Whilst we have all been missing our regular fix of triathlon racing, one positive of the current situation is the proliferation of new and innovative race formats and virtual events, which have been seen across a whole range of distances and disciplines in the endurance sports world, and will no doubt continue into the ‘new normal’.
This was also the case recently for the first round of the German Bundesliga Triathlon Series, a team-based championship, similar to the more well-known French Grand Prix circuit, which a number of our performance athletes compete in. The replacement event was scheduled as a virtual time trial over 800m swim and 5km run – each to be completed on the same day, timed and filmed with results uploaded to an online platform.
Issy Morris, a current Welsh Performance Programme and NTPCW member, made her ‘debut’ for the EJOT-Busschutten team and performed very well, including a personal best over the 5km run, showing her hard work during ‘lockdown’ has been paying off. This was enough to see her take the win, ahead of her teammate and one of the most experienced athletes on the European circuit Yuliya Yelistratova. Between them, the pair also helped EJOT to the team title. Results and report are here (in German):
Issy was pleased with her performance, commenting:
“I was quite anxious about the prospect of doing a race, as it was my first time competing for my German team and only my sixth time back in the pool after four months away, so the idea of a swim time trial wasn’t the most appealing! However, I was pleasantly surprised with my time, albeit a fair margin off my PB. On the run, I was happy to secure a new PB and it was great to be able to put my lockdown fitness to some use, as the lack of swimming has enabled me to remain quite consistent with my cycling and running. When my EJOT Team Manger messaged to say I had won the competition and so had the team it was a huge surprise and a great boost for my training with the minimal races this year.”
Like the rest of us, Issy is looking forward to the return of ‘proper’ triathlon competition, whenever the situation allows.
In the meantime, why not grab a piece of the Virtual Racing action, with the inaugural Welsh Triathlon National Championships, which are taking place on Zwift this weekend – sign-up details are here.