By Paul Groves on 15/02/17 at 4:03 pm
Let’s go Dutch!
Ok, so the real meaning is that the costs are shared between the participants but we all know from previous experience that “Going Dutch” and going to Holten has been one of the best experiences in triathlon that you can have. An entire village throws itself into making your day the best ever. Holten as a triathlon event is well-established and for that reason, perhaps, the newer race from Weert, a delightful town tucked away in the south-eastern part of the Netherlands, has not yet been discovered by many of you.
But that is all about to change.
Weert has over the recent years, hosted the Youth Olympic Games qualifier and a number of ETU Cup events. Weert is now firmly on the map in terms of the ETU calendar and with the full support of the municipality, is becoming the Limburg brother of Holten.
We often speak about the importance of “The Legacy” of an event. By building up the event, an LOC with vision can generate massive interest locally.
Interest from schools; so important in bringing newer athletes to our sport, interest from fitness clubs and companies; again important in showing people what our sport is about and, by having relay teams racing, allowing people who are not yet ready to commit to a full triathlon, to be part of triathlon, interest from businesses; important in providing streams of financial and other support.
All this, when viewed by the municipality can show that the event has potential and as they later reflect upon the interest and attendance at a race, they can see the true value of giving solid support to the LOC as the hotels, restaurants, bars and businesses check their accounts to see that hosting a successful triathlon over a number of years can bring real benefit to the town.
Well, Weert has achieved this and in the gallery aside you will be able to see just a small selection of the many photos that have captured the impact this event has had upon the local community.
2017 is moving up a gear. Age Group participation is growing across Europe. Athletes are now becoming more adventurous and have recognised that where there is an ETU European Cup, there is generally an Open Race. At present the glory is simply in the race but there are calls for a ranking system similar to the Elite. We are some way off seeing this become a reality but with so many events now available to choose from around Europe, why not use the ETU calendar to build up race experience on secure and safe courses, with all the glitz and glamour of the blue carpet events you watch on TV?
Weert will this year be offering once again the chance for Age Group athletes from all over Europe the chance to race. The first chance to race will be on Friday 9th June and it will be the Children who get to race a variety of distances over the run / bike / run and swim / bike / run formats. Saturday 10th will see Standard and Sprint races as part of the Dutch series and open events over the popular “Quarter Distance” and Sprint. Sunday 11th will see the main focus turn to the ETU European Cup but with Youth and Junior Races, followed by selection races over sprint and Standard Distance in the morning before the mid-afternoon ETU starts.
For a full programme, please click this link.
What can we expect this year that is different to previous years? Firstly, there has been a significant improvement in the swim and run courses. With a keen eye on 2019 and having made a bid for the ETU Triathlon European Championships, this year could be a great chance for any Age Group athletes to test the course way in advance. The swim has been relocated to a man-made lake, called “Blauwe Meertje” (The Blue Lake). A company called Kuypers Kessel, involved in sand-mining have given their full support to the LOC. Having moved away from the "Zuid-Willemsvaart", the 2017 Weert ETU Triathlon European Cup will be the first event to use this new venue, situated in “The Greenest Region in the World” (as voted by the Communities in Bloom Foundation). A perfect swim start, with a beach, calm water and clear lines for swimming. The run course has been adjusted as well, so as to increase the length of each lap and will pass through two neighbourhoods and of course the canal on both sides. This move will provide a unique, easy and fast course. So, if you want a good result, this will be the perfect triathlon for you and your supporters.
News has come through that the first registrations have been made for the ETU Cup and that the Open Quarter Distance event is fully-subscribed for men and women but that there is still a wait list. There are still places available for the Standard Distance race, so hurry, hurry!
Want to find out more?
Find more details about this event - 2017 Weert ETU Triathlon European Cup