Immortal Stourhead Weekend

Posted on: February 12, 2019

As many of you know, our passion at Immortal Sport is putting on unforgettable events at unbeatable locations. What makes it even more rewarding is when our racers enjoy the courses as much as we do, and decide to let us know about it.

James England, a talented footballer and cricketer, turned to triathlon training 4 years ago following in his Dad, Phil’s, footsteps.

From intense swim training, James quickly saw huge improvements and his weight reduced quickly. In no time, he was challenging Phil and is quicker than him in all aspects of triathlon! Now, James is targeting a Kona slot in the highly competitive 25-29 age group, and having seen his grit and determination so far, we think the odds are on his side.

Since picking up triathlon four years ago, James has been competing in the Immortal Stourhead weekend each year. Speaking of the event, James said:

“For the last four seasons this race has become my season opener. It is the first race in the diary for me and a great gauge of how the winter has gone. Elly, my fiancée comes along and it’s a great family friendly weekend. The race has arguably the most picturesque setting on the UK triathlon scene… not many organisations are lucky enough to secure locations like this. Last year, the sprint on the Saturday night was even started by a bride celebrating her wedding day at the National Trust estate!

The swim is set in the lake right in the heart of Stourhead, a short walk down from transition, which feels a little more than that once you have completed the swim. However, I cannot imagine many people on the start line would have experienced a more postcard-perfect setting for a triathlon swim! It is a simple two-lap affair, which, if you put yourself on the front and are a strong swimmer, can be a quick swim. If you are not quite so confident, the lake is shallow, full of marshals on kayaks, and if you really had to you could probably stand up at most points on the route so it’s great for anyone new to the sport or not as comfortable in the water.

The bike, is a three-lap course which has a bit of everything. There are plenty of opportunities to get down on the TT bars and put the hammer down on some lovely quiet rural roads. There are some tricky descents, which will test the best of riders, and some climbs to match! It certainly takes some discipline to slip it into the little ring and not beast the legs before the run!

Back in the stunning grounds of Stourhead, the run is three-laps, which for me is perfect to for breaking it down mentally and attempting to pace it. They are very much laps of two halves, pretty much uphill from when you pass the lake on some very quiet roads. The road up through the estate is packed with supporters and is a highlight of the race, although it is the last place on the course you want people to see you! Then, once you’re back at the top of the lap and into the forest, it is a very quick trail section back into the estate and eventually the lake. This is probably my personal highlight as it is very quick and has lots of opportunities to see who is up ahead to try and reel them in.”

If you’re competing at Stourhead for the first time this May, or are regular at the event, we would love to hear your experiences from your training journeys to your thoughts on the event itself. Let us know what you think.

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