Hever Castle Triathlon

Category: Triathlon (Middle Distance, 1.9km Swim, 90km Bike, 21km Run)

Event name: The Gauntlet (Part of the Castle Race Series)

Event location: Hever Castle, Kent


SWIM – A single loop of the lake within the grounds, after the turn around point you will swim back down through the river which is a great experience, the water does drop a degree or two here. It was a beautiful swim and really well marshalled and easy to navigate.

BIKE – Be aware, this is not a flat bike course! The route is x2 45km loops around the surrounding towns and villages of Hever, the marshals where brilliant and even though the roads are open to cars they are controlled very well by the traffic control.

If you ride in a hilly area often then none of the hills will be to hard for you on their own, what makes this race so tough is the fact you are always either climbing, or descending at pace, there is little time spent sitting in the aero bars on flat smooth ground. Also be aware that there is a few parts where the road surface is very damaged and uneven!

Lastly its worth noting that when you come in and out of transition there is a 50meter gravel path, you need to be really careful here, A: not to get a puncture and B: not to slide out!

RUN- The run is a x2 10.5km loop through the stunning grounds of Hever Castle. The support around the transition areas is brilliant and even throughout the course. The first 6-7km of the route are a tougher terrain, mainly forest/country paths as you twist up and down and around the landscape. Again the route was so well marshalled by the volunteers, you couldn’t go wrong!

The last 4km as you head back towards the lake are much easier and a nice run back towards the finish area before you go around for lap 2. Save a little energy for the short sharp hill around 500meters before the end of the lap as well… Cruel!

Would you say the event was good value for money? This was an amazing event and being priced much lower than the official Ironman events it’s a lot more accessible. You rack your bike on the morning of the event so if you live within a couple of hours and don’t mind an early wake up call then you can save money on the hotel as well. Spectators paid a small fee to enter and then had access to all of the grounds for the day which was a nice touch.

What tips would you give to others before they take on this event?

  • If it has been wet be sure to wear trail shoes as the run is almost 100% off road.
  • Practise running and riding on hilly routes
  • There is a brilliant event village packed with activities for all of the family, so bring everyone along to enjoy the grounds and event village while you put yourself through the torture…I mean glory of the gauntlet!
  • there are over 30 different races going on over the weekend so a great opportunity to attend with friends and all find an event you want to try.

Would you take part in this event again? That’s a questions and a half… This is supposed to be one of the toughest triathlons in Europe, the consistency of the hills on the bike route means you are always on full concentration, no time to relax.

The event was run so well, the organisers at Castle Race Series really know how to put on a great event and I will definitely be trying out more of their events. Ask me after a week of recovery if I will be going back to Hever again next year and the answer will most likely be yes!

Review by Dan from TeachersRunClub

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