‘The inaugural Maxifuel Marlow Half Iron Distance race took place this weekend, the first event of this distance to take place within the Thames Valley. Organized by the team at F3 Events, the event is made up of a 1.9km river swim (although this was shortened to 1.5km due to strong currents,) 86km bike and 20km run. Located in the scenic grounds of Higginson Park, Marlow it offers the perfect grassy venue for the event, offering direct access to the river and surrounding amenities of the town. In light of uncontrollable river conditions causing the cancellation of the swim at the Toshiba Windsor Triathlon last weekend as well as yesterday’s Henley Classic Swim, athletes would have been happy to find out that the swim had simply been reduced in length, and not cancelled.
The morning started off a little wet and windy, like that which we have become accustomed to in recent months. Due to heavy rainfall the night before, the decision was made to shorten the swim from 1.9km to 1.5km, a sensible decision given the current in the river remains quite strong. The swim course followed an out and back course, the first half being a battle with the unrelenting headwind of the current, and the way back an opportunity for athletes to bask in the downstream flow. All athletes finished the swim, and some very quick splits were posted, demonstrating how well the athletes were able to cope with the conditions.
Leaving T1, the bike course began with a gentle incline, which meant that the legs of all athletes were tested from the very outset. On the whole the bike was fast and flat though, enabling athletes to race against each other and enjoy the speed of the rolling hills. The wet and windy conditions only added to the challenge faced by athletes, but some very quick times were posted in light of this.
The run can only be described with one word, muddy. Meandering its way along the tow path and surrounding area, the course consists of four fast and flat laps of 5km. However, due to the downpour overnight, the route became exceptionally wet and muddy. This meant that it offered a huge challenge for the runners, who had to do everything they possibly could do to stay on their feet. A few got well into the spirit of things and stopped to have a roll around, whilst others just kept running through it- accepting the challenge of the conditions head on.
As they finished the race, athletes were greeted by the energetic Emma Jenkinson from Em Powers.Eu who dashed around with her microphone welcoming in athletes and lifting the spirits of those who had struggled in the mud. The rain and wind of the morning was replaced by blue skies and sunshine in the early afternoon, which meant that many athletes took to the River Thames for a second time to wash down their muddy bodies!
Martyn Edwards, Race Director of F3 Events said, ‘We are really pleased with the result of our inaugural Maxifuel Marlow Half Iron Distance race. The conditions were made difficult by the elements, but all athletes took it all in their stride and it was rewarding to see the smiles on the faces of those that finished – covered in mud, we might add!’ Martyn continued, ‘I would like to thank everyone that came along to race and support this first event, we have had some fantastic feedback and we can’t wait to get started on preparations for our 2013 event.’ The full results can be viewed here
The next event in the F3 Events series will be the Marlow Sprint/Olympic triathlons on 15th July 2012. For more details about these events, and to find out who to enter then visit www.f3events.co.uk