If you have been involved in the local triathlon scene, you would have probably heard of the TRI Factor Series which has been growing for the past seven years.
The interesting set-up of TRI Factor Series
A unique model that slowly builds towards helping participants to complete a full triathlon each year, the TRI Factor series traditionally has hosted four events – a swimming race, a cycling race, a running race and followed by a full triathlon race.
Said Elvin Ting, Managing Director of TRI Factor Event Organisers, Orange Room, “We got introduced to triathlons in early 2000s and we realised that it was fun. But the mindset that ordinary people had about triathlon is that it was very challenging and difficult. We needed to break that mindset.”
He added, “So this was inspired by bringing this sport with multi sport elements, into a swimming, a biking, and a running event, followed by a triathlon, and that is how we have been moving on over the years.”
Hopes to “bring the inspiration back to the people” in triathlon
But now that they have gained some following in Singapore, with 2,500 participants for last year’s event, the TRI Factor Series organisers hope to “bring the inspiration back to the people” and motivate triathletes to continuously do better in the sport – not only in Singapore but across Asia.
To do this they are aiming to launch new races across eight different countries in Asia by the year 2017 – to reach out to more than 100,000 athletes through their two-year campaign.
Said Ting, “Today athletes have so much materials accessible to them online, for example, about eating right and resting, but people want the right material at the right time so that they can be motivated and inspired to grow in this sport.”
Tie ups with professionals for coaching
Besides this, Ting also added that the TRI Factor Series will be tying up with professionals in terms of coaching of their participants.
Said Ting, “What we have done, is to tie up with the pros in coaching to bring back the inspiration to the people. It is not just about the sport of triathlon but about the lifestyle and how this sport has changed the lives of so many people.”
Two of the pros that TRI Factor 2016 have tied up with, are Australians Chris McCormack and Clint Kimmins, both well know figures in the triathlon scene.Said Clint, a world-class surfer turned professional triathlete aiming to qualify for the 2016 Ironman World Championships, “What drew me to triathlon was the fear I had about it, as triathlon was something that seemed so hard to me initially. But the TRI Factor Series has a format that makes it easy for people to come into these events and give triathlon a go.”
He added, “For example it may sound scary to go out on the streets with a bike or swim in open water but this four-race format really helps to put people’s minds at ease.”
Continued Ting, “TRI Factor will drive our partnerships with these pros, who have the background and exposure to the sport. So there will be more access for participants of the dos and don’ts behind the sport, that is, things that you don’t normally hear. We want to bring the stories to the heart of the people in Singapore to inspire them in the sport of triathlon.”
Introduction of TRI Factor App
One way that TRI Factor will help triathletes is also via the introduction of a TRI Factor smartphone App that will give people access to real time information.This app is scheduled to be launched in the third or fourth quarter of the year and will coincide around the period that the TRI Factor Triathlon – the final event in the series – will be taking place.
Added Ting, “Everyone who downloads the app will have access to their own profile and points system and we will have a photo gallery to share real time, for example coaching tips from the professionals and advice on how to train for a triathlon.”
TRI Factor Series kicks off on 8 May
TRI Factor 2016 will kick off in Singapore next quarter on 8 May, before moving on to Thailand, China and Indonesia over the next three quarters.
TRI Factor Series 2016 will also incorporate some new categories. Besides the traditional Swim category, there will also be Swim-Run-Swim categories for those who wish to delve into multi sports.Said Ting, “These will help people to get into the multi sports concept. As well we are also introducing a 3km Relay Swim as a new concept – as long swims may be daunting for people who have not swum for such a long distance before, the relay concept helps to make it possible for them to grow their interest in the sport of triathlon.”
For the TRI Factor Bike on 5 June at Nicoll Highway, and TRI Factor Run taking place at a later date in the year, similar measures will also be introduced, with bike-run-bike and run-swim-run categories.
Hopes to grow the triathlon scene further
With these measures they are hoping to grow the triathlon scene even further. Said McCormack, a two-time Kona Ironman world champion, “In Singapore alone, the triathlon community has the potential to become very big in the next five years. There are also plenty of athletes with the talent across Asia.”
He added, “When I came to Asia about six to seven years ago, there was the Aviva Ironman 70.3 race but it was very small. Now it has been growing really well – more young people, women in particular, are becoming more active in triathlon which seems to be a common trend globally, and I think it just works here. Asia has perfect weather – well it is hot, but then you can train every day, all year round, unlike in Europe which is snowing and cold right now.”
Click here for my interview with Chris McCormack.