When the World descends on Yorkshire for the Leeds Triathlon 2016 the team here will be waiting to welcome you with open arms to the home of Triathlonbox. Having lived in Leeds now for close to 20 years myself and my wife love to call it home. I still get a tingle down my spine when I come down the M621 and see the sky line of Leeds open up in front of me.
So how can we help you make the most of the world triathlon Leeds when it comes to our great Yorkshire city in 2016. Well we would love to introduce to some of the best places to visit when you come to race your socks off in our back garden. Possibly give you some top tips that only locals will know about and that mean you will be relaxed and ready to race come the morning (or afternoon) of your race around this amazing city.
Having travelled the across Europe racing triathlons over last nine years I think I know what I need to know so hopefully you will then be able to pick out the things that you need and hence get the most out of your trip to Leeds & the Yorkshire area. With its rolling roads you will often be blasted by 20 odd cyclists from one of the many local clubs. There is also a strong chance (though maybe not this weekend) that you will see the Brownlee brothers in one of the main local cafe stops at Pateley bridge, or Bolton Abbey or if you're really push it then out at Burnsall.
Where to Stay for Leeds triathlon.
The Brownlee Brother will no doubt being staying in their North Leeds home when they come to race on the roads that they know really well. So should you. North of the city has really good Leeds Hotels from the Village hotel north Leeds, this is only 500 metres from the Triathlonbox HQ and was my Gym for a number of years it has a really nice pool and steam room area, though don't expect to be doing lengths as the pool is an odd shape - Make sure that you don't select the South one as that is still 30 minutes drive from the race. Weetwood hall is also a great choice and used to offer passes to the very local David Lloyd gym - where you might see the team recovering post race. Weetwood hall is right on the ring road so is ideal to get you to the start line very easily.
A bit further into Headingley are some of the lower level hotels but still very nice and ideal if you are on a budget compared to the others listed above. Ascot Grange offers a comfy bed - and a cracking breakfast for the day after when you can stuff your face. Family members have stayed here in the passed at Christmas and offers car parking and is very close to the race venue on the ring road.
Further into Headingley you are going to struggle to get parking with the hotels but still if this isn't an issue as you are a spectator then I'd go for Haleys hotel or even the cricket ground which is a really great hotel as your view is onto the cricket pitch (if you get the right room). Headingley lodge offers you a great hotel in a very novel location. The Triathlonbox team have never stayed here but I have given lectures to the Leeds students on entrepreneurship and been to a few business meetings there over the years. I've even play on the Rugby ground just behind this hotel for a charity game.
Pre World triathlon Leeds 2016 carb loading.
Leeds is very lucky to have some amazing restaurants pretty much all of which we have eaten in over the years. The night before the race you really want to be eating right, you've trained so hard to get here so why have a burger or something that you are not used to which could knock you off your game for the start line in Roundhay park. Where to eat in North of the city.
Top of the list for a pre game carb loadathon has to be Salvo’s & Salumeria one of my favourite restaurants in the area - it has won countless awards and the reception is warm, mainly because Mrs Triathlonbox used to work with most of the staff. The food is second to none, and if your skipping the wine, which of course you will be before you race, "Wont you!", then this really does offer good value for money for the quality that you get. One thing is that it is very popular so give them a call to try to book a table or expect to wait.
If Salvos is not for you then my favourite Italian is Giorgios You might only go this far into Headingley when on The Otley Run (try not to get involved in an Otley run as you're going to struggle to the world triathlon Leeds start line), visiting nearby Woodie’s and The New Inn, but Giorgio’s is an Italian you’ll want to make a beeline for next time. This vibrant, family-run Leeds eatery has a slew of pizza, pasta and risotto dishes to tuck into, as well as separate menus for fish and meat – the likes of pollo duchessa, agnello alle olive and seafood mixed grill will have you licking your lips next time you’re eating out. The atmosphere is made by this guy - if you go you have to have a side of Courgettes too they are amazing - I don't know what they do but I've never been to Giorgios and not had them.
If you are staying in the City centre then I love Piccolino - Based down on Greek Street, Piccolino has long been a favourite for those looking for a classy Italian when eating out in Leeds. They serve up a huge range of classic dishes so you’ll rarely struggle for choice, including spaghetti carbonara, capricciosa pizza and polpette meatballs, while they also have some inventive options in there, like an Italian take on crispy duck. Make the most of their hefty wine menu too, and enjoy a proper night out.
Where else to eat, it is so difficult to pin down all the great places in the heart of the city to eat so have a click here for the North Leeds Italian restaurants.
If you are staying in Meanwood (just round the corner from Headingley) area then Zucco's on the list it has amazing food with terrible service so if you are starving then go elsewhere - if you can get in then you're in for a very slow very delicious meal. Just round the corner too is a little hidden gem for Post race feed only. As you will over eat on all the amazingly odd combinations that they have to offer. Head to the Hungry Bear directly opposite Waitrose, difficult to find but well worth it. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Race day Triathlonbox getting you race ready for Leeds Triathlon
Hi folks (specifically the Leeds ITU gang doing the Olympic Distance on the 12th June). A few people have mentioned the lack of info about the event next Sunday, so whilst having no direct or official involvement in the organisation of the event itself, I just thought I'd summarise the bits I've gleaned from the website (http://leeds.triathlon.org/event_info/) or from what I know about the route. Please note - this info could be superceded when the official participant email comes out (anytime now!):
Leeds Triathlon Registration: This takes place at Leeds Civic Hall (LS1 1UR) on Friday 10th June (13:00-20:00) and also Saturday (09:00-19:00) with a last minute registration on race day (5:30 - 8AM). You will pick up your timing chip and race number when you register. Take photo ID and your confirmation email.
Pre-Race Kit Storage: It looks like you'll be able to rack your bike on Saturday at Roundhay Park - further info on this to be sent out by the organisers. At registration you'll have received 3 bags (blue=swim, red=run and white=valuables/clean clothes post race).
For T2 (run kit/red bag storage) the info on the website states you can take you running gear into Leeds on Race Day to T2 (from interpreting the map, it's the location for the old 'Olympic' pool off Little Queen Street). It's suggested you then make your own way to Roundhay. I'm hoping the detailed info due will state you can store running gear on the Saturday as well as racking bikes - but this is to be confirmed. Otherwise I'm sure we can arrange some car sharing for Sunday to get from Leeds centre to Roundhay.
On race day, both the blue swim bag and white dry bag will be available for pick up in Leeds centre - you don't need to go back to Roundhay to collect your swim gear!
Race Start Time:
This is still to be confirmed! If you're part of the Olympic Distance Wakefield Triathlon then I'm hoping we can go in the same wave(s) - although there are 42 of us! The info site does state "Each start is made up of mixed age, mixed ability and mixed gender" so we may be split.
The swim looks like one big loop going from the roughly where the Lakeside Cafe is (swim start is deep water) around the edge of the lake. Unsure whether it's clockwise or counterclockwise.
T1: There are no changing facilities so obviously a tri-suit under your wetsuit is preferable!
Cycle: The bike course into Leeds is FAST! It's mostly downhill and there are some longer straights (and it'll be closed roads) so you'll be able to get some good speed going into Leeds. The Olympic Distance is into Leeds centre, a sharp turn on the Headrow, head back to Roundhay, turn again in a car-park and then cycle once more back into Leeds to T2.
You cannot draft / you can use tri-bars / there is no drink station on the route!
Newbies: As it will be a fast route, check your brakes are in good condition including the wear on your brake blocks. Whilst no expert mechanic, I'll be spotting at Pugney's on Thursday 9th and will bring my bike stand if anyone wants help with putting on new brake blocks etc.
T2: Looks like this is at the location of the old 'Olympic' swimming pool and this is where you'll find your red run bag.
Run: The run course is 5 laps going clockwise up around Millennuim Sq, back down the Headrow, around Albion Place and back onto the Headrow. It's just about flat - with a very minor incline along the Headrow towards Albion Place (nothing to worry about!). The lap is about 1.8K x5 (with the difference made up from the run from T2. They have stated there will be drink station(s).
So, some summary info gleaned from leeds.triathlon.org which I hope is of some use. Remember, I'm not directly involved (so please don't ask any specific questions) and if anyone has further info or updates, then please add them in.
There will be a competitors' email sent out soon which might replace or update the info above. I can't imagine it'll be too long before we see that in our inboxes from the organisers, so look out for it!
Starting with an open water swim in Roundhay Park’s Waterloo Lake, you will take on a fast bike course that takes you into the heart of Leeds on completely closed roads. Upon completion of your bike course you will enter T2 located in a bustling Millennium Square before embarking on the run course which consists of multiple laps of an iconic city centre based course. There are a few issues that the Triathlonbox team see in your race prep, you will really need to follow us on Youtube, Facebook and Twitter to be kept upto date with our course tips, videos and corner analysis of the whole course.
As a triathlete you will be aware of all the preparation that you do in the run upto the big race. We suggest that you keep an eye on this page so that we can keep you updated. The teams first question that you need to think about is rce day logistics, once you finish the race how do you get back to the start? See the first of my Leeds Triathlon Vlogs
See you at the start line.....
Post Leeds ITU triathlon restaurants
Now you've earned your world Leeds triathlon medal it's time to reward yourself with some amazing "recovery" food - who am I kidding it's time to eat like you've just raced and Ironman. So the go to spots in Leeds. As above the hungry bear is a great option in the Meanwood area of Leeds only about 5 minute drive (traffic permitting from the finish line).
With the main race finishing in the city centre then this opens you up for some amazing places to eat before you head off home. A place that only locals will know about is Souslenez a lovely French restaurant with some good early evening deals to be had if you book in advance. Treat yourself you've worked hard for that Leeds triathlon medal.
Reds BBQ is a go to joint overlooking the beautiful corn exchange (which is well worth a look round), if you want a feast then this is a meat lovers dream. When we say feast, we mean feast. For every 4 people in your group, you’ll get a dustbin lid loaded with barbecued goodness. We’re talking oak smoked turkey, baby back ribs and BBQ chicken wings, alongside their new jerk country ribs, which have just been added to the menu. Then there’s pulled pork stuffing balls, festive cornbread and cheese & jalapeño sausages in blankets, as well as four supreme sides, including candied yams, cauliflower cheese grill, BBQ green beans, and of course, fries. There is also a Reds in Headingley on the main street which is a little easier to get into.
World triathlon Leeds and the Triathlonbox team hope you have enjoyed Leeds and Yorkshire and hope to see you again very soon. With some of the best cycling roads around you can often see some of the country's finest triathletes on the local roads making the most of Yorkshires training roads. Hope to see you again very soon.
Yorkshires must see locations.
So you have got the world triathlon Leeds medal you have finished the race - Hopefully you have popped along to the Triathlonbox tent to say hello and grab yourself a race day special deal on our Yorkshire made triathlon product - Helping you get race ready. So where to now. to make the most of the area below are some of the Triathlonbox team top local picks of places to go.
There is always an ulterior motive for me to go to Saltaire village - if you look hard enough there is a bike shop at the bottom, well worth a look, get yourself ready for leeds itu triathlon 2017 maybe with a post race kit purchase - Saltaire Village is near Bradford in West Yorkshire, England. It is named after Sir Titus Salt who built a textile mill, known as Salts Mill and this village on the River Aire. Designed by architects, Lockwood and Mawson, Salts Mill was opened on Sir Titus Salt's 50th birthday, 20 September 1853. In December 2001, Saltaire was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Saltaire is not a monument. People live here - so it is open all the time! More about Saltaire
The location of the very first Brownlee brother triathlon some years ago - this is a great spot to take in the beauty of Yorkshire. It is a little pricey to park at £8 but that does include all the passengers so get them all packed in. Bolton abbey
Otley & Ilkley
Otley is a thriving market town in West Yorkshire. It lies on the boundary between North and West Yorkshire and is situated in the beautiful countryside of Lower Wharfedale, yet it is only ten miles from Leeds. There are some lovely little Yorkshire shops and some amazing walks up and around the village and the river. Visit Otley
The picturesque town of Ilkley is situated in the Wharfe Valley, at the southern end of the Yorkshire Dales. The former spa town rose to fame in the nineteenth century when thousands visited for the fresh invigorating air and first class hotels. The town may no longer be a premier health resort but it is still renowned for its fresh air, moorland and beautiful countryside with a selection of quality Ilkley Hotels. If you'd like more information on Ilkley then please visit Ilkley.
If you are heading this way post race then stop in at one of my favourite pub lunches out this way is in Addingham - come hungry to the Fleece in Addingham as you'll get a warm welcome and an amazing pint of local beer.