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Tri The Beast: Fenella Langridge
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Tuesday 29th September 2015


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Tri The Beast 2015 - Race Winner Fenella Langridge reports

There's a new beast in town. When we heard about - and then saw some of the images from - the inaugural Tri The Beast Triathlon from Xman Events (www.xmanevents.com), we wanted to find out more.

Set in Lynmouth, North Devon, the event is described as "the first of an exciting new breed of triathlons on Exmoor to up the standard of events on offer for aspirational and adventurous triathletes". It was also described as "not for the faint-hearted"! This was an event that would not be adequately covered by a two paragraph press release, so we got in touch with both race winners to find out more.

We are more used to seeing Fenella Langridge racing in the British Triathlon Super Series in which this year she finished fifth at Tri Liverpool and fourth at The London Triathlon. So, from a world of draft-legal Sprint and Olympic Distance racing, how did a complete change of environment and format work out for her?


Tri The Beast Extreme Triathlon - Saturday 19th September 2015
1.2miles / 57.5miles / 11.5miles

"A few lines or a full race report", is what I had been asked for to describe the Tri The Beast Extreme Triathlon.

I think the name speaks for itself when I say I don't think you can really describe this epic race in just a few sentances. So here I go, lets see if I can give you a feel for this amazing race and see if you are mad enough to take up the challenge next year. If so, I will see you on the start line because I'm definitely doing it again.

If you weren't going up you were coming down but the views at the top were so worth it. Not that I had that much time to really stop and appreciate it while I was there. The only part of the race that was flat was the swim and that was just luck as it was such a beautiful day.

Tri The Beast - Fenella Langridge

The sun was shining and there was no wind, a perfect race day as we started the epic race in the beautiful sheltered bay beneath the dramatic cliffs. As a fish out of water, the swim in any triathlon has always been a discipline I love and this was no different. I managed to have a great swim and come out first, in front of all the men! I knew from that moment that I was the hare out in front that everyone was going to be chasing me down.

With a smooth T1 I jumped on my Giant Liv bike and straight into the first climb of many. Not having even done a middle distance triathlon before I was rather apprehensive about how fast to go and how hard to push. The race was not only longer than normal it was over extremely different terrain. Racing on the Elite circuit primarily means that most of my races are draft legal on the bike and are through city's over relatively flat terrain. After driving the course the day before, and talking to our good friends who live locally who described the hills in dramatic, painful detail, I knew this wasn't a normal 70.3 distance triathlon! I did wonder what I had let myself in for and let's just say that Tri the Beast definitely put me out of my comfort zone!

Tri The Beast - Fenella Langridge

It didn't take the winner long to find me on the bike as he flew past me in the Valley of the Rocks. First down to second. Then second down to third as another extremely talented athlete swiftly rode past. Although maybe not as swiftly, as through heavy breathing on my behalf we made comments on the amazing scenes and epic hills before he shot off. I guess when you are cycling though such a beautiful place it is hard not to share your thoughts with the people around you even if it is a race.

Demanding all strength of mind and legs the ride carried on, taking on more iconic climbs and breathtaking views. Through the top section of the bike course, a speedy man overtook me, third place down to fourth. We ended up toing and froing, chasing the third place position all the way to the last section of the run. Both true competitors and in it to win it, it was great to have a little chat along the way and share our triathlon story. Not only that, it was great to have his support and motivation as times got hard. This is why I love triathlon. It brings the most inspirational, light hearted people from all walks of life together even when you're in the heat of a big race.

Off the bike I jumped with jelly legs and sore glutes. The painful feeling made better after seeing family, friends and supporters in and around transition. Their cheers and shouts spurred me on as I made a speedy exit to the run in my Asics trail shoes. Forgetting my Garmin was not my finest moment, but maybe a blessing in disguise.

Tri The Beast - Fenella Langridge

Not being local to the area or looking at the run course before meant I was never quite sure how far I had gone, or more importantly, how long I have left. I went out controlled but being used to Sprint distance this may have been a little bit fast, or just too ambitious with all of the hills and mountains. The run took us cross country up the windy river, across streams and up and around the Vally of the Rocks. The ups were extremely steep, where a shuffle run was soon to be replaced with a power stride as the gradient went up to over 10%. The downs were dramatic and where I know I need to make most improvement for next time. I didn't quite have the balls, (quite literally), to run downhill fast. The man in front gained too much time going downhill to overcome in any uphill or flat section.

My favourite part of the run was in the last 2-3miles, not just because it was near the end but because you run along the cliff edge in the Valley of the Rocks and it was stunning. As you run you look over toward the horizon though the dramatic rocks, to then drop down into the picturesque village of Lynmouth to see the huge finishing banners. We passed so many supportive people who cheered and shouted encouragement. As some of the official photography might suggest, I loved it bit too much, to even have time to strike a pose and do some classic jazz hands. Who said racing can't be fun!

Tri The Beast - Fenella Langridge

Even after over 8'000ft of climbing I muster up enough strength for a speedy finale to finish fourth overall and first female. I was stoked and absolutely buzzing after finishing such an awesome event and of course to win in my first middle distance event!! Oh my days, it was amazing …

The event was made sweeter to be competing around some close friends and my partner, who although they were disappointed to get chicked, loved every second of the race too. My family also came to watch and loved being in such a pretty and picturesque place and as it was my last race of the season I got to enjoy the surrounding little coffee shops and pubs to their true potential with them. And when in Devon you can't go home without having a classic cream tea, it would be rude not to!

Tri The Beast - Fenella Langridge

Now it time to plan when I'm going to use my winning holiday to Italy and enjoy my last week off training before it all starts again in preparation for 2016. Watch this space guys, see you next year!

I would first like to thank Xman Events for conjuring up such an epic and well organised event. Secondly, like to thank my sponsors Tredz Bike Shop for all of your help and support. Finally thanks to my partner Billy Harriss and all my friends and family who have helped over this year though the good times and the bad. Much love to you all.

Tri The Beast - Fenella Langridge


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