An amazing 108 people made the most of an opportunity offered by Chichester Tri Club to take part in a Swim Bike Run Mini.
The club, home to over 200 adult and junior members, is no stranger to hosting events aimed at getting adults and children involved in the sport having hosted GO TRI events and a junior triathlon in the past.
Committee member Nikki was one of those who helped organised the event.
She said: “I helped run the other events. We did one last year and it went really well but we couldn’t do the same event this year as we didn’t have the same capacity. I then realised Swim Bike Run existed so I thought I could do one of them, so I contacted Jen (British Triathlon Regional Manager), and we did that.”
The event was well-supported with most participants experiencing the sport for the first time.
“I’d say 98% of them [participants] were new faces and that's what we were aiming at,” Nikki explains.
“They hadn’t done anything like this before and they had never thought of doing it. But because they could do it with their children it felt like there’s not as much pressure and because there’s not the normal rules, they could use woggles [floats] on the swim and stabilisers on the bike. It made it accessible to everybody.”
As well as being open to families, the Swim Bike Run Mini allows adults to get involved and according to Nikki the event helped people overcome their fears and doubts.
She adds: “They [participants] were so chuffed. They thought they’d never be able to do anything like that, especially the swim, which was most concerning for people. You can walk the run and most people can ride a bike, but it was the swim that was the most worrying so once they got through that they were so pleased with themselves. They couldn’t actually believe they got through it and got a medal. The feedback was fantastic.
“There was one lady who was so scared at the start she was almost crying so I got out of the pool and had a chat with her. I explained that it’s absolutely fine and you can go when you want to go, you can wait for everyone to finish and then do yours if you want. You can do half if you only want to do half and talked her round. She did it and when she got out the pool, she was so happy. For me it’s a life lesson as well as sport – you can put your mind to whatever you want to do. “
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