First Round: Triathlon and on and on

Triathlons are not an alien concept to private equity professionals. In fact, they complete their own industry-specific tri on a daily basis: a gruelling 12-hour Excel session, followed by a gut-busting five minute takeaway dinner in front of a PC monitor and a wallet-crushing 30-minute taxi ride home. Lather, rinse, repeat.

But on 12 September at Eton College’s Dorney Lake they’ll have the opportunity to channel their inner Alistair Brownlee and give a real tri a try. Yes, that’s right, it’s time for the second annual Impetus-PEF Private Equity Triathlon.

The event, held in association with the BVCA, describes itself as “a great opportunity for some inter-industry competition – with a bit of networking on the side”. There’s also a post-event barbeque to look forward to.

Last year’s competition – which was called the FT Triathlon – was a vision to behold: more than 300 of the finest specimens yet produced by the UK private equity industry bedecked head-to-toe in Lycra and giving off a faint whiff of what can only be described as “awesomeness”, swam, biked and ran their way to raising £146,000 for Impetus-PEF, an organisation that helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds succeed in education and employment.

This year’s participants – including Blackstone, KKR, TPG Capital, Warburg Pincus, Coller Capital and Apax – will be fighting for one of seven race titles up for grabs. Races include the Mergermarket Group Sprint Individual Triathlon, which calls on competitors to complete a 750-metre swim, a 21.2km bike ride and a 5km run. If that doesn’t sound hard-core enough for you, then you could always enter the CVC Advanced Sprint Triathlon, which asks you to complete the said distances in less than an hour and a half.

As for First Round, it’ll be heading straight for the face-painting stall and hoping it can sneak into the 4-8 year old’s Scootathlon. A 390-metre Scoot, 390-metre bike ride and 250-metre run is much more suitable for a frazzled private equity hack. Best to leave the alpha to the professionals.