Challenge Vichy - my ironman distance 'A' race for 2014

I have come back for more and entered my second ironman distance race - Challenge Vichy - scheduled for 31st August 2014.

This was straight off my bucket list -

It was mentioned as a possible venue a few months ago and now there is at least 5-6 club members from Horsham Amphibians Triathlon who have either entered the full or half ironman distance events. Hopefully more will follow, making this very much the main Club 'A' race for next year.

I am hoping this challenging goal will inspire me to put in place a more structured plan over the coming months that I can share with followers of this blog.

Challenge Vichy - My 'A' race for 2014

Let's start with 20 reasons not to miss Challenge Vichy, straight from the race website:

Challenge Vichy has ensured everything is in place to ensure the ultimate experience for atheltes and their families at this exciting new five-day sporting event.

1) Ideally timed on September 1rst, it allows athletes time to prepare for a full distance and enjoy the beautiful French summer days
2) Vichy is in central France, 3 hours from Paris, 2h30 from Lyon, Montpellier 4 hours, 3 hours from Bordeaux.
3) It is an "easy" full distance  compared to other French long distances such as Nice, Embrun, Gerardmer, Alpe d'Huez, Altriman. Ideal for beginners and for athletes who want to go for a PB.
4) Everything is located at the Centre Omnisports Pierre Coulon - registration, the expo, the transition area, the pasta party, the awards ceremony, the swim start, the finish line, the food court ... Ideal for the spectators.
5) Most of the hotels in Vichy are located within a 3km radius of the main race site
6) A village expo with about 30 exhibition booths will be set up also featuring activities for kids and regional speciality food tasting
7) An outdoor eating area adjoining the village expo, close to the finish line will allow spectators to enjoy the shady parks Centre Omnisports Pierre Coulon
8) A U-shaped stadium finish with 3 platforms that can accommodate over 800 people seated + 1500 standing will be build and with up-to-the-minute commentary . At each of their running laps, triathletes will pass the stadium finish. There, spectators and families can go and see their athlete and not miss the many emotional moments of the competitors passing the finish line and led by two rampaging speackers (Hervé and Eric Demougeot AMATTEIS) and 1 DJ (DJ Matt)..
9) A bike hotspot with live commentary will be set up in the main street of Bellerive sur Allier, a climb  2kms from the finish area. Crowds will stretch from the hotspot to transition, giving the athletes a welcome boost in the final kilometres
10) the Pasta-party, the awards ceremony and the athlete garden will be prepared  by a restaurateur-triathlete Laurent Ferreira, who has completed more than 10 full distance triathlons.
11) The triathletes will be pampered: backpack, visor cap, silicone swim caps , finisher t-shirts, finisher medal
12) On each aid station (every 18km in bike and every 2 km on the marathon), energy products will be available through HIGH5 (gels, bars, energy drinks).
13) A coach will prepare  training tips from 10 to 15h per week that are sent each months  by newsletter to all registered athletes.
14) During the race, one member of your family will receive by phone 5 text messages for Challenge Vichy and 3 for Half Vichy with the split times of the triathlete.
15) live internet will be established.
16) 10 laps will be broadcast in real time by the timekeeper ChronoRace.
17) To ensure the ultimate the physical condition of triathletes in the last week, some  swim training in lakes and swimming pool are planned. Every morning from 8am to 10am, Lake Allier will be reserved for the training with life guards. For those wishing to swim in the pool, Vichy Val d'Allier open its 50m outdoor pool,  open for free from  11am to 7pm.
18) On the swim course you'll feel like you're on an F1 track: the start will be given with bi-color  lights and you will follow buoys every 10 meters. All 500m, biggest buoys  will indicate you how far you've swan (500m, 1000m, 1500m, 2000m, 2500m, 3000m and 3500m)
19) To maximize recovery, physical therapists and spas / hot tubs will be in the recovery area to help recuperate weary limbs.
20) A Triathlete's Guide is downloadable from the website in English, German, French or Spanish

Swim Start - 'the washing machine'


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