From Nice to the Netherlands, an overseas iron will be an unforgettable tri journey. Here’s coach Dermott Hayes with his tips on how you should plan for a Euro tri trip
Taking on any iron-distance race
is often described as going on a journey, but racing abroad adds a different and exciting element to the whole experience. In the UK, we do iron-distance races really well, but travelling overseas to race can open your eyes to how different countries see triathlon. Not many of us get into the sport thinking it’ll double as a way to see the world, but with the sport being so international, if budgets/family commitments etc. allow, we should grasp the opportunity with both hands.
Quite often, choosing to tackle an iron-distance race has to be a family decision; it’s not just about you (the athlete), you need to consider your family as they go through this with you, so choosing a race where it adds the option of a holiday post-race is your way of saying thank you to them. Racing abroad does throw up some logistical issues, such as how do you travel with your bike? Do you need specific insurance? Are there different rules to abide by? So choosing a race that’s easy to get to – and doesn’t add further pressure to you – makes sense.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle is cost. Iron-distance racing is rarely cheap and racing abroad even more so once you add in travel, hotels and the currently woeful exchange rate, so consider your budget before hitting the ‘Enter’ button. Also, if you’re British and don’t cope well with extreme heat or humidity, then choosing a race with similar weather conditions could be important. I’ve raced in Germany in 36°C temperatures, so make sure you’re ready for anything. But our experiences abroad were worth every cent, so take the plunge and race abroad – you won’t regret it!