Club insider on Wearside Triathlon
21 March, 2023
With AJ Bell 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Sunderland taking place on 29-30 July, find out a bit more about Wearside Triathlon, one of the Triathlon England Affiliated Clubs that swim, bike, run throughout the year near to where the event will be taking place on Roker Seafront.
Whether you’re wanting to get into swimming, cycling and running for the first time, looking for some top tips having entered the event in July, or are simply after a group of like-minded people to enjoy and develop your triathlon skills with, clubs are a great place to be.
Andy Bell is a member of Wearside Triathlon and is one of the thousands already signed up to swim, bike, run in Roker this summer.
“I first started off in 2005,” he commented. “The first race I ever did was a local supersprint organised by the local fire service. I had absolutely no idea what it was about, I’d never swam 16 lengths in my life but entered the race and absolutely loved it – best thing ever.
“I used an old mountain bike, finished the race and have never looked back since. Crossed the finish line, my family all came along, and then went and joined the local club. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done, joining the local club.”
Founded in 2017, Wearside Triathlon’s members range from those just starting out in swim, bike, run to individuals representing Great Britain in the Age-Group Team, with the club’s ethos being about supporting members to be the best they can be.
“When you join a club, you think everyone’s going to be top of their game, winning races all the time. It’s not,” Bell continued.
“It’s about participation, and the coaches know what they’re doing, and they’ll tailor a session to what’s best for you and push you out of your comfort zone a little bit, but not so much that you don’t want to go back.
“It’s the only sport I know where you can give a competitor advice about how to beat you in transition, then go out to try and beat each other. Everyone just really helps out from the start, which is the main thing.”
Throughout the week, the club organise a variety of swimming, cycling and running sessions at venues around the local area, including open water swimming at event venue Roker Beach during the summer months, with the beach being where Bell first got involved in open water swimming for triathlon.
British Triathlon and Sunderland City Council are partnering together to bring AJ Bell 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Sunderland to the city, providing a home race for elite British athletes and the opportunity for the local community to see the best in the world and be inspired to explore the various opportunities to get involved in swim, bike, run across Sunderland.
“It’s where I did my first open water race on virtually the same course,” he added. “To see from 2005 when we helped set out transition and that sort of stuff, to having a world class event is just unbelievable, it really is.
“When you have a world class event literally on your doorstep, there’s no chance in a million years I’d not enter this race. I live virtually on the course, I train on the course. It’s just too good an opportunity to miss.
“It’s quite bizarre that I’m a normal person and everybody else entering will be normal people, and they can go on the start line and the same course as Olympic champions and world champions
“The influx of visitors from outside the area. People walking around with all their different training tops. That’ll be the best bit, having people from all over the world turning up in Sunderland.”
Entries to AJ Bell 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Sunderland are open and available in a variety of distances, for individuals and for teams. The event takes place in and around Roker Seafront on 29-30 July 2023, and you can find out more about the event and the opportunity that’s right for you at https://sunderland.triathlon.org/2023.
Whether you’re a regular participant of swimming, cycling or running, targeting AJ Bell 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Sunderland, or want to use it as a springboard to be more active, check out your local club for your swim, bike, run journey.
Find local affiliated clubs, including Wearside Triathlon across England, Scotland and Wales on the British Triathlon Club Search https://www.britishtriathlon.org/clubs/search.
The final piece of advice from Bell to get involved with swim, bike, run is: “There’s a race for every ability, it makes no difference what ability you are. There’s a race for everybody, there really is.
“If they’re thinking of doing swim, bike, run or triathlon or duathlon is go and have a look at a couple of clubs and see what’s best for you. Each club offers different things and train on different nights, really just see what’s best for you and they’ll help you out as best they can.”