The Snowman Triathlon - Always Aim High
Event of the Year 2021
This category incorporates triathlon and multisport events from 6th December 2020 to 6th December 2021. We want to know how this event has delivered an incredible experience of swim, bike and run for competitors of all levels and spectator, creating a positive reflection of our sport. Please also if applicable use examples of how this event has encouraged awareness and action for the protection of the environment.
Winner – The Snowman Triathlon – Always Aim High
The Always Aim High Events Snowman Triathlon is known as one of the UK’s toughest Triathlons, taking place in the stunning location of Capel Curig with Plas y Brenin National Outdoor Centre used as a venue to host the event. Following an extremely difficult 15 months for the events industry, the Snowman Triathlon was the first event back post-pandemic for Always Aim High Events. With the Snowman Triathlon being the first event back, there was a real focus on keeping competitors safe, Always Aim High Events had to work incredibly hard to adjust to the new regulations that came along with running an event post lockdown. The Snowman encompasses all that is the adventure playground of North Wales offers. The setting of this event is what makes it so unique, with a freshwater swim in Llyn Mymbyr, a bike route that takes in an exceptionally stunning route, and a run route up Moel Siabod which at 872 metres, is the highest peak in the Moelwynion mountain range. New for 2021, competitors finished their race in a new location, with the iconic Snowdon Horseshoe mountain range being the backdrop for that epic finish line shot. The new finish line also provided a great location for the limited number of spectators to gather safely, whilst also having the amenities of Plas Y Brenin very close by. During 15 months of the pandemic when they were unable to run events, the team at Always Aim High Events has spent a lot of time reviewing how they could improve and enhance their environmental initiatives. Before the pandemic hit, they took the order of finisher medals for all 2020 events, as this had been common practice. With them just running the one event in 2020 pre-pandemic, they were left with stocks of these medals. To maintain their high environmental standards and in line with customer feedback they reused these 2020 medals at the 2021 events, including the Snowman Triathlon. Meaning the medals did not go to waste. As a thank you to participants they planted one tree per race entry through their partnership with the Size of Wales Charity. They have also taken the decision to no longer buy medals from abroad, all finishers from 2022 onwards will receive a locally sourced slate memento of their fabulous achievement, which in itself can be reused for example as a coaster. The Snowman was also our first major step towards a cupless event, with participants encouraged to come with their own hydration. At feed stations, they were offered a refill of their own reusable bottles/packs. Where cups had to be used at the finish line for their swim only participants a paper cup option was used. Always Aim High Events Director Nigel 'Kenny' Kendrick has also recently joined the new British Triathlon Sustainability Commission. The key aim of the Commission is to see the sport and physical activity sector built upon sustainable foundations.
Pembrey Junior Triathlon – Celtic Triathlon Club
This was the first covid approved event for juniors following covid protocols. It sold out almost instantly as junior athletes from across the breadth of Wales were keen to get back to active competition. A sunny Monday afternoon saw the athletes assembly at the Circuit of Wales in Pembrey Country Park against the backdrop of Cefn Sidan beach and the beautiful dunes. An army of Celtic Tri volunteers helped Marshall the event and it went amazingly well given all the hurdles in place to get events off the ground. The pictures from the events told a thousand stories but the joy on every finishers face made it so rewarding for all. Amazing to see competition back for the children who had missed out on so much. Celtic Tri pulled out all the stops!
Bluestone Pembrokeshire Coast Triathlon – Pembrokeshire Triathlon Club
As a previous winner of the BTF event of the year award, We saw the long-awaited return of the Welsh Triathlon Super Series to the domestic calendar with stage one taking place at Broadhaven, home of the Bluestone Pembrokeshire Coast Triathlon. Offshore winds meant that the sea of St. Brides’ Bay was as calm as could be for the three hundred eager swimmers. Modifications to events across Wales meant that the 2021 event had a slightly different look to previous years. Transitions had changed to the Northside car park, and with a rolling time trial start on the beach, athletes were given clear water to complete their swim and ample space within both transitions.
Stephen Lewis Aquathlon
The Stephen Lewis aquathon 2021 was one of the first triathlon events to take place after lock down. The communication before the event was great and the covid measures put in place made competitors feel comfortable and safe and you could see a lot had gone into making the event happen. Everyone was made to feel welcome and the encouragement from the marshals and volunteers was amazing. The venue was ideal, and the course well planned. Every child finished with a smile and had a medal, and the atmosphere was fun and friendly, there were many first timers.