Race Report for Race to The Bill - Warning..... The rumours are correct, it's hilly!
3am alarm set to travel to the Isle of Portland, a limestone tied island, just 1.7 x 4miles, which lies just south of Weymouth on the jurassic coast.
The swim course was a 1500m 2 lap route around the sheltered harbour with a stone breakwater. The start was a 'sprint' from the slipway into the harbour (okay, a stroll, but it was 7am) followed by a bit of a splashy punch-up (could have bee...n avoided by participating more enthusiastically in said sprint), then a very pleasant swim - flat water, good temperature, easy sighting (I sometimes struggle with buoys, but 250,000 tonnes of Portland stone did the trick - no navigation issues so far). Apparently jellyfish the size of dustbin lids frequent the area, but I was only attacked by the occasional piece of seaweed.
The cycle course started with a long steep slog to the 'summit' of the island (it did feel like climbing a mountain). Stunning views and a largely downhill route to the Bill, where a 300 year old working lighthouse stands, made for a stunning bike course. Definitely not one of the faster courses, but well worth the climbs. Three loops and 25miles later, I was back at race HQ (the national sailing academy) and setting out on the final leg.
A welcome change, the 10km run was flat as a pancake. Initially following the shore, the course then looped out and back along a scenic disused railway line. A sprint distance race also ran alongside the standard.
A well marshalled and organised tri, I'd definitely recommend this one, especially if you love hilly bike routes (no!), or even if you don't, it's well worth considering. Although not the fastest, I believe I may have been the first hedgie home ;) but maybe there'll be a few more at the next one!