The swim for both the Sprint and Olympic distance races at the Norwich Triathlon takes place in the Whitlingham Broad, within the Whitlingham Country Park.
Participants in the Sprint swim 750m and participants in the Olympic 1500m.
The swim starts at the Whitlingham Outdoor Education Centre (OEC) with a maximum of 120 swimmers in a wave starting at 10 minute intervals. Swimmers are seeded into their start waves based upon their estimated total time for the triathlon. We aim to put the fastest competitors into the first wave so as to avoided overtaking during the race, reduce congestion over the race and to ensure the first person over the finish line is the winner. Depending upon number of entrants, gender of entrants and estimated times of entrants will determine the mix and composition of the waves.
The swim course is marked out with inflatable buoys. Large yellow buoys indicate straight on. Larger red buoys labeled up with the Triathlon England Eastern Region logo indicate turn buoys.
Both swims finish at the jetty near to transition. We have a team of grabbers in the water (normally our famous mermaids) to help participants find their feet and their balance as they run out of the water.
There is a 10 minute walk from transition to the swim start and swimmers are advised to get to the start 15 minutes before their wave. Not all will want to walk barefoot to the start. We will transport shoes from the swim start to near the race finish for collection after the race.
New for 2015 will be the format for the swim start. In previous years we have started the race with all swimmers holding onto the OEC decked area from within the water. For 2015 we plan to float a rope parallel to the deck two to three meters out. The rope will mark the start line and will be lifted clear of the swimmers at the start. This gives a much larger start area and hopefully less congestion for participants. Those who are speedy swimmers can start at the rope and those who know that they aren’t the fastest of swimmers can line up safely behind them.