. I won't be racing in the UK this year but I wanted to take a few minutes to write about three fantastic races in England that you should try. If you've ever thought about heading over the pond to race...these are 3 must do races in the UK!

First off in June every year, there is Blenheim Tri.  Blenheim Triathlon is just outside of Oxford England. The race is on the grounds of the Blenheim Palace which is just breath taking. The Palace was built in 1705 and is one of England's largest homes. It is the birthplace on Sir Winston Churchill. Here are a few photos...
Transition in front of the palace


Me on the bike course at Blenheim
Me on the run at Blenheim
Blenheim is a fun race and definitely worth it!!

Next up and also in June...The Royal Windsor Triathlon. Now this one is pretty awesome and one of my faves. If you love history, this one is really special. I absolutely love everything about the history of England. Especially the monarchy and especially the Tudor Period.  If you know English history at all, you will appreciate this race. The race is in London England...obviously. The swim takes place in The River Thames.

The River Thames history dates back over 10,000 years ago. I will tell you that this is probably the coldest swim I have ever done. With water temps in the low 60's! I've been fortunate to hit this one when there hasn't been loads of rain, so the current hasn't been too bad, but hit this one during the rains and you're in for a rough go. The swim exit is also hidden and I've missed it along with many others. You have to swim around an island then back up to the exit.  The swim goes by pretty quick and then it's off on the bike through the rolling hills in London. The bike course is great and it's always fun riding on the opposite side of the road than here in the US. The run is probably my fave apart from 'the hill'. The run is mostly flat and takes you through the old streets of London. The worst part of the run is the dreaded hill (everyone that does this race knows 'the hill'). You have to run up a long steep hill around the beautiful Windsor Castle...twice!
Coming back down 'the hill'
 I couldn't help but think of all the history of this beautiful place as I was doing the race. I almost got lost in the moment when running around the castle. You just can't seem to take your eyes off of it. I love this race!! My hubby has won this great race before. It's definitely worth a trip over the pond!

Also, there is the London Triathlon. The London Triathlon is the World's Largest Triathlon.  This race takes place in London as well and it's usually in August but this year it's in Sept because of the Olympics. This a great race and when they say it's the largest in the world...be prepared. It's HUGE! Over 15,000 triathletes from all over the world do this one each year.

The swim takes place in London Docklands. This was the second coldest swim that I have ever done with water temps at 64 degrees on race day.

This is a deep water start and you do have to swim out into the middle and tread water for about 10 minutes before the start. The swim is out and back and goes by pretty quick with little current. The bike course is awesome and goes through London allowing you to see some pretty amazing sites such as Big Ben, the Tower of London, The Tower Bridge and  The London Eye.
The bike is fairly flat with a few rollers. I loved this bike course! The run is completely flat and fast. This one is well worth doing and experience of a lifetime!

Me just after finishing the largest triathlon in the World!
 And of course there's always the Ironman UK 70.3 which is the hardest 70.3 in the circuit. Rich has won this one in the past too and it's a doozy. Too many hills to even begin to tell you about. If you want a tough challenge, then this one is def for you.

If you do get the chance to head over the pond, try one of these races out!! With the fantastic views that you get along the way in every race...you'll be glad you did. Oh, and just for the record....make sure to take your wetsuit!!

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