“The run is possibly my favourite discipline of the day. It is confined within the castle grounds, it is largely off-road so choose appropriate footwear – I find race flats fine, but if conditions are wet and you find running off-road difficult at the best of times then perhaps a shoe with more grip would be a better choice. Like the bike, the course is tough so pace yourself for the two laps! Apart from that, enjoy the weekend. I always say the Castle Series events are more than just a race!”
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Carol’s tips for the Gauntlet
“Hever’s swim course is really beautiful but, as with all open-water swims, navigating the course is challenging. Make sure you wear tinted goggles – the sun will dazzle your vision otherwise. On some parts of the course you’re very close to the bank, so use it to guide your direction when you breathe to the side. This will reduce the number of times you’ll need to lift your head to look forward.
“It’s an obvious and very common tip, but really make sure you practise swimming in your wetsuit. It’s very different to swimming without. Also rehearse taking your wet wetsuit off quickly for transitions.
“The course at Hever is not what you might expect for this part of England. There are quite a few hills and some that are pretty steep. Make sure your bike has suitable gears. I used 11/25 on the back and 53/39 on the front. Try to spin as much as you can on the climb, conserving enough energy to power over the top so your speed increases as quickly as possible immediately afterwards.
“Nutrition is obviously very important in the Gauntlet. There are a number of food stations along the bike and run routes, which is great, but make sure you have your own supply of gels and bars just in case you miss the food stations. After the race, you will be very dehydrated so be sure to drink plenty. I find isotonic sports drinks like Erdinger are very good to rehydrate after the event.
“The run is two 10.5km laps on a mix of road, trail and bridleways so keep an eye on the pre-race weather and choose your footwear accordingly. Although it’ll be a tough day, make the most of the experience. There is a great atmosphere and the finishing chute is lined with spectators. I can guarantee it will feel amazing running the last 100m to the line.”
Make sure you take time to visit the 220 Triathlon stand at Hever if you’re there this weekend – and look out for 220’s Helen and Matt who are both racing! Are you racing too this weekend? Let us know in the comments!