Eton Dorney is a regular haunt for triathletes, with many mass-participation multisport races hosted at the lake in Windsor every year, but this weekend’s event is different to most in that it is open to everyone – disabled and non-disabled alike.
The Superhero Tri features three distances – Sprint, Half and Tri – all of which can be tackled solo, as part of a team, or with a Superhero Sidekick, who helps a participant around the course.
There will be some famous faces on the start line, including newly minted World Para Athletics T44 100m champion Jonnie Peacock, who won gold in London to add to his impressive collection of medals, which also includes Paralympic golds from 2012 and 2016.
Peacock is running ten times his usual distance at the Superhero Tri, tackling 1,000m as part of a team in the Sprint event, so we were keen to get an insight into his tactics for the event.
What’s your plan for the run – cane the first 100m, then jog the rest?
I’m trying to think what to do, whether it’s best to start at a good pace and try and hold on, or to take it nice and easy, and keep it for the sprint finish.
Have you done mass-participation events like this before?
This will be a first for me. The Superhero Triathlon is the first event of its kind, where every single person can get involved. I’ve never been involved in anything like it.
Why is it important for these inclusive events to exist?
There are so many mass-participation events around the UK and globally, but very, very few are for everybody. They are all more… not elite, but for able-bodied people.
This is the first one where anybody can get involved. People with different kinds of disabilities and different severities of disabilities. Their Superhero Sidekick can help them, whether that’s a family member or a friend, providing moral support or a physical push through some of the course.
I think it’s completely new, completely different and really important.
There are quite a few celebrity teams lined up – is it getting competitive?
I don’t think so. I’m sure there will be some competitiveness on the day, but for now it’s about getting people involved. That said, I don’t want to let Team npower down – but I’m not feeling too confident about my endurance!
What advice would you have for beginners looking to become more active?
Find something you think is fun, that’s the main thing. Try lots of different things because you don’t know what you're going to enjoy. I never tried sprinting until a talent identification day where I tried out lots of different sports. One of them was sprinting and it turned out I was OK at it and I fell in love with it.
Nobody really knows what they might enjoy so give everything a go at least once. And don’t go too hard too soon – lots of people do loads for a month, then they don’t do it for six months. Take it nice and steady.
The Superhero Tri takes place on 19th August 2017 and will also be held next year on 18th August 2018. The Superhero Series also includes Winter Wonderwheels on 3rd December, which has 1km, 5km and 10km events. For more info and to sign up head to superheroseries.co.uk (opens in new tab)
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.
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