This morning we received a call from Anglian Water advising us that the levels of blue green algae have continued to rise over the last few days, and that this morning they have crossed the level beyond which it is no longer considered safe to allow swimming in the reservoir. As such the swimming leg of the triathlon/aquabike could not proceed on Sunday. Last year’s event took place without issue a week later in the calendar than this year, and so the algae has appeared a fortnight earlier than in 2018.
In the rules that were available on the BTF website as part of your entry, as blue green algae is a safety matter we are entitled to run the event as a duathlon, and indeed we highlighted this possibility in your race briefing, and the covering email that accompanied it on Tuesday morning. However following on from the briefing being circulated we received several comments back from competitors expressing reservations about switching to a duathlon.
We also took the opportunity to speak with a small number of participants at lunchtime today to ask what their preference would be as a way forward. When given a choice between a duathlon this Sunday, or a deferral of their entry to a date in June 2020 they were unanimous is picking the deferral option. Aquabike entrants would not even have a duathlon option, their race would simply become a ride.
Whilst we might technically be allowed to run the event as a duathlon/sportive, it is not the event that we have all invested our hearts into trying to put on, and nor is it the event you, our wonderful competitors, are expecting to compete in after all your training. As such we have decided that, very reluctantly, we are going to cancel this weekend’s Alton Water Triathlon.
We are offering entrants two choices moving ahead, either;
• As per the rules of entry, receive a refund of your entry fee less a £15 administration charge. Significant costs have already been incurred and the £15 fee will still leave us bearing a loss for the cancellation of the event, or
• Carry over your entry to 2020 when we will look to schedule a date in June, tentatively looking at the 28th, which I hope to have confirmed within a week after further discussion with Anglian Water.
It goes without saying that we are devastated at the loss of the opportunity to put on a bigger, better, Alton Water Triathlon in 2019. It is that very ambition to be bigger and better that pushed us towards cancellation as the better option this weekend, rather than adopt a make do and mend approach that risked putting on a duathlon that met no one’s expectations.
If you wish to use the refund option then we will need you to email firstname.lastname@example.org with your bank account name, sort code, and account number. There is no simple way of refunding direct to your cards. As each refund will have to set up as an individual transaction it is going to take us many days to process all the refunds so we would ask for your patience whilst we work our way through the requests.
We thank you for entering our wonderful race. We apologise again for finding ourselves having to cancel the event this year, but we hope we will still see many of you back in June 2020.
Thanks and Best Wishes
Bill Richmond, Carla Gilbey, Mark Weston, Ruth Hatch
The Alton Water Triathlon Team