This was my second off road triathlon. Followed the same plan as last year camping at Rocky Gap Friday and Saturday nights. Friday night was excellent with cold temps at night, but it warmed up into the 90s Saturday and took till about 2:00AM to cool down - never got cold and did not sleep well at all. So I banked on the long comfortable sleep Friday night. This race started at 9:00AM, and the transition area opened at 7:00 with a first come first serve bike racking. Got there at 7:05AM, racked bike next to the exit, staged all my transition gear, and sat around waiting for the pre race meeting and swim start seeding. There were 2 waves Ė males 44 and under, and everyone else. Wave 1 went at 9:00AM, wave 2 at 9:03AM.
Swim: 20:37 (1/31 AG) (4/215 overall)
The swim consists of 2 loops of 600 meters each with a 200 meter run up across a small hill back to the swim start (swim was like half moon shape curve around a peninsula). I quickly latched onto the top 2 swimmers and drafted them the entire first lap, hardly sighting any buoys, just following the bubbles in the water. This worked great saving lots of energy lifting my head. They took off on the short run over the hill, so I had trouble catching them re-entering the water, but kept sighting them in front of me on the second lap.
Bike: 1:15:47 (4/31 AG) (11.1 mph) (17/215 overall)
T1 is included in the bike time so I donít have a time. All went smooth through transition, even having to put on my club jersey being wet Ė stuck a little but only added about 10 seconds. The bike consists of two 7 mile loops. About 1.5 miles is on the road, 2 miles of really hard up/down hills, and the rest fairly flat single track with lots of rocks, roots and turns. Being out of the water ahead of the crowds was pleasant this year (last year they had my AG in the second wave) with hardly anyone to pass and only 2 bikers passed me, both on the second loop. I had only trained 2 times on the mountain bike for this event so my technical abilities were lacking quite a bit. Definitely slowed me down but it didnít matter in the end.
Run: 45:38 (1/31 AG) (16/215 overall)
T2 is included in the run. I felt fresh to start out on the run. I was a little worried because the bike had my HR very high the entire time. Lots more power needed on the trails versus spinning on the road. I tried to calm my HR but did not want to sacrifice too much speed, so I found myself just going on and dealing with the heavy breathing. The run is a single 5 mile loop. The first 2.25 miles is in the woods along some twisty single track with little hills. Then the next 1.75 miles is all up/down including some very technical down hill sections with rocks, roots, tree limbs in your face, and all on a slant. You cross a small wooden bridge and have to climb up a significant incline including lots of roots and rocks. The end of the climb is literally up a hill of boulders, needing to use your hands to assist as you rock climb. As your exit the woods, the last mile is all downhill/flat on the road.
Overall: PR 2:22:02 (1/31 AG) (8/215 overall)
Very nice challenging race. Low budget, no frills, but there was enough food and drink at the end. Lots of first time triathletes and relayers. Fun weekend camping. I would recommend for all who are adventurous.