31st Blaenafon Triathlon Sunday 11 May 2014

I thought that having organised this event for 25years I had done my stint, so when NEWT, who had run it for 5 years, said they no longer wanted to be involved, I started to look for some way to keep my creation going.

I tried other Welsh clubs but it was a forlorn hope, as most already organise events or were too far away, so I was about to give up when I heard about a new club in nearby Abergavenny and, to my profound relief, they expressed an interest. However, having no experience of organising, they wanted a year of helping in the background before hopefully taking it on next year. Well that left me to take up the reins again, but for one year only. Fortunately the core team from the last few years, Brian, Lloyd and Dave, were willing to help, and without them the event wouldn't have taken place, so many thanks. The bulk of the marshals came from the Y-Fenni (Abergavenny) Tri Club however, and didn't they do a good job!

A few minor problems such as the park gate we usually use being locked and no key, and the cold windy weather, but I hope it didn't spoil your enjoyment too much. Humble apologies about the results. All was going well until we were rushing to enter the times from the last heat, who were the fastest on paper and likely to feature in the prizes. Something then went wrong with the sort and it all got scrambled. We have now checked them and they should now be correct.

I think we got most of the prizes correct but in the chaos I can't be sure. So please, if you are a category winner and didn't get a prize let me know, and if you got a prize you didn't win, again please get in touch.

As I mentioned, it was great to see competitors helping each other out loaning goggles and pumps etc, and the marshals really appreciated the thanks you gave them as you passed.

A few gripes however.

Firstly, the discarding of litter (Gel sachets) in the park and on the mountain, and presumably elsewhere, just isn't on. The Park authorities could easily refuse permission for future events, and if sheep eat them and fall ill we could be sued and/or banned from using the land. So please don't do it here or elsewhere, you damage the reputation of the sport and risk its future.

Secondly, cheating. It is a complicated route, but 95% managed to correctly complete the course. I heard of at least four competitors who approached the finish of the cycle route from the wrong direction, strongly suggesting they had cut short the cycle route by at least 2 miles. I'm sure it wasn't intentional, but it would have been nice if they had declared themselves non competitive without prompting. It seems we will have to go back to checking numbers at key points of the course.

Anyhow, on to next year. The current plan is for Y-Fenni Tri Club to run the event next year. They are obviously based in Abergavenny and, if feasible, they will probably base the event there. However, just as when we were forced to move the event from Blaenafon to Pontypool, it should be possible to keep the bike route very similar. It would clearly require a change to the run route, but the nearby Sugar Loaf mountain has some very nice tracks up it, so don't expect it to get any easier!

Thanks for supporting the event, and we hope to see you next year!

Gareth Buffett and The Organising Team