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REVIEW: DB Max Westonbirt Triathlon 2023

REVIEW: The Westonbirt Triathlon 2023

This Spring, our fitness blogger Matt Gleed took on The Westonbirt Triathlon, which takes place in the stunning grounds of Westonbirt House each year. Here's what Matt made of his race experience...

The Westonbirt Triathlon organised by DB Max is an indoor 400m pool swim in a heated 20m pool, a 22k bike ride in 1 loop around beautiful countryside near Tetbury and a 5k run of 3 laps around the grounds of Westonbirt School with all your family, friends and other supporters seeing you finish your laps of glory.

I have done a lot of triathlons before of every distance from sprints, mids and long courses so I have plenty to compare against but with the pandemic and then my focus on running marathons I still found myself a little nervous. I found the volunteers and staff really friendly, and extremely well organised with loud voices for every athlete near them. 

This would be a great first triathlon event as the distances are short but mainly because the layout and positioning of everything from car park on-site, to finishing shoot support works really well. The big plus for a new athlete is the bike course is really good, it will be where you spend most of your time racing and yes some small hills but in the countryside you will always get that. The swim was a 20m pool so pushing off the ends can help. It's important to note that the transition from pool to bike is 500m away, so having shoes to get on and get moving makes it a bit different. However, objectively some of the long course races I've done have taken me further and finding your bike has been difficult where Westonbirt is spaced out and organised really well. Plus, spinning that transition positively it gave me time to refocus and think about the next part. 

I only did a couple of swims and bike rides before this race so relied on my general fitness but the cycle was great fun. I’m nowhere near the speed of the fast riders and always have a bit of admiration for the sleek and speedy bikes racked up before the refreshing reality that many of the people on the bike course were on mountain bikes and wearing trainers moving at 10mph and doing the best they could. To me, this is good as it shows it's a race for everyone but letting the competitive side of me out for a moment I knew I wasn’t last.

The bike course takes you through a few villages and past the fine dining establishment of Whatley Manor. It’s all well signposted and marshalled with medics and mechanics on the course if needed. My chain came off twice as I was over-eager on gear changes or maybe just hadn’t got used to when to use them best and it all felt like a course that you could work hard on for the higher ability riders and equally achievable for the newbies. 

Back to the Westonbirt School, after a few left turns on the bike course came the run. Three laps on the pathway and the playing fields give you a chance to hear your supporters and either walk, jog or compete to the finish line. It’s on the run course that you truly take in the age ranges, abilities and diversities of all the athletes. With a medal in hand and plenty of professional photos being taken by Charles Whitton Photography the DB Max announcer shouts your name and gets the completion celebration smile started. 

There is plenty of parking, toilets, refreshments, food and supporters and on a Bank Holiday Weekend, it was a great event for all participants and supporters together. I would recommend this event for all levels, especially new and look forward to doing it again myself. My race was completed in a total time of 1:27 with Swim 9:26, Bike 49:05, and run 21:51. The winner finished in a total of 1:09 and all racers came under 3hrs.

The results are on dumasresults.co.uk and pictures on the charleswhittonphotography.com sites.

Review by Matt Gleed

DB Max: Race Timing & Multisport Events

DB Max: Race Timing & Multisport Events

DB Max provide race timing and multisport, running and cycling events.

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