Race day info

Lake Temperature and Weather Forecast

The lake temperature at this time of year is usually around 18-20°C. For up to date information on the water please check the Tri2O Swim Centre website www.mysportingtimes.com. BTF (British Triathlon Federation) rules apply regarding the wearing of wetsuits (please see page 11 of the rules here https://www.britishtriathlon.org/britain/documents/events/competition-rules/british-triathlon-competition-rules-2018.pdf) – but in short, if the water temperature drops below 13° (extremely unlikely!) then wetsuits will be compulsory; between 14° and 22° wetsuits are optional, and at 23° and above, wetsuits are prohibited due to risk of overheating. However, we strongly recommend that all but the most experienced athletes wear wetsuits if the water temperature is below 23°.

A limited number of wetsuits are available to hire through our friends at the Tri2O Swim Centre; please visit their website here https://www.mysportingtimes.com/product/reading-triathlon-wetsuit-hire and they will try to assist you. Alternatively you can call them on 01189 332761.

Kit Preparation

Ensure that your kit is in good working order; swim goggles should be leak-free and should not mist up, your bicycle must be roadworthy with tyres, brakes and gears fully functioning and in good condition, bike helmets are compulsory, and running shoes should be fit for purpose.

Think through each stage of the race: swim, T1 (first transition), bike, T2 (second transition) and run, to ensure you have covered everything that you will need for race day.


IMPORTANT NOTE, remember that there will be NO ATHLETE OR SPECTATOR PARKING AVAILABLE AT THE VENUE – if you come to the hotel to park you will be redirected to the designated parking area.

Ample parking for athletes and spectators has been provided by Cisco in their car park at: 300 Longwater Avenue, Green Park, Reading RG2 6GB

The car park will be open from 06:00 on the morning and is approximately 1.2 miles walk or cycle from transition; please allow plenty of time. It might be a good idea to bring only what can be carried in a backpack, and then cycle over with it. Please be aware that there is a height restriction for the lower tier of the car park. There should be ample room for cars with bike racks on the roof, but please be aware that you will be filtered accordingly by our car park marshals. In addition, when you are returning to the car park after the race, be aware that there will likely be other athletes still racing, so please take care and keep to the left.

Directions to parking and venue 2017

There is a discretionary £2 charge for parking – please bring change with you! All money raised will go to Katie’s Legacy. You can read about Katie Henderson, in whose memory the charity was founded, here: Tribute to Katie and here: Special Hendo Edition Newsletter. Funds raised by Katie’s Legacy go to the British Triathlon Foundation Trust.



Exit the M4 at Junction 11 and head North towards Reading on the A33, staying in the left-hand lane. Do not turn left at the Madejski Stadium –  continue to the entrance signposted to Green Park which is just after you have passed B&Q, on the left. The entrance to 300 Longwater Avenue is approximately 500m down on the left; on entering Longwater Avenue you will be directed to the designated parking area. Please ensure you leave plenty of time to get to the site and register for the event.

From the car parking look for the race signage to the Reading Lake Hotel.

Your Wave, Start Time, and Race Number

Wave Start times:

There will be two race briefings which last around 10 minutes, one for the Olympic distance and one for the Sprint distance. You MUST ensure that you attend your race briefing as it contains important safety and course information.

Olympic briefing – 07:40        Sprint briefing – 08:30

PINK         Wave 1    08:00     Male Under 40 Olympic
YELLOW  Wave 2    08:10     Male 40+ Olympic
BLUE        Wave 3    08:20     All Female Olympic & Relay Team Olympic
RED          Wave 4     08:50     Male Under 40 Sprint
ORANGE  Wave 5    09:00     Male 40+ Sprint
WHITE     Wave 6    09:10     All Female Sprint & Relay Team Sprint

Click the link below to access the start list and wave details. There are two sheets within the spreadsheet – one listing by waves, and one alphabetical list (this might be the easiest to use first to identify your race number).

Start list and wave times 2018

Find your name and make a note of your race number and start time; this will help us to speed up the registration process and help you to plan your schedule for the morning. You should aim to arrive at Registration 75 minutes prior to your wave start time to pass through registration, collect your timing chip, generally faff about and get to the swim start area.

Please Note: You will be called through to the swim start area for your race briefing and assembly in the water for the wave start. It is compulsory for every participant to attend a pre-race briefing, and we’ll assume that you’ve listened to it!


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Registration will be on race day only, from 06:30am. Follow the signage from the car park to find the registration area.

Please note that arrangements will be slightly different from 2017. You will need to go to the appropriate desk [Olympic / Sprint & Relay] to pick up your Race Pack, BEFORE you enter transition and rack your bike. You will be provided with 2 race numbers, 1 Helmet sticker & 1 Bike sticker. Check that all of the numbers in your pack are the same and ask if you are unsure. After you have collected your race pack you can collect your timing chip. The timing chip is valuable – please make sure the chip and Velcro strap are secure and wear the chip UNDER your wetsuit. If you lose it you will have to pay £50 to replace it – so please don’t lose it!

There will be some bike racking at registration to facilitate registration prior to bike racking. Once you have registered, make your way to transition and rack your bike in your designated space according to race number. You cannot take anything out of transition without having your corresponding race numbers and bike/helmet stickers.

Remember that a lucky few of you will have a surprise Golden Ticket Prize, so don’t throw away your Race Pack envelope without checking carefully!

If you have pre-arranged to hire a wetsuit for the event, it will be ready for you to collect at registration.

The Reading Triathlon is a British Triathlon permitted event. If you are not a home nations e.g. Triathlon England, member, you would have purchased a day licence when you entered the race. For more details on what day membership provides you, see here: British Triathlon Day Membership.

If you ARE a member, you MUST bring your membership card with you to registration, otherwise you will have to purchase a day licence, with cash. No exceptions!


There will be plenty of toilets available on site, and the toilet blocks will be very visible adjacent to the finish line and registration area. We will be checking for toilet paper supplies regularly!


Please see “Course info” for maps of the course.

Swim Course

The Olympic distance swim is a two-lap course and the sprint distance race is a single lap. Whilst the courses will be clearly marked with large marker buoys, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are familiar with the correct course for your event – details will be provided in the race briefing before you enter the water and you will be shown at registration.  There will be marshals on hand to explain the course to you in advance of your wave start and kayaks on the water to ensure that you are heading in the right direction.


Each wave will have around 60 athletes who all need to enter the water within a 5 minute window. In response to feedback, we have changed the format to enable a longer time to warm up and acclimatise to the water before each wave start, by having only two race briefings, 20 minutes before the Olympic and Sprint waves. You will be told when to enter the water.

If, at any point during the swim, you start to feel unwell or are experiencing a problem, simply turn on to your back and raise your arm in the air; a kayaker or support boat will come to your aid. There will be emergency cover at the swim exit.

Bike Course

Whilst you are ultimately responsible for your own safety and your navigation of the course, we do have a great team of marshals to help keep you safe and make sure you are travelling in the right direction. Please obey the marshals, and treat them with respect and good manners; remember they are there for your benefit and are volunteering their time to ensure you have a great race. Remember that most of the bike course is on roads open to traffic, so take care and always obey the Highway Code.


There are two right hand turns on the bike course; one minor, one major. For your own safety, you MUST stop and remove your foot from your pedal and place it on the ground in view of the marshals at the major right turn; failure to do so will result in immediate disqualification. You’ll see good warning of this junction.

There is also one set of traffic lights on the bike course. However, these are on a section of closed road near the end of each bike lap. You are permitted to go through a red light here, but please do so carefully. No cars should be using this stretch of road, but you never know!

The bike course is:

ONE LAP for the sprint distance

TWO LAPS for the Olympic distance

Run course

The sprint distance run section is 3 laps around the lake, whereas Olympic distance participants will complete 6 laps. On your final lap you run down to the finish straight instead of heading around to start another lap – the finish gantry is VERY visible. A sensible suggestion is to spend a minute checking the route to the finish once you’ve registered. It is your own responsibility to count your laps. If you are worried you will lose count under the pressure of race conditions, you can use elastic bands on one wrist, which you transfer at the end of each lap to remind you how many you’ve done.

Remember that the run course is predominantly on a track around the lake which may be affected by any recent weather – please watch your footing and run within your capabilities. If it has been very wet, then trail shoes may be more appropriate.

Relay Teams

Relay participants will all need to collect their race packs at registration – one team member can collect all three. Relay change-overs MUST take place by your designated space in transition – nowhere else – and you’ll need to transfer the timing chip and strap from person to person here. Relay swimmers and cyclists should contact a transition area marshal to collect their finisher medal – you don’t have to wait until the end.

Water Stations

There will be one water station located near the start of the run lap. Water will be in plastic cups; please use the bins provided to dispose of your cups where possible – we do understand that this can be difficult on the move!  If it’s a warm day sponges will also be available here. Water will be available at the finish.

Other Operational Information

  • We will supply safety pins to pin your number to your shirt; alternatively you may use a race belt and some will be available to purchase on the day.
  • Please make sure you bring your own water bottles on the bike and use sun block if necessary.
  • Mark the inside of your wetsuit with your initials/name. Make sure you take the correct wetsuit home!
  • For everybody’s safety, ear pieces / iPods / phones are not allowed in transition or on the course on race day. You will be stopped during the race if you are using any of these devices.
  • Bikes can only be removed from transition with matching race number and bike numbers.
  • No bags or boxes will be allowed at your transition area adjacent to your bike, but there will be an allocated area just within transition for you to leave a small bag or box. We are unable to take responsibility for any loss or damage, so any valuables are left at your own risk, but we will do our utmost to keep this area restricted to competitors only and a marshal will be allocated to oversee it.
  • Race Photos – Your race photos will be available to download the week following the event; further details will follow in the post-race email.
  • When you are returning to the car park, please keep LEFT on the road, as there may still be cyclists on the route, coming the other way back in towards the hotel.



After you have finished your event please stay around for the Prize Giving Ceremony, encourage the athletes still out there racing the course and just enjoy the atmosphere. Prize Giving will commence as soon after 11:30am as possible in the area near the finish. We’ll be awarding prizes to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Males and Females overall, and winners of Vet and SuperVet categories for both distances, and of course to the 1st Relay Teams.

We had some brilliant prizes last year, and will again be providing winners, and lucky “Golden Ticket” holders with a range of excellent prizes including event entry, massage and soft tissue therapy, personal training session or training plan.

Any unclaimed prizes will be left at the lake for a limited time for collection. We cannot post prizes after the event.

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There will be a range of support on hand for your every need before and after the event, and to keep your supporters and spectators happy and well fed.

Massage therapists

We’re delighted that again in 2018, we have two sports massage therapists, Jane Docherty and Susan Martin, joining us to provide pre- and post-event massage for a small fee.

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Bicycle support

AW Cycles

Local gurus of the bike world AW Cycles are again providing the event with mechanical maintenance support. They will have a range of last minute essentials, as well as other compelling goodies, on sale for you.


We know that in 2017, the catering provision did not meet our, or your, expectations. We’ve committed to making sure the same doesn’t happen again this year, and have changed providers. We are confident that there will be food and refreshments for everyone.

We have a full range of barbecue fare, as well as cakes and cold drinks, provided this year by South Berkshire Explorer Scouts. The Scouts can always be relied upon to feed everyone to satiety!

Cupper Joe


Cupper Joe will be on hand to provide hot drinks and fudge.



Lollie Dollies

There will be an ice cream van to keep you all refreshed and your spectators happy – and the weather looks set to warm up again for the weekend so we’ll need it!