If you fancy having a go at a Half IM then I can thoroughly recommend the Vitruvian. The race is run in and around Rutland Water and will be familiar to anyone who has done the Dambuster Olympic distance event, in fact the Vitruvian is basically two laps of the Olympic course which makes the bike a bit short! Ideal for a fast time!
In 2005 it was an event with a field of about 300 people with a nice relaxed atmosphere and a good number of longer distance virgins in the field. Wave sizes were not too large with a wide start line to pick you position from.SWIM
The main difficultly at the start is the sun rise which is directly in your eyes as you attempt to head for the first buoy. Two laps of the swim 950m swim course later and the 1.9Km swim is complete.
The bike course heads out into the country side with a couple of large(ish) hills – see Clive’s description of the Dambuster for reference - to deal with. The roads are reasonably quiet and wide and before you know it lap one is over, a quick loop through transition to pick up more fluid from the event team and you’re off for lap two, at least this time you know what’s coming! I managed each 42Km lap in about 1Hr 20 minutes compared to I guess a 1:10 for the bike split over the Olympic distance. Back into transition with the thought of a 13 Mile run high in my mind I was talking it easy down the road to transition!
Running shoes on and with the music from the PA in your ears it’s off for a couple of laps (10Km each, or thereabouts) around the end of the reservoir and down the other side to a spire on the shorefront which you can see from a long way off. It’s an out and back run which means that at some point you will have the inspiring sight of the really fast people coming the other way to spur you on. A loop though the finish area and you’re half way there, back round the reservoir to the church and its only 5km to go, at this point confidence that you are going to finish should be rising, along with the feeling of pain in the legs, and you can enjoy the last few miles home. The music starts to drift across the water and you can see the finish, through the line to collect a top T-Shirt followed by a visit to the café that does a top bacon butty and caramel slice make the effort well worth while!