Dan Elliot (Sandman 'Savage' Triathlon Winner 2018)
"The first time I took part in the 'Savage' - I was hooked!"
I took part in my first “Savage” format triathlon at the 2018 Slateman Triathlon and I instantly became hooked! I’d only planned on Olympic distances in 2018, but the 2-day event (Saturday - Sprint, Sunday – Classic) was too good to miss at the Superfeet Sandman Triathlon, the perfect way to finish my season.
The Saturday was the sprint race, which is always hard to judge; you want to do well but don’t want to expend too much energy as you have to race the next day. The Sprint race at the Sandman was great as like all Always Aim High Events sprint races the swim is only 400m, ideal for beginners to the sport. The transition area at the Sandman is probably the best of all 3 races. You come out of the water, through the sand, and into the great view of the forest - not that you have time to take it in as you charge through the transition area. The bike course at the Sandman Sprint Triathlon is great for all abilities; it’s fast, flat, and not too technical making it enjoyable for all athletes. As you make your way back into Newbourough Forest through the fast access road (watching out for the speed bumps J) all you have left is a beautifully scenic run. This is by far one of the best parts of the course as the 5k run takes in a trail, gravel and woodlands all finished off with a 400m run along the beach with a view to die for. Crossing the finish line to a hero’s welcome gives you a brief moment to celebrate before starting the recovery process ahead of tomorrows race. There’s loads of food and drink on the finish line to help refuel.
The next day as you head down into Newborough Forest for the second time of the weekend, your legs will ache but the anticipation of by far the best race of the season will be spreading through your body. There are many benefits of bring a Savage competitor, a great spot in transition right by the exit not to mention knowing the course having raced a lot of it the previous day. However, on the scenic walk down the beach to the start line all the pre-race nerves will come flooding back whether you have raced over 100 times or its your first one, they are still the same – and I love it!
The Sandman Classic is by far the best race in the series. The sea swim is very testing but a great experience. As you exit the water the atmosphere from the spectators is incredible and continues throughout the race. The bike course is really what makes this race. Suitable for all abilities due to its flat, fast nature with winds making bike handling all that more essential. Coming back into T2 the atmosphere around the transition area has not changed from when you headed out on the bike. Knowing that you are on the final stretch of the weekend of racing gives you that little extra boost. The run is very much like the sprint race with trail, gravel and woodlands all finished off with a 400m run along that stunning beach.
As you reach the brow of the hill and head towards the finish the atmosphere is absolutely incredible and goose bumps will run through your body knowing that you have finished a whole weekend of racing. I enjoyed the Sandman Savage weekend so much that I will 100% be returning in 2019, so why not join me too.
Entries for the 2019 Superfeet Sandman Triathlon are open, book your place here