Letters from Exmoor: Ironman

Ironman 70.3

June 4, 2013 by  | 10 Comments

Jochen Langbein, of Taunton Athletic Club, a club which my daughter, Isla, belonged to, having read my post on Ironman, mentioned to me the fact that the very first Half Ironman, Ironman 70.3, was put on in the UK, at the Ironman Qualifier site on Exmoor at the incredibly beautiful Wimbleball Lake. So I thought I would write a post about it to celebrate this fantastic event and to suggest that you go and spectate – it is the most stunning location, and the next event there is Ironman 70.3 on 16th June….put it in your diary! 

images-4The very first 70.3 race to ever exist in the world was in the UK – the Ironman 70.3 at Wimbleball Lake on Exmoor. This event has now taken on an iconic status, as do all Ironmans, and fills to capacity every year.  Age Group athletes can qualify from this race for the Lake Las Vegas Ironman World Championships 70.3.

You can download a programme that will tell you everything you need to know, starting with the race day schedule. You will learn that Lake Wimbleball has been nominated to be the first Dark Skies Discovery Site on Exmoor and that Exmoor National Park has been designated an International Dark Sky Reserve, the first place in Europe to achieve this prestigious award. It’ll also tell you that a downside is that you shouldn’t expect to get a mobile signal here!

I learned that Nirvana Europe is  the Official IRONMAN Europe Travel Agent and that they have been moving UK athletes and their bikes to major triathlon and duathlon events, all over the world since 2002. In 2013 they will cater for the travel and accommodation requirements of almost 1,250 athletes travelling to IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 events in Europe, Australia and North and South America. Nirvana are hot on logistics… they know the locations, know the people involved and put in place the most comprehensive race related logistics plan you could hope for if you wish to compete. I also learned you can book to have a pre- and post-race massage. That’s mandatory in my book!

The swim course is one lap, clockwise, starting 20m from the shore of the lake at 7.00 AM, and the second wave at 7.15. Swimming in the lake is forbidden at any other time. From the exit of the swim to transition is approximately 400m on grass. The IRONMAN 70.3 UK Exmoor bike course is a tough two lap course right in the heart of Exmoor National Park. The course leaves Wimbleball lake and follows an anti clockwise loop through hilly terrain in a particularly picturesque part of Somerset. It is 56.4 miles and 3904ft/1190m of climbing over the whole 2 lap course. The run at Wimbleball Lake is a three loop course on a mix of terrain including tarmac, hard pack trail and grass. 13.1 miles long there is 1323ft/405m of climbing over the whole 3 lap course. There is one short sharp climb in the course which is tackled three times, followed by a steep descent. There you are, Ironman 70.3 UK in a nutshell. Why not check it out for yourself? [http://www.ironmanuk.com/ ]



This post was originally published by Caro Ness on her blog

Date for the Diary: Family Fun Day at Wimbleball Lake

Family Fun Day1The Family Fun Day on Monday, 6 May, will bring people together in the local community and get people to know each other in a fun and entertaining way!

Entry is free (although normal car park charges apply), and there will be many free and low-cost activities (e.g. have-a-go archery / high ropes) for people to enjoy.


Date for the Diary: Jolly japes and silly scapes


JOLLY japes and silly scrapes are guaranteed in a fun outdoor production of The Adventures of Mr Toad on June 1.

The musical, based on The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, is presented by Transitions Theatre Company and directed by Rob Pudner.

It will be performed in the beautiful surroundings of Wimbleball Lake, Exmoor. Mr Toad embarks on exciting, yet daring, adventures with the help of his riverside chums Rat, Badger and Mole, and a host of other colourful characters.

The performance is suitable for children aged four and over. Early bird tickets are on sale until May 1, costing £12 for one adult and one child or £20 for a family ticket (2+2). Call 01398-371460

More information about the production can be obtained by visiting the Transitions Theatre Companies website.



Events: Wimbleball Lake Car Boot & Farmers Market

Come along to our new car boot sale starting from Sunday 7th April and running every first Sunday of the month throughout the summer.


Sellers can arrive from 9am, buyers welcome from 10am.

£5 Cars  –  £7 Vans/ Cars & Trailer (includes free parking at the lake all day)

Normal car park charges apply for buyers.

Toilet facilities and café available on site.


For more information please contact

TEL:              01398 371460

EMAIL:        wimbleball@swlakestrust.org.uk


Location of Event: Wimbleball Lake, Brompton Regis, TA22 9NU

Kayaking on Wimbleball Lake for beginners with Exmoor Adventures

Join Exmoor Adventures on 10 March from 9 am till 4 pm for a BCU Kayak 1* Course  – Cost £65.00.  A few spaces are still available, so better get in touch with Dan French as soon as possible!

You will be taught a range of skills and techniques to control a kayak as well as rescue techniques and safety considerations.This is a great 1 day course to introduce kayak skills on flat water.
An ideal candidate may be trying kayaking for the first time or have some previous experience.

  • lifting, carrying, launching, landing
  • forward paddling
  • reverse paddling
  • moving sideways
  • support strokes on both sides
  • capsize and rescue of craft

With a range of skills, activities and a journey on Wimbleball Lake to cap the day off, you are guaranteed to learn more about the sport and improve your kayaking skills.
Minimum age for this course is 14 (parental consent needed)

Course location: Wimbleball Lake, Exmoor.

Course cost: £65 per person
All equipment is provided: Kayaks, cags, wetsuits and bouyancy aids.
Please e-mail dan@exmooradventures.co.uk for more information or to book your place.

Location : Wimbleball Lake, Exmoor
Contact : Dan – 07976 208279
Kayaking on Wimbleball Lake