Hello, it’s been a while since I last wrote. After the last 18 months or so, with homeworking, home schooling, marathon training and then the summer holidays, I don’t know about you, but I’ve been busy managing my time and children…
Locked Down but Still Here
As part of the multisport community, we’ve been lucky during lockdown. In 2020 only 5 of 11 planned events were cancelled due to COVID. We were able to recommence in August with a minor blip (because we’re in Greater Manchester) in November.
Roll into 2021 and whilst the first quarter was put on hold, since April, we’ve had our regular events up and running. We are currently exceeding pre COVID entry numbers despite some people still acting cautiously and avoiding mass public gatherings.
This year, and last, we have been absolutely COVID secure by operating 4 waves with maximum of 60 entrants in each wave (in 2019, we operated a single wave of up to 150). This has worked well, has enabled us to encourage social distancing and allows you the choice for early or late morning on Saturday or Sunday.
GO TRI, Our Current Offering
Until now, we have solely offered GO TRI events. GO TRI is a British Triathlon initiative to encourage participation in multisport. It’s both Achievable, Accessible and Affordable and to maintain triple A status, GO TRI events are limited in both distance and entry cost.
I started directing events while working at a gym in 2015. It was an opportunity for me to try my hand at something new while offering members and non-members their own opportunity to try a new sport. A lot of members were able to dip their toe into multisport for the first time and a lot of them continue to thrive racing Triathlons and Duathlons 6 years later.
During the last 6 years I’ve become aware of the different types of participants we cater for.
Total newbies are taking advantage of GO TRI’s triple A’s and enjoying their first taste of multisport. You’ll arrive feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing, but don’t worry, we all did our first event once. Event staff and other participants will be on hand to help with any last-minute worries and ahead of the event you can always contact me with any questions We pride ourselves on being a great opportunity to try out your first road bike (although honestly any bike will do). I always say the best thing about Multisport for me is that we all use the same start line and can all be part of the same event!
These are the school mums who run, or the lunchtime fitness colleagues. They swim, ride, run or gym in a group as it helps keep their motivation and they take part in our events together as they can generally start and finish close to each other and be as competitive as they want in a relaxed environment.
The weekend warriors who swim, bike, and run as part of an affiliated Triathlon, Cycling or Running Club. Often a small group of athletes from the club will turn up together with a few supporters too. There are a handful of clubs who use our events as part of their internal club leagues. A great way to introduce new members to racing without the pressure of several hundred athletes or prize giving.
The Weekend Warrior is usually an established athlete and either challenging themselves to increase their distance or qualify as an Age Grouper. Our GO TRI’s are awesome opportunities to test fitness and see where they appear in the rankings. Top 10 will be in their head or sub 60 is a good marker.
The who’s who on the circuit! These guys are vying for the win no matter what the event. They check the start list to see who they’re up against and what their chances are. They’ll usually have all the gear and look the part and while they will be competitive, they’ll often be more than willing to offer support to new participants. For both Weekend Warriors and Age Groupers, a GO TRI is the place to try out a new piece of kit or master your running mount. A place to learn without suffering too much misfortune.
DO NOT let the Weekend Warriors or Age Groupers intimidate you, we all started somewhere
New for 2022
This year has also seen us venture into the world of “proper” permitted events. With so many different types of participants coming to see us, we wanted to allow you the opportunity to progress while still maintaining the relaxed, informal opportunity to learn and most importantly enjoy multisport.
Last month at The Manchester Airport Duathlon, we offered an extended sprint distance duathlon. A 4km run including a steep climb in the 3rd km, followed by a double helping of our usual 18km cycle route and finishing with a 2.5km run. This is the perfect opportunity to step up distance if you’re still new to the sport or really test yourself on the final run off the bike. We were able to offer full chip timing with this one and it went down a storm with 36 starters at our inaugural permitted event.
I’m starting to think about next year’s calendar. As things stand the plan is to offer 2 waves at each GO TRI event on either the Saturday or Sunday and then also offer a longer distance wave on the other day.
We will be continuing with the 3 current locations, Manchester Airport, Dunham Massey, and Woodford with each one every quarter. So, you’ll have the opportunity to participate every month and we’ll also be creating a brand-new special medal concept which interlocks all 3 (you’ll have to collect them all).
I will be looking at new events and have a few venues in mind however with the lack of accessibility to public places and lack of time away from my children, I haven’t yet managed to finalise plans. I’m hoping I can add some into next year’s calendar once confirmed which should add even more opportunity to put your training into practice
Clothing & Community
You may be also aware that we sell both cotton lifestyle and performance t-shirts alongside event entry. In 2020 McA Fitness & Events turned 5 and to celebrate, we teamed up with Apex Custom to produce a special performance t-shirt which you’ll often see me (Andy) sporting on socials and race day. I had planned to launch this then but then a global pandemic had other ideas…
Now though, we can open a “club” shop with Apex and offer you the opportunity to bag yourself a fully sublimated special edition “club” kit.
While we are not really a club, everyone who has taken part in one of our events will be aware of the inclusive community atmosphere we try to create. Our kit will engage participants and create the feeling of inclusion within both the McA and multisport communities. We’re looking to gauge interest before opening the shop for a two-week period but are looking to finalise designs and open later this year for a New Year delivery ahead of 2022’s season.
You’ll be able to order Tri Suits, cycling gear, bibs and jerseys and running t-shirts as well as a hoody, which may come in useful before and after your races. And it will be great to see you looking the part at both our events and any others you take part in.
See You Soon
I hope you’ve found some value in reading my update, whether you’re looking to reengage or have continued to participate during Lockdown.
Don’t forget, we are still in 2021 and have 5 events left including at least one at each location.
18th & 19th September – Dunham Massey Duathlon
9th & 10th October – Manchester Airport Duathlon
30th & 31st October – Woodford Community Duathlon
20th & 21st November – Dunham Massey Duathlon
11th & 12th December – Manchester Airport Duathlon