Photographing the supbikerun TriathlonWednesday May 25, 2016
Photos of the Unique Triathlon Staged in Llandegfedd in Wales
I admire anyone who takes on the challenge of a Triathlon. It takes guts, fitness and mental strength. And this Triathlon, organised by #supbikerun, was extra special with 3 unique stages designed to test the fittest of competitors.
Jo Davies and I, under our double photographer brand of Double Take Photography, had the responsibility of capturing the atmosphere and essence of the event in a series of photographs. We arrived around 7:30am with the sun shining and Llandegfedd Reservoir looking totally amazing. But this was Wales and the weather was going to prove a little unpredictable before we finally left the site at nearly 4pm.
The #supbikerun is a different type of Triathlon, with the 3 stages comprising of a Paddle Board course across the reservoir, followed by an off-road Mountain Bike trail, before finishing with a cross-country run. This was not for the faint hearted.
We got into position for the Paddle Boarding, photographing the competitors as they entered the water in stages and disappeared out across the reservoir. The atmosphere was fantastic and for most of the participants, this was all about finishing. As we photographed the Paddle Boarding, the first of the heavy rain showers hit.
At this stage it is worth mentioning that digital cameras and rain are not the best of friends. Jo and I both were equipped with ponchos and waterproofs, but this was rain from hell. Luckily, Jo had brought a gazebo, which we quickly erected to get some rest-bite from the rain.
However, rain also makes mountain biking very interesting, especially when the competitors are hurtling down a steep field and need to take a sharp right hand turn into the bike changing station. Wearing my dashing red poncho, I positioned myself at the bottom of the hill and waited. Although there were a few hairy moments when I nearly got taken out by some of the cyclists, it was all worth the risk as the photos were fantastic. The expressions of concentration as the competitors fought to keep control of their bikes was perfect, especially as they plunged into the deep pool of muddy water at the bottom. And there were very few riders who came off their bikes and no injuries.
At the same position I was able to photograph the competitors returning through the gate as they started their cross country run. By this time, heavy rain had fallen several times and the ground was saturated and muddy. People ran towards the camera shrouded in mud, but still smiling. This was endurance in the extreme.
As I waited for the bikes to plunge into the water and runners start their final stage, Jo was photographing people crossing the finish line. It worked really well.
What I enjoyed about the event was the diversity of competitors in terms of shape and age. They were competing with themselves, mentally forcing themselves onwards despite the horrid weather and challenging course. I even felt that this was something that I wanted to do, although on Sunday I was happy to be behind the camera! I am not sure that spending a Sunday getting soaking wet and muddy is every photographer's cup of tea, but Jo and I loved every minute.
A small selection of the photographs can be seen in the Sports Event section on my website.
#supbikerun was a fantastic event and Jo and I can't wait to cover their 2 other events in 2016 in Suffolk in July and the Lake District in September.
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