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Gower triathlon

We’ve turned the Gower Triathlon into an end of tri season tradition, not just because we live near Port Eynon but because this race is extremely scenic and interesting.

What we like about it

  • It’s location: Port Eynon is a small village with a large beach and surrounded by hills and sand dunes
  • The awesome sea swim, in clear waters, often with some swell
  • The bike leg that takes you through some of the most beautiful spots of the Gower peninsula, complete with hills, three cattle grids and close encounters with free-ranging livestock
  • The tough run leg taking in Port Eynon’s beach, dunes and a nice sharp hill
  • We’ve done a few races organised by Activity Wales and they give the best race briefings, really!

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Gower Triathlon factsheet

Swim: 1500 m sea swim, two laps with an Australian exit.

Bike: 37 km, on open roads with an elevation gain of 278 m over three main climbs.

Run:  10 km on the beach, two laps through dunes, on roads and some boardwalks, with an elevation gain totalling 194 m.

You can find more details about the courses on the event’s website.

You can enter either as an individual or as a relay team. There are generally 2 age categories for each gender: open and veteran but there was also a VV category (very veteran?) in 2014.

Gower Triathlon for figure geeks

We downloaded the 2012 to 2015 results from Triandenter and put them through some basic analyses and graphical representations to give potential participants an idea of what to expect.

Number of starters varied between 185 in 2012 and 274 in 2013, which shouldn’t be too big a crowd for first-timers, of which there are always a healthy proportion at the start line. If you’re a female and considering entering the race, you can expect that between 12% (in 2012 and 2014) and 18% (in 2013) of the people toeing the line with you will be other women.

Starters per gender Gower tri 2012-15

The proportion of relay teams starting the race is rather low with between 4 and 8 teams each year (table 4), so look on the bright side: race as a relay and you’ve got a good chance to podium!

There are very few non-finishers in this race, with over 97% of people finishing the race each year.

The average finishing times do not vary very much between men and women (see figure 2), with the biggest difference is on the bike leg where women need 10 minutes more on average (tables 2 and 3).Male and female times Gower tri 2012-15

In the age categories, in both 2012 and 2013 the veteran women went faster on average than the younger open category. This trend was however reversed in 2014 and 2015 when the younger ladies went faster on average (see figure 3).

Female times Gower tri 2012-15
There is no such discrepancy for men, with the younger category being faster than the veterans every year (see figure 4). Please bear in mind though that these figures are averages and as there are a lot more men than women, the performances of faster individuals have much less importance on the final results. One super fast female veteran is enough to skew the results towards a faster veteran category overall, so do consider the minimum and maximum times given for each gender and age category in tables 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Male times Gower tri 2012-15

And if you want to estimate how well you might have done, you’ll also find various tables:

      • table 1 with the overall average times as well as minimum and maximum times
      • table 2 with the overall women’s average times as well as minimum and maximum times
      • table 3 with the overall men’s average times as well as minimum and maximum times
      • table 4 with the overall relay average times as well as minimum and maximum times
      • table 5 with the women’s average times per age group as well as minimum and maximum times
      • table 6 with the men’s average times per age group as well as minimum and maximum times

More info you might find useful

Access and parking

Getting there is simple, there’s only one access road and it’s very rarely congested. There is also ample parking in a field next to the transition area. Note: parking is not free.

Nearby accommodation

There are plenty of bed and breakfasts, campsites or hotels in Port Eynon and surrounding area, so accessing the start line should not be a problem on race day.

Toilets and showers

There are public toilets near the transition area, which will mean a small detour if you need to stop there during the race, so plan accordingly. A hot shower will have to wait though as there are no such facilities on site.

For the support teams

There are plenty of great spots for spectating. You can easily watch the all the swim from the beach and it must be quite entertaining to see competitors exit the water, run up the beach and up the concrete ramp that leads to the transition area.

Another popular spot is just outside the transition area, at the start and end of the bike leg where you can watch the competitors mount and dismount their bike, with varying amounts of grace.

The first – steep – hill is about 500 m after the start of the bike, just outside the village and is also a good place to cheer on!

Finally there are countless possibilities for the run: on the beach, in the dunes, near the turnaround point but the hill is no doubt the best place for entertainment and much needed support.

Activities for children

There are no particular activities for kids at the Gower triathlon but this is a great race to take the kids to as you can just let them loose on the beach, they won’t be bored and they’ll probably have a great nap later in the day or a really good night’s sleep.

Food and hot drinks

There’s a fish and chip shop / cafe near the beach and just at the start of the finishing chute as well as a restaurant and a pub if you want a full meal before leaving.

The TWExTip

This is a friendly and laid-back race that’s really worth adding on the calendar, especially as it’s one of the last open-water triathlons of the season. You’ll find it challenging and rewarding whether or not it’s your first race. You could even try it, as one of us did in 2014, a week after Ironman Wales, for recovery’s sake.

So go ahead and don’t forget to pack a hamper for after the race so that you can refuel on the beach with a big brunch and celebrate in style, we do!

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Conclusion

For us it’s become the perfect benchmark for end of season fitness and motivation for winter training…


Tables! For the real figure geeks…

Table 1. Overall average swim, bike, run and finishing times for the Gower Triathlon, the times in brackets are the minimum, maximum and standard deviation from the mean.

2012

2013

2014

2015

overall mean finish

02:46:20 (02:03:12 – 03:41:08; ±00:21:09)

02:52:43 (02:12:07 – 04:07:53; ±00:19:33)

02:50:59 (02:09:44 – 04:14:58; ±00:21:56)

03:06:16 (02:21:08- 04:45:48; ±00:23:51)

overall mean swim

00:27:11 (00:18:57 – 00:46:10; ±00:04:13)

00:33:25 (00:21:46 – 00:58:32; ±00:05:14)

00:31:12 (00:20:36 – 01:06:26; ±00:04:47)

00:38:21 (00:27:01 – 01:00:24; ±00:05:13)

overall mean bike

01:21:52 (01:01:09 – 01:57:52; ±00:10:07)

01:22:11 (01:06:04 – 02:16:22; ±00:09:38)

01:21:32 (01:05:18- 02:09:02; ±00:10:49)

01:26:32 (01:06:43 – 02:03:50; ±10:46:00)

overall mean run

00:53:25 (00:36:59 – 01:17:55; ±00:08:15)

00:53:32 (00:38:07- 01:25:18; ±00:07:02)

00:54:46 (00:39:42 – 01:23:34; ±00:08:20)

00:56:41(00:38:49 – 01:36:53; ±00:09:32)

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Table 2. Overall women’s average swim, bike, run and finishing times for the Gower Triathlon, the times in brackets are the minimum, maximum and standard deviation from the mean.

2012

2013

2014

2015

overall mean finish F 03:00:43 (02:26:40 – 03:39:30; ±00:18:15; n=22) 03:05:07 (02:30:50 – 04:07:53; ±00:17:48; n=50) 03:02:36 (02:29:04 – 04:14:58; ±00:23:33; n=31) 03:22:44 (02:38:59 – 04:45:48; ±00:26:01; n=29)
overall mean swim F 00:28:09 (00:20:38 – 00:36:02; ±00:03:38) 00:34:45 (00:25:00 – 00:48:00; ±00:05:21) 00:32:56 (00:25:54 – 00:48:43; ±00:05:09) 00:40:26 (00:30:44 – 01:00:01; ±00:07:29)
overall mean bike F 01:30:53 (01:16:17 – 00:01:49; ±00:08:53) 01:29:36 (01:13:49 – 02:16:22; ±00:09:57) 01:28:51 (01:10:37 – 02:09:03; ±00:12:51) 01:35:23 (01:16:42 – 02:03:50; ± 00:10:47)
overall mean run F 00:54:34 (00:46:53 – 01:13:49; ±00:06:41) 00:56:55 (00:47:30 – 01:11:49; ±00:05:24) 00:57:07 (00:45:17 – 01:16:46; ±00:08:06) 01:02:02 (00:44:13 17 – 01:36:26; ± 00:11:17)

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Table 3. Overall men’s average swim, bike, run and finishing times for the Gower Triathlon, the times in brackets are the minimum, maximum and standard deviation from the mean.

2012

2013

2014

2015

overall mean finish M 02:44:57 (02:03:13 – 03:41:08; ±00:20:54; n=159) 02:50:43 (02:12:08 – 04:07:26; ±00:18:36; n=217) 02:49:44 (02:38:54 – 02:58:41; ±00:08:07; n=211) 03:04:35 (02:21:08 – 04:33:06; ± 00:22:37; n=214)
overall mean swim M 00:27:10 (00:18:57 – 00:46:10; ±00:04:20) 00:33:19 (00:21:46 – 00:58:32; ±00:05:06) 00:30:59 (00:20:36 – 01:06:26; ±00:04:44) 00:38:09 (00:27:01 – 01:00:24; ± 00:04:49)
overall mean bike M 01:20:51 (01:01:10 – 01:57:52; ±00:09:38) 01:20:45 (01:06:05- 01:56:09; ± 00:08:44) 01:20:23 (01:05:19 – 01:56:05; ±00:10:06) 01:25:35 (01:06:53 – 01:55:16; ±00:10:11)
overall mean run M 00:53:03 (00:36:59 – 01:17:55; ±00:08:22) 00:53:00 (00:38:07 – 01:25:18; ±00:07:07) 00:54:29 (00:39:43 – 01:23:34; ±00:08:23) 00:56:09 (00:40:36 – 01:36:54; ± 00:08:59)

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Table 4. Overall relays’ average swim, bike, run and finishing times for the Gower Triathlon, the times in brackets are the minimum, maximum and standard deviation from the mean.

2012

2013

2014

2015

overall mean finish Relay 02:34:28 (02:04:40 – 03:02:48; ±00:17:51; n=8) 02:26:28 (02:12:37 – 02:44:45; ±00:11:20; n=7) 02:49:44 (02:38:54 – 02:58:41; ±00:08:09; n=4) 02:49:48 (02:25:08 – 03:31:24; ±00:24:14; n=7)
overall mean swim Relay 00:25:10 (00:19:17 – 00:28:42; ±00:02:52) 00:27:24 (00:22:26 – 00:33:06; ±00:04:34) 00:29:01 (00:26:04 – 00:32:13; ±00:02:31) 00:36:06 (00:27:42 – 00:40:06; ±00:04:10)
overall mean bike Relay 01:17:47 (01:06:23 – 01:36:45; ±00:11:14) 01:12:19 (01:06:12 – 01:20:32; ±00:06:27) 01:25:12 (01:15:12 – 01:35:35; ±00:10:28) 01:19:12 (01:06:43 -01:36:21; ± 00:10:57)
overall mean run Relay 00:49:35 (00:37:39 – 01:00:58; ±00:06:59) 00:46:06 (00:39:25 – 00:54:27; ±00:05:41) 00:52:26 (00:45:29 – 01:00:26; ±00:06:23) 00:51:05 (00:38:49 – 01:12:48; ± 00:11:22)

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Table 5. Women age groups’ average swim, bike, run and finishing times for the Gower Triathlon, the times in brackets are the minimum, maximum and standard deviation from the mean.

2012

2013

2014

2015

overall mean finish FO 03:03:38 (02:26:40 – 03:39:30; ±00:19:57; n=15) 03:06:30 (02:36:14 – 04:07:53; ±00:18:57; n=40) 02:54:28 (02:29:04 – 03:27:44; ±00:16:39; n=15) 03:18:02 (02:38:59 – 04:45:48; ± 00:25:45; n=22)
overall mean swim FO 00:28:18 (00:20:38 – 00:36:02; ±00:04:02) 00:35:02 (00:25:43- 00:48:31; ±00:05:25) 00:30:04 (00:25:54 – 00:39:08; ±00:03:13) 00:39:10 (00:30:44 – 01:00:01; ±00:06:43)
overall mean bike FO 01:32:39 (01:17:22 – 01:48:30; ±00:08:52) 01:30:13 (01:13:49 – 02:16:22; ±00:10:26) 01:26:12 (01:10:37 – 01:45:00; ±00:09:08) 01:34:40 (01:16:42 – 02:03:50; ±00:11:21)
overall mean run FO 00:58:33 (00:46:35 – 01:13:49; ±00:07:44) 00:56:48 (00:48:15 – 01:11:49; ±00:05:31) 00:54:40 (00:45:17 – 01:06:59; ±00:06:17) 00:59:19 (00:44:13 – 01:36:26; ± 00:10:58)
overall mean finish FV 02:54:28 (02:34:59 – 03:15:27; ±00:13:09) 02:59:35 (02:30:51 – 03:13:57; ±00:11:22) 03:00:39 (02:37:54 – 03:42:15; ±00:20:18) 03:37:30 (03:03:07 – 04:03:09; ±00:22:25)
overall mean swim FV 00:27:50 (00:24:34 – 00:33:21; ±00:02:52; n=7) 00:33:36 (00:25:00 – 00:45:42; ±00:05:10; n=10) 00:33:44 (00:30:45 – 00:41:23; ±00:03:15; n=12) 00:44:27 (00:35:15 – 01:00:00; ±00:08:51; n=7)
overall mean bike FV 01:27:04 (01:16:54 – 01:41:51; ±00:08:14) 01:27:07 (01:16:31 – 01:44:42; ±00:07:38) 01:27:32 (01:16:33 – 01:57:38; ±00:13:07) 01:37:37 (01:23:48 – 01:48:46; ±00:09:13)
overall mean run FV 00:55:29 (00:51:09 – 00:59:55; ±00:03:07) 00:57:27 (00:47:30 – 01:02:56; ±00:07:38) 00:56:07 (00:45:28 – 01:07:09; ±00:07:32) 01:10:34 (01:00:49 – 01:23:24; ±00:07:53)
overall mean finish FVV 03:38:59 (03:16:08 – 04:14:58; ±00:25:12; n=4)
overall mean swim FVV 00:41:20 (00:33:20 – 00:48:43; ±00:06:20)
overall mean bike FVV 01:42:48 (01:28:36 – 02:09:03; ±00:18:08)
overall mean run FVV 01:09:00 (01:02:18 – 01:16:46; ±00:06:09)

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Table 6. Men age groups’ average swim, bike, run and finishing times for the Gower Triathlon, the times in brackets are the minimum, maximum and standard deviation from the mean.

2012

2013

2014

2015

overall mean finish MO 02:42:15 (02:03:13 – 03:41:08; ±00:22:39; n=88) 02:49:43 (02:12:08 – 03:41:10; ±00:17:09; n=129) 02:46:21 (02:09:45 – 04:13:26; ±00:21:21; n=97) 03:02:27 (02:21:08 – 04:33:06; ±00:23:13; n=118)
overall mean swim MO 00:26:21 (00:18:57 – 00:46:10; ±00:04:39) 00:33:03 (00:21:46 – 00:49:03; ±00:04:48) 00:30:14 (00:20:36 – 01:06:26; ±00:05:21) 00:37:55 (00:27:01 – 01:00:24; ± 00:05:06)
overall mean bike MO 01:20:25 (01:01:10 – 01:57:52; ±00:10:51) 01:20:38 (01:07:04 – 01:53:03; ±00:08:12) 01:19:17 (01:05:19 – 01:56:02; ±00:10:13) 01:25:07 (01:06:53 – 01:55:16; ±00:10:06)
overall mean run MO 00:51:54 (00:36:59 – 01:17:55; ±00:08:48) 00:52:13 (00:39:59 – 01:14:35; ±00:06:23) 00:53:29 (00:39:43 – 01:23:35; ±00:08:25) 00:55:06 (00:40:36 – 01:36:54; ± 00:09:33)
overall mean finish MV 02:48:18 (02:21:10 – 03:37:35; ±00:18:05; n=71) 02:52:12 (02:21:42 – 04:07:26; ± 00:20:34; n=88) 02:51:38 (02:18:55 – 03:50:58; ±00:20:33; n=93) 03:07:14 (02:29:46 – 04:04:50; ±00:21:42; n=96)
overall mean swim MV 00:28:10 (00:21:57 – 00:40:10; ±00:03:41) 00:33:43 (00:24:55 – 00:58:32; ±00:05:30) 00:31:29 (00:23:42 – 00:42:43; ±00:04:04) 00:38:27 (00:29:01 – 00:48:36; ± 00:04:28)
overall mean bike MV 01:21:22 (01:09:17 – 01:44:38; ±00:07:54) 01:20:55 (01:06:05 – 01:56:09; ±00:09:31) 01:21:27 (01:05:41 – 01:52:45; ±00:09:26) 01:26:10 (01:08:33 – 01:51:32; ±00:10:20)
overall mean run MV 00:54:27 (00:38:51 – 01:17:05; ±00:07:37)  00:54:10 (00:38:07 – 01:25:18; ±00:07:58)  00:55:16 (00:41:53 – 01:17:56; ±00:08:10)  00:57:27 (00:42:22 – 01:22:01; ±01:12:48) 
overall mean finish MVV 02:52:39 (02:26:01 – 04:01:28; ±00:24:30; n=21)
overall mean swim MVV 00:32:13 (00:26:37 – 00:40:37; ±00:04:01)
overall mean bike MVV 01:20:46 (01:09:46 – 01:56:05; ±00:12:16)
overall mean run MVV 00:55:34 (00:44:12 – 01:17:39; ± 00:09:04)

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This entry was posted on October 28, 2015 by in Events, Wales and tagged , .

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