As a moderate achieving age grouper I have raced many of the multi sport races. I raced Barrelman when it was called simply Welland and it stayed in Welland. I also raced it when it became the Rose City Triathlon. Of course I have raced it in it’s next form which is Barrelman. There are many reasons to race at this venue. I live close to the site of the race and it is the closest half distance triathlon to me but I would make it a race-cation if I lived further away. The people and venue make this a must for any triathlete considering the half distance.
Why race Barrelman?
I am a good swimmer and biker but a lousy runner. Injuries have limited my ability to train the run. Doing Barrelman has allowed me to remain competitive by doing the aquabike. They also have the duathlon, the relay, the run/bike option and of course the full, half distance. Your training did not go as planned? Need to defer, maybe do a different option? Contact the staff, they are excellent in ensuring that your race day experience is all it can be.
Each aspect of the course is suited to a first timer as well as a seasoned athlete looking for that pb. The swim is situated in a sheltered canal that has boat lines underneath the water. These lines mean that sighting is incredibly easy and following the lines under the water ensure you stay in that aero position in the water for most of the swim. No running up sandy beaches to get to your bike. Transition is less than 100 meters away from the swim exit. The bike is flat and really fast. There are few turns, so it is difficult to get lost and the flat course enables less speedy bikers to complete well within cut offs and speedier bikers to pb the distance. The run, although not entirely flat does go by the falls with cooling spray coming off the water as you go by the falls. There are parts that are well shaded and the terrain changes so that the runner gets to break the race down into manageable pieces and keeps it interesting.
The venue by the Falls is amazing. After finishing the race you can cool off in the cascading water park and relax in compression pants! Who wouldn’t love that. If you are a back of the pack racer you will get the same treatment as the front runners. They stay until the end, no one is left out on the course by themselves. The finish area is well tended with lots of grass and open space. Each and every participant is greeted across the line by the director of multisport. Finisher hats, shirts and medals are some of the perks that many racers are looking for at this distance and Barrelman has them!
Every single time, every single time I have talked to management they have stepped up. They give amazing service always trying to up the experience of the athlete. From adding the shuttle, to changes in food no detail is to small for them to consider. I have dropped by their office and every time I am listened to and my concerns are acted upon.
Fitting it all in?
Stepping up to a multi-hour race can be an daunting task. What should you consider. My first half was Muskoka but it I knew then what I know now I would have completed Barrelman first. The flat, fast course is a real confidence booster. The logistics of getting gear from T1 to T2? The Multisport team makes it look effortless. Problems or questions get a timely and helpful response. As a first time or tenth time Barrelman should be your triathlon of choice.
See you on the course!