Whilst searching the Runner’s World website recently for some events (I’ve taken up running this year and have already entered the Cranleigh 10k in July!), I spotted an interesting triathlon taking place in Cranleigh this summer.
The Vachery Triathlon Festival takes place at Vachery Estate from 25th to 27th August 2012. Whilst I won’t be ready for a triathlon by August, a few of my friends who have completed triathlons before are very keen to enter.
Here are some more details about the event.
Vachery Pond (pictured) is an open water swimmers dream. It’s a tree lined spring fed 900m long private reservoir and it’s the swim venue for the Vachery Triathlon Festival.
It’s an astonishing fact that this beautiful expanse of open water remains unknown to the public at large when it is only minutes from London and its major motorways and it is located right in the middle of the British Triathlon Federation’s South East region with the country’s highest levels of triathlon participation in the country.
The Festival organisers hope that this remarkable stretch of water and its convenient location will help the 25-27 August Bank Holiday’s Vachery Triathlon Festival, a weekend of road and Xtri cross triathlon racing, with camping and fun activities for kids of all ages become an annual must do event for the region’s triathletes.
Vachery pond is part of the 12th century Vachery Estate near Cranleigh, Surrey. The estate is located in the shadow of the Surrey Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The surrounding country lanes are well known and loved by cyclists of all abilities and without doubt they’ll be even more famous if Mark Cavendish can stay with the leaders as they repeatedly climb the ZigZags on nearby Box Hill to win a gold medal at the Olympic road race later this year.
The Olympic connection doesn’t stop there.
As you would imagine with such an ancient unspoilt expanse of water Vachery Pond has not got permanent access, a slipway or steps to deal with the large number of swimmers the event will attract. The organisers chanced upon a handy solution by hiring the actual pontoon that the London Olympic triathletes and Long distance swimmers will dive from into the Serpentine and Olympic history.
The moment the London Olympic event ends it will be packed up and transported directly to The Vachery Estate where it will be stored before being floated on the Pond. Fingers crossed if one of the Brownlees bros or Helen Jenkins win gold the opportunity to follow in their footsteps on that pontoon will inspire some great swimming at Vachery Pond.
The weekend fun begins at midday on Saturday 25th August when the campsite (immediately next door to the transition area and race village) opens. Athletes for the following day’s races are able to register then or up to an hour before their race start.
The Saturday afternoon and evening is all about relaxing, enjoying the location and maybe a pre-race drink at the bar with family and friends
The road triathlon race programme starts early on Sunday morning 26th August with Sprint and Standard distance events for individuals and a relay for teams. The road triathlon bike courses are on country roads that are relatively flat and feature new smooth tarmac surfaces.
Cross triathletes get a very rare pre-race lie in, because the Festival’s cross tri action which includes the only round of The Scott Xtri series in the South of England starts in the afternoon after the roadies have finished racing.
The swim section is the same as their road counterparts. However the cross bike section is on a 15km lap route designed by eight times XTERRA world championship round winner Sam Gardner. His fast lap course features water’s edge single-track and uses tracks and trails to visit every area of woodland on the large estate.
Road and off-road triathlons use the same 5 and 10km run courses which are on relatively flat tracks, trails and paths including part of the nearby Downs Link, a disused railway line forming part of the 37 miles (59km) long-distance path linking St Martha’s Hill, near Guildford, to near Shoreham on the south coast.
More information about the event on the 25-27th August is available at www.vacherytriathlon.com.
The Vachery Triathlon Festival 25th – 27th August features the following races on Sunday 26th August 2012
Morning race schedule (road-triathlon)
• Road individual Sprint distance triathlon – 750m swim; 16km bike and 5km run – £40 BTF member, £44 non member
• Road individual Standard distance triathlon – 1500m swim; 40km bike and 10km run – £50 BTF member, £54 non member
• Road team relay Standard distance triathlon – 1500m swim; 40km bike and 10km run – £60 a team
Afternoon race schedule (cross-triathlon)
• Individual cross triathlon sprint distance – 750m swim; 15km bike and 5km run – £40 BTF member, £44 non member
• Individual Scott Xtri Series standard distance – 1500m swim; 30km bike and 10km run – £50 BTF member, £54 non member
• Relay Team Xtri standard distance – 1500m swim; 30km bike and 10km run – £70
Will any of our iCranleigh website visitors be taking part?