Something for everyone at the London Triathlon 2012
When taken seriously, triathlon competitions can presentcompetitor with one of the most gruelling physical tests on theplanet. 'Iron Man' length competitions involve athletesconsecutively tackling swimming, cycling and running courses, whichare all long enough to offer testing races as standalone events,and it is true to say that the top triathletes in the world areamong the fittest specimens of humanity.
Despite this fact, the main point of the London Triathlon 2012is not elite competition but mass participation. The majorityof the projected field of 13,000 competitors will be ordinarypeople, many of whom will be racing to raise money forcharity. There are a host of personal benefits to be enjoyedby those taking part, including the triumphant parties taking placein many London hotels for those that have succeeded in completingtheir chosen event.
There are two basic types of race in the London Triathlon,within which there are several subcategories. The main eventon Sunday 23rd September is the testing Olympic distancerace, which involves a 1500m swim, 40km cycle and 10km run. This isthe standard triathlon format, which is recognised around theworld. The vast majority of entrants in the London Triathlonwill be competing at this distance.
The sprint events, as the name suggests, involve much shortercourses. The Super Sprint format involves a manageable 400mswim, 10km cycle, and 2.5km run. While this, like every otherrace category, will attract some serious athletes, looking forimpressive race times, the Super Sprint also offers an importantentry-level target for non-athletes.
Most people have a realistic chance of completing a Super Sprintevent, without the need to commit to life changing amounts oftraining beforehand. In just a few months, the average personcould feasibly gain the fitness demanded by the Super Sprintdistance, although those with only basic swimming skills may need alittle longer to prepare.
The sprint event format is a 750m swim, followed by a 20km cycleand then 5km run. Most people who make regular use of a gymmembership should be able to tackle this length of triathlon.
Thanks to the growing popularity of triathlon events, fundingthe sport is no longer such a barrier to entry. Participantsdo not need to buy an expensive bike to train, they can simply rentthis on the day, and then tackle cycling training in the gym ifnecessary.
Another expensive item that you can now rent is a wetsuit, thisis in fact mandatory for any event taking place in water with atemperature below 14 degrees Celsius. In practice, thisincludes the majority of open water swims in the world, and mostdefinitely those that take place in the River Thames!
Full information on everything that you need to know aboutparticipating in the London Triathlon can be found on the officialwebsite. Beyond the physical preparations, perhaps the mostimportant thing to sort out, is accommodation at a London hotel, asin addition to the 13,000 participants, there are some 30,000spectators expected at the London Triathlon 2012, many of whom willbe coming from outside of the capital.