Cholmondeley Castle Gauntlet 2023

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COURSE GUIDE

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CHOLMONDELY CASTLE GAUNTLET 2023
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“Family friendly, well organised and stunning scenery. Volunteers were fab. Free post race food was tasty and the staff were super friendly and helpful.”
Alex B
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“Support from marshals was great, traffic management was excellent, directions were great, and they were encouraging right to the end!”
Daisy H

Dear Competitor,

Signed up or thinking of signing up to this immense challenge? This guide will provide you with all the information you need about The Gauntlet at Cholmondeley Castle.

This race is named after three epic references, the protective glove used as a form of armour during historical battles and the two idioms ‘running the gauntlet’ (to run between two rows of adversaries) and ‘throwing down the gauntlet’ (challengeing someone to mortal combat).

Our goal is to ensure you have the best race experience possible and for your loved ones to have a great time supporting you along the route and celebrating with you in our festival village. We want you all to soak up the atmosphere, see the sights and make the castle grounds and the stunning surrounding countryside your playground for the day.

We wish you all the best for your training and pre-race preparations and we look forward to seeing you at the start line for a race to remember.

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YOUR RACE INFORMATION

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RACE INFORMATION

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SWIM COURSE

The Gauntlet swim course is a 950m loop in one of the most beautiful natural estate lakes called Deer Park Mere. With some great spectator viewpoints around the lake, your loved ones will be able to watch you conquer the swim!

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YOUR RACE INFORMATION

Race Director, Brian Adcock will record an online briefing prior to race day which will be shared on the Event Information page on our website. This short online video will detail course and safety details. If you are in a relay team, please ensure every member of your team has watched it.

The swim course will take triathletes out in a straight line to the 375m point where they will then turn right towards the 550m buoy which is adjacent to a fisherman’s platform. Swimmers will then double back and head around the 650m buoy before heading back towards the swim exit. After lap 1 swimmers will exit the water, run back along the Bailey Bridge and re-enter the water via the start pontoon. Swimmers follow the same route for the second lap.

Swim buoys will be placed at the intervals shown on the map. Wetsuits, due to the distance of the swim, will be mandatory for this race. The swim cut-off will be 75 minutes. At the end of each lap you will be assisted out of the water by the swim support team.

Safety is at the heart of the event – we have safety boats and kayaks manned by fully trained life safety representatives out on the lake for your swim. If you feel that you are in trouble please roll on to your back and raise your arm and someone will be with you immediately. Resting on the boat or kayak at any time during the race is acceptable with no implication on your race timings.

Swimmers will be electronically counted into and out of the water for additional safety.

9 THE COURSE

CYCLE COURSE

The Gauntlet cycle route will take cyclists on a three loop 32K course which circumnavigates the Peckforton Hills, a designated Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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YOUR RACE INFORMATION

JUNCTIONS

All key junctions will be marshaled but please remember you will be riding on public roads not closed to traffic. It is YOUR responsibility to ride within the provisions of the Highway Code and give way where necessary.

OTHER COMPETITORS

Towards the end of your first lap or on the early part of your second lap, you will be joined by other cyclists from the standard distance races. They will have different coloured race numbers so please do not be demoralised if you are suddenly overtaken by a bunch of fast moving buckles with fresh legged riders!

RELAY TEAMS

Relay teams must ensure they pass the timing chip between team members during each transition. This must take place adjacent to your bike location on the bike rack.

LITTER

Competitors must not drop litter out on the course. If caught littering you will be disqualified.

RESPECT FOR ALL

Please respect all other competitors, event staff and members of the public as you race.

CUT OFF TIME

The cut off time for the bike leg is 7 hours after race start, and if you are not back in transition by then, you will not be allowed to continue onto the run section.

FEED STATIONS

There will be feed and water stations out on the bike course. Please see the nutrition page for more detail.

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90 1 Gauntlet Cycle Route (32km) Kilometre Marker Marshall Point Feed Station Key Starter Tri Cycle Route (12km) Cycle Route (20km) Water Station 3 6 9 12 15 18 21 24 27 30 3a 3b 3c 3 6 9 12 15 18 21 20
FEED STATION WATER STATION 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Mapping supplied by Maps International Based on Ordnance Su rv ey digital map data with the permission of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office © Crown copyright 2014 Licence Number 100011710. All rights reserved. apping
Castle Triathlon Series, Cholmondeley Castle Triathlon - Cycle Routes

STARTING THE CYCLE LEG

Once competitors have finished the swim leg, the route to transition is 200m across grass. The “Bike Out” will be at the opposite end of transition and take competitors out of the Cholmondeley Castle estate via an avenue of chestnut trees and a metaled estate road.

AT THE END OF THE ESTATE ROAD

At the end of the estate road after approximately 800 metres, you will reach a t-junction where you will turn left onto a minor road. Once out on the public road, cyclists are reminded that the roads are not closed to traffic and that they must follow the rules of the Highway Code at all times.

BEESTON TO HARTSHILL

After 2K, you will enter the village of Beeston with a left turn swiftly followed by a right onto Tattenhall Lane. Then over the next 5K you will cycle over the col between the 2 castles. At this col look straight ahead and in the distance you will see the Welsh mountains!! Just after the 16K marker turn left onto Burwardsley Road and then right onto Dark Lane before hitting the steep climb on Bolesworth Road that will take you up to the top of Hartshill.

HARTSHILL TO THE CASTLE

HEADING TO BUNBURY

After 400m turn left onto the fast A49. After 5K you will pass through the offset Ridley Cross, which is the junction of the A49 and A534 Wrexham Road. Continue north at this point on the A49 for another 4K passing through the village of Spurstow and then into Bunbury –you will see the stunning Peckforton Castle perched on the hillside to your left during this section. Turn left down Moss Lane signposted to Beeston Castle and start heading west.

A rapid descent from Hartshill is followed 1K later by a right turn onto the A534 Wrexham Road where you will rejoin the 22K circuit used by all the other competitors in the shorter distance races. 1K along here and then a sharp left turn up a hill just by a pub will take you up the side of Bickerton Hill. The remaining 7K is largely downhill on well made country roads and will return you to the western side of the castle passing the Michael Owen and Donald McCain (where Red Rum was trained) Studs on your left.

SECOND & THIRD LOOPS

Once the first loop has been completed, cyclists past transition reenter the castle estate but carry on for a second and third lap.

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6 9 3a 6 3 4 5 6
12 4 5 6 12 7 18 Castle Triathlon Series, Cholmondeley Castle Triathlon - Cycle Routes 8 9 10
18 18 21 12 FEED STATION WATER STATION 9 10 11 12
90 1 Key 30 3c 18 21 15

RUN COURSE

After your second transition, you will begin the run course which consists of three loops of a 7km route totalling 21km. Take in the striking Cheshire scenery as you complete the final discipline.

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YOUR RACE INFORMATION

THE ROUTE

A large proportion of the run route is on estate roads with the option to run on the grass verge.

PUBLIC SHARING PARTS OF THE ROUTE

Although the route is entirely on the estate, please exercise caution when running along all sections of the route as there may be other walkers, people on horseback and motorists using the same tracks, bridleways, paths and roads.

CUT OFF TIME

Runners who have not started their 3rd lap 9 hrs after race start will not be allowed to head out around the 7km loop for a third time but will instead be directed down the finishing chute.

LITTER

Competitors must not drop litter out on the course. If caught littering you will be disqualified.

RESPECT FOR ALL

Please respect all other competitors, event staff and members of the public as you race.

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views of the castle straight ahead, you will turn right at Somerset Lodge (looks like an archway) and head towards the large White Park House.

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TO
RETAIL/ CONCESSION REGISTRATION TOILETS EVENT CONTROL FINISH SWIM START BRIEFING AREA & ENTRY POINT TRANSITION ✖ CAMPSITE WATER POINT WATER POINT CASTLE HILL Castle Triathlon Series, Cholmondeley Castle Triathlon, 1 2 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 3
TRIATHLON CAR PARK
ENTRY
CAR PARK

Key

Swim Route

Cycle Route out

Cycle Route In and 2nd Lap Route

Gauntlet Run Route (7km)

Additional 1km loop for The Cholmondeley Run Route (5km)

Paratri Wheelchair Route (4.3km)

Adult Run Route (4km)

Starter Tri Run Route (2.5km)

Swim Start

Swim Finish

Bouys Water Point

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Marshall Point Feed Station

CASTLE HILL

From there turn left and pass around the edge of the stunning Victorian stable block and look out for the incredibly ornate dovecote in a field on your right hand side. Another 200m and then you will turn right onto the wooded and grassy Castle Hill. This is the most demanding part of the course, but will reward you with stunning views out over the Peckforton Hills where you cycled earlier.

BACK TO THE CASTLE

A canter down-hill will see you back adjacent to the castle itself before running down the main lawn in sight of the finish line.

LAPS 2 & 3

At the bottom of the hill and just over the bridge you will meet a fork in the track. Stay left for laps 2 and 3 and turn right for the finish.

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Triathlon, Adult Races © Crown copyright 2014 Licence Number 100011710. All rights reserved. Mapping supplied by Maps International Based on Ordnance Su rv ey digital map dat a with the permission of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office apping 6 4 FEED STATION

Triathlon, Adult Races

Key
6 FEED STATION
REGISTRATION TOILETS FINISH ✖ WATER POINT CASTLE HILL Castle Triathlon Series, 9 10 11 12 13 14

FEED STATIONS

The Castle Race Series will be working with fuelling partner, Precision Fuel and Hydration to provide you with comprehensive food and drink stations.

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YOUR RACE INFORMATION

ON THE BIKE

Each station will be preceded by a large container ready to catch your empty water bottles or litter. There will also be a large container approximately 50m after the aid station.

A feed station will be placed at 18K, 44K and 63K on the bike route.

A team of volunteers will have a selection of food and drink available for you including the following:

– PF 30 Energy Gels

– PF 30 Energy Chews

– Half bananas

– Pre-mixed bottles of water

– Pre-mixed bottles PH 1000 electrolyte drink

ON THE RUN

A feed station will be placed at the 3.5K point of the 7K loop. You will therefore pass this three times, once at 3.5K, again at 10.5K on your second lap and finally at 17.5K on your third lap.

In addition there will be a water station at the 2K point of the 7K loop which you will pass at 2K, 9K and 16K.

A team of volunteers will have a selection of food and drink available for you including the following:

– PF 30 Energy Gels

– PF 30 Energy Chews

– Half bananas

– Pre-mixed bottles of water

– Pre-mixed bottles PH 1000 electrolyte drink

- Jelly Babies (or similar)

- Flat coca-cola (or similar)

On your run you may well be joined by competitors from the shorter adult races that have started after your race start time. Do not be put off by fresh legged runners overtaking you (they will have different colour numbers on their vests) and keep following the signs for the 21K race rather than just following others as they may well be on one of the shorter 4K or 5K routes!on the course. If caught littering you will be disqualified.

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FUELLING & HYDRATION GUIDE THE GAUNTLET

Failing to fuel and hydrate appropriately is a leading cause of underperformance in long distance triathlons.

Your plan should focus on ensuring that you take in enough carbohydrate, fluid and sodium to fuel the work required and keep you hydrated.

BEFORE THE RACE Fuel

What to do

Hydration

What to do

- Your race pack will include a packet of our strongest electrolyte drink, PH 1500

- Mix it into 500ml of water and aim to drink it about ~60-90 mins before your swim start

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- This is known as ‘preloading’ and it can significantly improve your performance

- Finish your drink ~45 mins before you start to allow your gut to absorb it

https://visit.pfandh.com/355YFU1

- Aim to carb load in the day or two before your event, to top off your stored energy (glycogen) levels

- Eat an energy gel in the final 15 mins or so before you start. This'll provide additional fuel to be utilised in the early stages and increase your focus and energy levels

Why?

- Carb-loading is a well-known tactic used by endurance athletes

- Think of your glycogen stores as the fuel you have in the tank before a long journey. The more you start with, the longer you can keep going before you need to top-up

- Simple carbs taken in the last 15 mins will hit your bloodstream around the start of the race, increasing energy availability just as energy use is ramping up in your body

- Drink the electrolytes in water you’d have drunk anyway so you don’t overdo it

- DON’T just drink lots of water before a race! You can end up diluting your blood sodium levels, increasing the risk of a race-ruining condition called hyponatremia (low blood sodium levels)

Why?

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- It’ll boost your blood volume, a proven way to enhance performance during intense exercise, especially in the heat

- It’ll help your cardiovascular system cool you down and deliver oxygen to your working muscles. This reduces fatigue and enables you to maintain your performance for longer

https://visit.pfandh.com/37Ve5vn

- PH 1500 electrolyte drink is a very effective preloader as it contains 3x more sodium than typical sports drinks

- Preloading may also help you avoid cramp, which can be triggered by sodium depletion

https://visit.pfandh.com/3wwpQCx

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www.precisionfuelandhydration.com/castle LEARN MORE AT PRECISIONFUELANDHYDRATION.COM/CASTLE

DURING THE RACE

The bike section offers a great opportunity to fuel and hydrate proactively in order to set up a strong run as most athletes find it easier to eat and drink on the bike than when they’re running.

For this reason it's common, and considered good practice, to ‘front load’ the ride with a higher hydration and energy intake than you aim for on the run.

Fuel

What fuel is available at the feed stations?

- PF 30 Energy Gels. Each gel contains 30g of carbohydrate

- PF 30 Energy Chews, a mixture of Original and Mint & Lemon flavours. Each packet contains 30g of carbohydrate, delivered as 2 15g chews

- A selection of food and drink such as bananas (cut into thirds, about 9g of carb oper third), flat coca-cola (about 10g of carb per 100ml) and jelly babies (or similar, about 5g of carb per sweet)

What to do

- Use our Quick Carb Calculator to get an idea of how much carbohydrate you'll need per hour to perform at your best

- Many athletes racing The Gauntlet will benefit from higher intakes of 60 to 90 grams of carbohydrate per hour, perhaps even more than 90g, as long as the amount consumed doesn’t cause stomach problems

- An hourly intake of ~60-90+ grams per hour is not something all athletes can achieve immediately and it can take a bit of time to build up to this rate of consumption, especially if you’ve been prone to suffering from GI issues in the past

Why?

- When it comes to powering high intensity endurance exercise, carbohydrate is the main source of fuel used by your body

- Glycogen (stored carbohydrate) is a finite resource. 90-120 minutes of hard activity will generally deplete your stores enough to significantly compromise your performance. So, at some point, taking in carbs is necessary to maintain a high level of performance

Pro tips

- Time your intake of fuel on the bike to coincide with straight stretches of road or on a gentle downhill. This makes it easier to eat comfortably

https://visit.pfandh.com/3JzD2u8

- If you prefer liquid calories on the bike, consider using PF 30 Energy Drink Mix in your bike bottles. It contains 30g of carb and 500mg of sodium per 500ml serving, so can provide some or all of your carb requirements, depending on the total amount that you drink

- Carry your own fuel on the run if possible. Gels/chews weigh very little and this approach allows you to use some you’ve properly tested in training. It also means you won’t accidentally miss picking one at a busy feed station and can eat them whenever you like

- Generally speaking, the more energy you can consume in the early stages of the run, the stronger you’ll be able to finish, so don’t restrict your carb intake if you’re tolerating it well

https://visit.pfandh.com/3itxJRh

- The higher the amount of carbohydrate you’re aiming to ingest, the more crucial ‘training your gut’ in the lead up to your race becomes

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www.precisionfuelandhydration.com/castle LEARN MORE AT PRECISIONFUELANDHYDRATION.COM/CASTLE

Hydration

What hydration products are available at the feed stations?

- PH 1000, a low-carb electrolyte drink containing 1,000mg of sodium per litre (~2x the sodium found in typical sports drinks)

- Water

What to do

- A middle distance race is too long to go without drinking, so you’re going to need to be knocking back a reasonable amount of fluids and electrolytes during the ride/run

- The aim is to try to avoid under-drinking to the point that dehydration hampers your performance, whilst avoiding over-drinking, which can lead to hyponatremia (low blood sodium levels)

- Your fluid/electrolyte intake on the bike needs to be adequate enough to set up a good run, not just to survive the ride!

- Most athletes will need to take in between 500ml and 1L per hour during The Gauntlet. The exact amount depends on the conditions, your own sweat rate and past experiences

- Most athletes find they can take in less fluid per hour on the run than they can on the bike, which should give you an idea of the kind of volumes you might be able to tolerate

- Experimenting within these guidelines, whilst learning to listen to your body, is the best way to work out how much you need to drink during a race

- On the day, factors such as your pace and the weather will influence what you actually need and you should adjust your intake according to how you feel as the race unfolds

Why

- Taking on board an appropriate amount of fluid and electrolytes is essential to maintaining your blood volume and supporting the cardiovascular effort you’ll be putting in

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150304075220.htm

- A 2015 study found that athletes who adequately replaced the sodium lost in their sweat finished a middle distance triathlon an average of 26 minutes faster than those who didn’t

- As well as maintaining fluid balance, sodium plays an important role in the absorption of nutrients in the gut, maintaining cognitive function, nerve impulse transmission and in muscle contraction.

- Hydration is, of course, particularly important during longer events, when your net sweat losses can really mount up. That's especially the case if it'll be hot on the day

Pro tips

- Drinking from cups at feed stations can make it tricky to work out exactly how much fluid you’re consuming. As a rough guide, half a standard paper cup will give you ~100ml of water

- Squeeze aid station cups across the top to form a slit to pour water out of. This’ll reduce the amount that gets spilled

- It’s often faster overall to walk a few paces through feed stations to ensure you get enough fluids on board, rather than trying to drink from cups whilst running at full speed

- Consider carrying some blister-packed Electrolyte Capsules in case you run out of sports drink during the latter stages of the bike or run. Swallowing 2 capsules per 500ml of water you consume would deliver the same ratio of electrolytes to fluid as a bottle of PH 1000 from the feed stations

https://visit.pfandh.com/3NgnhKY

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www.precisionfuelandhydration.com/castle LEARN MORE AT PRECISIONFUELANDHYDRATION.COM/CASTLE

CHECKLIST FOR ADJUSTING YOUR INTAKE

Signs you may need to drink more include:

- Feeling thirsty/dry mouth

- Heart rate drifting upwards when compared to power output or effort

- Tight, twitchy or crampy muscles Signs you may need to drink less include:

- Feeling bloated

- Feeling water ‘sloshing’ in your stomach

- Peeing too frequently

Signs you may need to increase your energy intake include:

- Hunger

- Attitude or mood deteriorating

- Craving sugar

Signs you may need to decrease your energy intake include:

- Feeling/being sick

- Bloating

- Upset stomach

TRY THE ON-COURSE FUEL/HYDRATION IN TRAINING

"Nothing new on race day" has always been solid advice.

https://visit.pfandh.com/3iz4IDH

Grab a Castle Race Series Taster Pack to thoroughly road-test the on-course fuel and hydration before your race.

Don't forget to use the code CASTLE to get 15% off your first order.

QUESTIONS?

https://visit.pfandh.com/3D6Y5Sj

https://visit.pfandh.com/3D6Y5Sj

hello@pfandh.com

Book a free one-to-one video call with a fuelling expert at Precision Fuel & Hydration or email hello@pfandh.com

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LEARN MORE AT PRECISIONFUELANDHHYDRATION.COM/CASTLE www.precisionfuelandhydration.com/castle LEARN MORE AT PRECISIONFUELANDHYDRATION.COM/CASTLE

SPECTATORS VIEW

Many of you will be bringing spectators to watch your herculean efforts. This is our recommendation for your supporters, based on a 6 hour race completion time.

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YOUR RACE INFORMATION

07:30

Chill out and grab some breakfast in the Retail Village area whilst taking in the stunning grounds.

atmosphere in the Festival Village at Cholmondleey Castle itself. There will be free bouncy castles, live bands and much more on offer.

08:00

Watch the swim start of the race and then wander along either the bank of the Mere or walk the whole way around it to watch them complete their two laps.

08:30 – 09:00

Make your way back to the castle lawn so you can watch the frontrunners exit the water and then cheer on your competitor as they emerge from the waters of the lake. There is a good view of the transition area from all sides.

12:00 – 14:00

You can watch the run from anywhere you like on the 7K route which is entirely within the estate. The Castle and immediate surrounds provide the best backdrop for photos. You are welcome to walk any section of the run but please be careful to stay to the side of the tracks and give way to any competitors on narrow sections. The lawn directly in front of the castle is a great spot to watch the finishing straight and you are welcome to run the last 100 yards with your competitor, particularly if you have young kids!

09:00 – 12:00

Make your way out onto the cycle course in your car and head for the 23K point which is the feed station at Hartshill. A local cycling mecca (akin to Box Hill down south) will passed 3 times by your competitor on the cycle route. If you have got time then visit Beeston Castle in Tarporley. This ‘Castle of the Rock’ is famous for its spectacular views, which take in no less than eight counties on a clear day. From its lookout point at the top of a mighty crag, you can see from the Pennines all the way to the Welsh mountains. Alternatively, particularly if you have small children, stay and enjoy the

14:00

The prize giving ceremony is scheduled for this time directly in front of the castle and adjacent to the finish line.

14:45 – 17:00

The children’s races are due to start after lunch and this provides a great spectacle and inspiration for younger children. In addition, more live music will play continuously throughout the afternoon.

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PRIZE MONEY & REWARDS

PRIZES, AGE GROUPS & PRIZE GIVING

The open category podium winners will receive a trophy along with prize money with each winning male and female receiving the amounts shown below.

There will also be Age Group trophies for Senior (18-39 years), 40+, 50+ and 60+ first places.

The prize giving will take place in the event village during the afternoon of race day.

EACH COMPETITOR WILL RECEIVE

– Bespoke Gauntlet technical t-shirt.

– A well-earned warm meal on completion of the race. (This can be claimed by entering the Gauntlet competitor’s marquee and presenting the wristband worn during the race).

– A free massage from one of our masseurs.

– The opportunity to shower in the campsite showers.

– Bespoke medal.

£150 £300 £50

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YOUR RACE INFORMATION

FOR MORE INFORMATION

We look forward to seeing you on race day and wish you luck for your final preparations. If you need further infomation please visit our website: castleraceseries.com

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CONNECT & CONTACT
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