The TRI-Factor Swim and AquaRun Challenge 2017

TRI-Factor Series is a four-leg mass participation event that consists of individual swimming, biking and running events and then as a finale, a triathlon event. The rationale for having this four-step concept is to give beginners the opportunity to train for and prepare for a triathlon.

Relaxing in the water before it’s time to start.

Took place at Carpark F2 this morning 

The first event in the 2017 TRI-Factor Series, the TRI-Factor Swim and AquaRun Challenge, took place this morning at Carpark F2, East Coast Park. For the AquaRun Challenge, there were three categories – Freshman (200m swim / 2km Run / 200m Swim), Sprint (500m Swim / 5km Run / 500m Swim) and Standard (1,000m Swim / 10km Run / 500m Swim) to cater to athletes of differing abilities.

Competitors queue up to get their body markings done.

For those who had preferred to simply swim though, there were also varying categories ranging from 200m – for those who wanted to wet their feet, to 2,000m – for the seasoned and competitive swimmers.

Swim was clear with good weather

Volunteers prepare the safety boats.

The athletes who took part in the TRI-Factor AquaRun Challenge had a great time. Said Remi Richart, 27, an Engineer in the Oil and Gas industry, “It was very good! The weather was nice. The swim was very clear – the water was at the correct temperature and it was perfect. There wasn’t much waves or currents either. The run was also great; East Coast Park is always a beautiful place for a run. And then going back into the water for the second swim was a great way to cool down after the hot and humid run.”

Agreed Jeremia Christy Suriadi, 19, an Environment & Water Technology student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, “It was really enjoyable. The weather was nice and the atmosphere was really exciting. Last year I did the Sprint event and today I did the Standard, which is double the distance. That was really quite an experience; the swim was tough, especially the second one. Right after the run, my heart rate was high and I had to manage it when I was in the water.”

Ready. Set. Go!

She added, “For me the first swim was a bit crowded and I had to navigate my way through; I did get a few kicks here and there, but you just have to suck that up. The run though, was enjoyable. Normally we just go straight up and back, but today there were some curves along the route, which made it interesting. I focused on my breathing and cadence and I really enjoyed the run. The biggest challenge for me, was the second swim, because I was already tired by then.”

Competitors heading into the water to begin their race.

However, Alexis Turcaud, 33, a shipyard constructor, felt that the run leg had been the most challenging part. He said, “The swim part was good. But I found the transition from the swim to the run very strange because my legs had felt soft after swimming. I did 45minutes for the 10km run, and I know that I could have done better.”

Organisation was great

Time to run.

Christy also pointed out that the organisation had been great. She said, “There were lots of helpers at the water stations and they were great in giving us hydration and all. It was quite good.”

Wouter Delbaere, 32, a Marketing Manager in the financial technology field, also shared Christy’s sentiments about the organisation of the race having been good. He added, “One thing that really stood out for me, was the organiser’s attention for safety. They postponed the start of the race because they were not sure whether the water was 100 per cent safe.”

Never too old to attempt a triathlon!

Continued Wouter, “During the race, the volunteers also constantly told us to keep right and keep left, because they did not close down the whole park, and there were bikers and runners everywhere. They did a great job in directing and organising the runners to make sure everyone was safe. I was very impressed.”

Possible improvements 

However he had pointed out though, that the directions at the transition area should have been clearer. Explained Wouter, “People should be at the transitions to guide athletes and tell them where to go, because I got very confused – the transition for me was slightly chaotic and I lost a couple of minutes in and out, because I got pointed in the wrong direction. I lost some time as a result.”

Wouter pointed out that the directions at the transition area could have been clearer.

Christy however, felt that there could have been an Elite wave for faster competitors. She said, “Having an Elite wave and staggering the starts even more would help, so that there is not so much mess in the water. Usually for other events there is an Elite wave, so that past participants who won the event would be able to start first.”

Recovery Lounge for competitors after their event.

For Remi though, having a shower station would have been good. He said, “The logistics and organisation of the event was very good, and I didn’t have any problems in finding the place. But it would be good to have a shower station at the race village; I felt quite hot and wet especially after the run.”

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