A visitor attraction since the 18th century, Stowe House and Landscape Gardens form one of the greatest estates in Europe and have welcomed many literary, political and influential people as well as royals from around Europe. The Landscape Gardens have been developed by the National Trust since 1989 to restore the forty listed monuments and temples and increase access for the public. Today, Stowe House and Gardens are open to the public and allows a unique glimpse into the Neo-Classical world of Stowe.
Working closely with the National Trust we are delighted to offer you the opportunity to swim the 11 Acre Lake, ride the surrounding villages past Siverstone F1 Circuit and run through the gardens past some of the famous monuments, temples and statues. Sprint distance competitors enjoy each section of the event, while Standard (olympic) distance competitors ride and run the bike/run routes twice and middle distance competitors ride the bike route three times and the run route four times.
This was a great race, where friendly triathletes of all abilities participated, and with a lovely challenging course.
The distances are not the classic Olympic ones, but slightly longer in both bike and run. The swim is in a welcoming lake, a little weedy this time round, but probably caused by the bad weather we recently had. The bike consisted of two laps of an undulating course in a beautiful countryside practically traffic free. For me, the best part was the run, along countryside path, soft under the feet in a scenic park. I didn’t mind at all the exit from T1 with the bike uphill a bumpy muddy road, since the organizers made every effort to make it smooth cutting the grass and using matts.. Overall: a great event.
Posted on 04.07.16
Swim in a small lake. Lots of weeds!
Bike: not very fast course with long stretches of rough tarmac
Run: hilly course, multiterrain and scenic. 23.4km long!
Posted on 13.07.15
Overall this was a challenging course which would have been more enjoyable with better organisation.
The organisation of this event was quite chaotic with waves starting late. This was becuase they were waiting for people to exit the lake from previous waves but I don't think it would have been too difficult to estimate more accurate wave times.
I agree with everything the previous reveiwer said especially about the long transition up the hill so I won't repeat it here. My biggest peeve was the innaccurate distances - I measured the bike at 27k and had very much mis-paced the bike. For a sprint that was c40% longer than expected! The run was definatley longer than 5K with the winner posting 30 mins run time. My husband overhead runners complaining that the "half marathon" was infact 15 miles long. He also felt that the security on transition was poor with the security guards not taking much notice of what was happening.
On the bike I only saw one marshall (in a car) and very much felt on my own. I was concerned if I had a mechanical or other issue that it would be difficult to get back to the event.
One of the feed stations was being packed up whilst I was still running which was a bit dispirting.
It's a stunning location and lovely running terriority. A bit more organisation and staffing could make it a great event. However, I would not return or take part in another event by this organisation.
Posted on 13.07.15
The location of this race is great, set in the heart of Stowe Landscape Gardens, a National Trust property with vast acres of land and stunning neo-classical architecture.
The orgnsiation of the event, however, was not as positive. On Your Marks Events have decided to capitalise on event day by running 6 events simultaneously: a middle, standard and sprint tri as well as a 5k, 10k and half marathon run. Once you have marked out a swim, bike and run course it's easy to just add extra laps and make more money, right? Unfortunately this is to the detriment of the event as it felt messy and seemed as though they were spreading themselves too thinly.
I entered the sprint, which started late morning after the middle and standard distance waves had set off. Our start time was delayed as we had to wait for the previous wave of standard distance competitors to get out of the water before we could begin. While we were waiting they decided to start the runners race briefing and the 5k/10k and half marathon races, so it just felt like we were being ignored. You couldn't even hear the guy who was doing the swim briefing because the main loudspeaker was focused on the runners now.
Then they decided to change the swim route at the last minute so it was different to the previous waves - I failed to see the point of this as the course was marked out at 750m anyway. This led to confusion among the competitors as no-one was quite sure what the plan was.
The swim was in a small lake/large pond and was quite weedy with poor visibility. I didn't have any problem with the water quality to be honest but I have seen/heard reviews about this in a negative light.
Transition was on a grassy slope out of the lake - I understand they have changed this since previous years as transition was apparently really far away from the lake. Again this didn't cause any problems in itself.
HOWEVER. Running out of transition, you had to cycle up a track which was an extremely stony and uneven surface, not only extremely sketchy for punctures but also dangerous! I cycled on the grass verge but again, this really isn't ideal. It was uphill for about 700m so very hard going and not pleasant at all. What made this worse was that the run route was the same so runners were coming down the hill as we were cycling up the hill.
At the top of the hill there was a cattle grid with a one metre wide stretch of rubber matting over one bit. Again, same problem with runners and cyclists wanting to go over this one bit it was verging on dangerous! How much more is it to get, say, two bits of rubber to prevent this problem?!
Bike course was mostly well marked, pretty hilly (undulating rather than hilly, but quite sustained) and very windy. What surprised me though was at junctions where we had to pull out into roads with traffic on them, there were no marshalls. One marshall was sat in his car about 200m away from one junction, most of the others were unmanned. This again felt a bit poor. The bike course was also long - about 22k so my time was slower than I expected.
Coming back into transition was awful - we had to get off the bikes at the top and run down this atrocious stony, uneven path - in cleats this was even worse, and there were now a lot of runners on the course running up the hill - a recipe for disaster. I ran along the grass again but it was not a well-thought out route in my opinion.
The run was VERY hilly - wow! I didn't quite expect that - it was constant undulations and all off-road so felt very tough on the legs. It was beautifully scenic around the estate though. As you can imagine in a sprint you are working at high intensity so when I got to 4.7k I put the hammer down a bit, relief at being within striking distance of the finish. But oh no. Over 1km later and I was still nowhere near the finish. What the actual....
Finally, I ran back down the pathway of hell (still erratic and congested as there was no up/down /left/right system in place at all) and into the finish, with a very appalling "5k" time and a Garmin reading of 6.7k!!! At least they could have advertised this. To bill it as a sprint triathlon with a 5k run which isn't 5k is very annoying and frustrating for people who are trying to stick to certain pacing.
At the finish, there were 39p value bottles of water and banana halves. The medal was cheap - probably one of the worst I have received at a triathlon.
I waited around for the results for a while before they announced that the previously planned awards ceremony was going to be cancelled, and that they would post the prizes out to competitors instead. What a farce.
I would understand if I had only paid £30 or so to enter this event but for £65 it is a bit of a joke. I race a lot of triathlons, in a lot of places around the world, and this was probably one of the worst I have ever attended in terms of organisation. It was clearly a case of capitalising on entry fees by running so many events simultaneously but I think it's greedy and completely lacks quality because of this. All the runners and triathletes, no matter what distance or event, got the same cheap medal.
To cancel the awards ceremony and not provide results until the next day, despite being a chip-timed event (!?) is poor. I wouldn't do this race again, and I very much doubt I would do any of the races run by this company again either unless they sorted their act out.
Posted on 12.07.15
Stowe is a great location but to be honest the race organisation was poor. Swim start delayed as had to wait for other waves to exit and so we set off late. The bike course was quite well-signposted and the run was ok through the grounds but this was not a race I would return to. Shame as good location.
Posted on 30.12.16