Race Details: This event starts with a 5 mile run and then goes on to an approximate 22 mile "rolling hills" course (lesson learned -- pay attention to any race course that includes "rolling hills"! These folks are saying something!) The race starts at 8 AM and has a pretty informal transition area (in the sense that there don't seem to be any "rules" -- your loved ones can stand right next to you and your racked bike). If you can't tell from the picture below, I was the first person there (I figured I need to get better at being earlier like my triathlon friend Bill -- and it was nice to set up, stretch, hit the restrooms, figure out the course, and finish my coffee -- before heading over to the start line!)
Weather: This part was perfect (low 70's I think with a clear blue sky!) -- it couldn't have been any better (in the same way that the 2011 event couldn't have had even worse weather!). I didn't feel the wind until the bike course started -- and then it would just smack you in the face as you were trying to speed through open fields. Not fun. But -- no complaints! Again, at least it wasn't raining!
Run Course: Today this was my favorite part -- I am not in the best of shape right now but I actually beat my 52:19 time from 2011 by 19 seconds! I came in at 52:00 minutes exactly and I am pretty sure that the last two miles were fast for me. I got my mojo and just pushed on the gas pedal (and many thanks need to go to Billy Joel's "Pressure" for getting me up that last major hill!).
Bike Course: Or as another way of putting it would go, "the hour and half when I thought I was gonna die!" I knew doing this before that this was a tough course but I think last time I was so focused on making sure I didn't fall (the roads were slick from the rain) that I don't remember the bike course being that long. Or hilly. It felt super long today. To boot, I didn't prep well in terms of nutrition and somehow I managed to bring only one water bottle (which was dry about 1/2 through the course). I bonked and it was a pretty major bonk. I really wasn't sure if I would be able to finish (especially since I was having some problems with low pressure in my back wheel). But about five miles out, I just pushed harder and probably made up for some of the lost time from before. I must have been going fairly fast because I passed about 10 bikes on the way in and I think each one just made me go a little faster!
Race Organization: Perfect! There were volunteers everywhere and police officers on all the major intersections. Absolutely no complaints for the folks behind this race -- they did a fabulous job! (but maybe they could have cut out some of those hills on the course?!) You get a bright neon long sleeved shirt for this race but I was more excited about the recyclable grocery bag!