Final Instructions

Download .pdf version of Race Briefing

31st Blaenafon Triathlon Sunday 11 May 2014

Pontypool Active Learning Centre
NP4 8AT (Follow the brown Ski centre signs)

Dear Triathlete

Thanks once again for supporting our race, the 31st running (but hopefully not the last) of the longest continually held triathlon in the UK.


Registration will open from 09:30 on Sunday 11 May, in the function room behind reception in the leisure centre. Please note if you have entered as a BTA/WTA registered member you will be required to show your current race licence. There are no exceptions to this as it's a matter of insurance cover. Anybody without a current BTA/WTA licence will be issued with a day licence. If you haven't paid for it with your entry you will have to pay on the day. The current WTA set fee is £5.00. Sorry no licence no race.

At registration you will be issued with your race memento, a sticky number to be attached to the frame of your bike, (please attach this before you take it for racking in transition). You will also be numbered on your arm and leg. We intend closing registration at 12:00, after that late comers will need to report to transition.


Transition is situated in the access road at the rear of the centre and will be open from 0945am. Please note you must have registered prior to racking your bike. Only numbered athletes are allowed into transition, this is to help us keep your property secure. Please only enter and exit transition through the single entrance on the road end. Please do not try to climb over the fence or to enter from the pool end, and please do not ask anybody other than registered competitors to collect items from transition.

Space in transition is quite limited, so for you and your fellow racers' safety and convenience please try to limit the items you are bringing into transition. We would ask that spare kit be stored up on the grass verge behind your racking place. There is no room for kit boxes or bags to be stored with your bike at the racking.

The racking is numbered, please rack in your correct place, respecting the space of your neighbours. Odd numbers on the left and even numbers on the right.

Changing is available in the pool changing rooms. Lockers are 20p which is non returnable.

Please confirm your start time and heat number at registration; there will be a list available. There will also be a copy of the risk assessment carried out for the event and any details of last minute changes.

Race Briefing

There is a compulsory race briefing for all athletes, which takes place 10 minutes before the scheduled start time of your heat on the poolside at the changing room end towards the learning pool. (Please check at registration of any changes to heat times)


We intend to start the first heat at 10:30. Please see the start list for subsequent estimated start times. Although we will try to stick to these times, we have to allow for all swimmers in the previous heat to have cleared the pool before starting the next.

The swim is 800m, 32 lengths. You will be started on a whistle, with 10 seconds between each wave, 4 waves per heat. Please listen to the swim director, who will tell you what colour hat you need to wear. This dictates your wave within the heat. You will also be directed to swim either clockwise or anticlockwise within your lane. Please be aware of the other swimmers in your lane (up to 3 others). Normal rules are that a swimmer wishing to overtake will tap your toes. At the end of that length please pull to the side and allow them to pass. Please be courteous to your fellow athletes.

We have lane counters on each lane. At the end of 30 lengths they will push a '2' sign into the water in front of you, you have 2 lengths to go. At the end of the 32 lengths climb out of the pool, remove and leave your hat with the lane counter, and make your way to the fire exit at the deep end of the pool. Please take care of the wet surface in the pool, which will be slippery.

The changing rooms at the shallow end are available for anybody who wishes to change prior to the bike section. Remember there is to be no nudity in transition.

Take care on the steps leading down to transition; concrete can become slippery when wet. Enter transition from the pool end, using the appropriate side to collect your bike.


Transition at this point flows straight up the appropriate side of the racking and exits at the top on the Park road. DO NOT Remove your bike from the racking until you have fastened your helmet. Push your bike to the mount line, situated on the park road as you leave transition.

TAKE CARE. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. The park is open to the general public and we are only allowed to cycle here with the permission of the Park authorities. Please stay on the right hand side of the cones all the way to the park gates. YOU MUST be aware of any children and dogs running in the Park. They are unpredictable and you must be prepared to give way to them if they are on the road.

At the Park gates you are joining the traffic. Our marshals will do the best to get you safely out onto the road. They are expressly FORBIDDEN to stop the traffic; you must be prepared to give way.

Throughout the cycle route you must follow the normal Highway Code rules. Our marshals are there to help you but can not control the traffic. Please do not abuse the marshals - without them there will be no race.

Some of the cycle route is on mountain lanes, the road surfaces of which can, in some places, be really bad. We advise against using ultra light carbon wheels, save them for boring flat races! This winter has not been kind to the roads and there are a number of potholes, notably around the last main climb and descent. The council are in the process of fixing these and have marked the worst of them with paint. Whether they are fixed by race day we have no idea. Think of it like Paris to Roubaix!!!

On the major climbs the road can be very narrow - you may have to stop when encountering oncoming traffic. The course is arrowed and marshalled, however it is your responsibility to know the course. Please see the maps on our website and in registration. In the remote areas of the course we will also spray arrows on the road. Watch for these, if in doubt follow the ones painted on the road, we have in the past had indicating arrows turned around in some places.

Following consultation we have decided to keep the diversion, introduced 3 years ago, in place. As you descend past Blaenafon Ironworks and the turning to Big Pit, slow down as you will need to turn right across the traffic as the road bends left. Signed 'Forgeside'. Again our marshals will help you across safely. YOU MUST follow their directions and MUST give way to oncoming traffic. The marshals here are instructed to take numbers of any competitor who doesn't obey their instructions on crossing the road. Failure to comply with their directions will result in your DISQUALIFICATION. This alternative route does not involve any steeper or longer climbs than the main road, but avoids the traffic lights below the church. At the end of the diversion you have to again cross the traffic flow, visibility is good but be prepared to give way and listen for our marshal's instructions.

In Tal-Y-Waun there is another right turn across traffic. This is just after a right angle left turn in the main road. Again listen for our marshals' instructions to help you cross the traffic. Please Co-operate with them.

After The British climb be aware of the kamikaze sheep, they don't follow the normal rules of the road, and can appear from nowhere.

On the descent from The Pant junction, there is a very tight downhill hairpin, slow down or you WILL NOT make the bend. St John's is stationed at the bottom of this hill in Hafodrynys.

Throughout the bike course please remember this is a non drafting event. There aren't motorbike referees, so imposing penalties on drafters is difficult. BUT corroborated reports of drafting, from marshals and competitors will result in a NAME and SHAME at the presentation. Its cheating, we don't like it DON'T do it.

On returning to the park, there is a right hand turn across the traffic, again listen to our marshals to help you cross the traffic in safety. In the park stay on the left of the cones. This is also the run out, so be aware of runners coming towards you.

Dismount at the dismount line and wheel your bike to your racking spot. Transition is now ONE WAY, ANTI Clockwise, Bike In on the right and run out on the right. Do not unclip your helmet until your bike is racked. Once racked, continue on in an anticlockwise direction around transition - it's the fairest way to equalise the distances.


On leaving transition be aware of bikes coming in. Try to run on the grass on the right, but always give way to the cyclists.

This year the canal bank has been surfaced so underfoot conditions should be good. However, note that the exit from the canal path is a few yards earlier than in previous years. As you leave the canal there is a water/energy drink station on the bridge over the canal.

The climb up to The Folly does get increasingly rough with the underfoot conditions potentially slippery in the wet. At the top of the lane is the second water station, turn right and climb to The Folly, loop around the Folly, retrace your steps to the water station, carry straight on. This section contains several styles and small gates.

Back in the park the descent is very steep and will be slippery in the wet, please bare this in mind with your choice of footwear.

The finish is down an avenue of trees on the grass opposite transition.

Presentation & Buffet

The buffet in the function room at the leisure centre is open to all athletes and volunteers from about 2:30, with a bar for much needed re-hydration. We aim to have the results as soon as possible after the last finisher has completed the course. We use hand timing to keep costs and your entry fee down, so it does take a bit longer.

Friends and supporters are welcome to the function room, but please let the athletes and volunteers eat first - They've earned it. (But we don't want to waste the food).

We look forward to meeting you all on the 11th

Gareth, Brian, Lloyd, Dave and the Y Fenni Tri Club