123 CROSS TRI
17th September 2017 | Catie Friend, Verbier
Verbier’s first 123 Cross Triathlon has taken place. But what was it? A family event that had something for everyone. NEW
We were lucky with the weather – the days preceeding it had been cold, wet and miserable but the day dawned bright and sunny over the “gouille” on Le Chable.
What was not down to luck was the incredible amount of hard work and effort that went into organising one of the best family days out we had all summer.
Rob Spears, Karin Pethebridge, Annabelle Common and their team had worked tirelessly to organise a cross triathlon that had something for everyone.
There were categories for all – sprint and Olympic distance triathlon, relays in both distances and swim/run and bike/run duathlons.
Not forgetting the Kids’ Triathlon, which saw athletes as young as five taking part.
In total, 104 competitors turned out to take advantage of the great weather, welcoming atmosphere and well thought out courses.
The swimming took place in the gouille, the local gravel pit – surprisingly warm and inviting on a chilly morning.
The bike leg was reasonably tough, with about 700m of vertical and some fairly technical single-track descents.
I know because I did it as part of a relay team and it was a bit beyond my comfort zone!
The run course was mainly flat and, as with all great triathlons, brought the long distance competitors right through the crowd on their way out for a second loop, giving the very vocal crowd something to cheer about.
There was zorbing and speed boat rides on the water, rock painting and fake tattoos for the kids, beer, wine, BBQ and, of course, raclette on offer for all.
All these extra activities as well as post-event pasta were included in the entry fee, even for the kids.
The finishers’ medals were beautiful, made from wood with the logo scorched onto them – very eco!
Talking of which, a concerted effort was made to recycle, reuse and keep waste to a minimum, meaning at the end of the day there was only ONE big bag full of waste!
A few teething problems, such as needing a few more bits of signage on the bike course and better organisation of the prize giving, but overall a fantastic first event for the team.
As a community, we were all very proud to be a part of it!
We’re already looking forward to taking part again next year.
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