Wednesday, September 17, 2014

REV 3 Pocono Mountains Race Review

This is my first race report for a race I actually didn't run.


the medal was awesome pic from Rev3 FB page


I was signed up for it but as you know from my Maine Rev3 reports I wasn't very trained and I decided that one untrained OLY a season is good enough for me.

Aw. This was my unused spot
However the entire time I was in Mount Pocono I questioned my decision. It was beautiful and I was kind of itching to do it. But I showed restraint and didn't.

The Swim: 
My parents live in the Poconos so we crashed with them. It was nice spending a few days with the folks and my Dad really got into the spirit. As soon as we arrived he took us to look at where the swim would be. It was a picturesque lake on private property. 

I decided to accompany Angela to the practice swim the next day (I'm actually training for my next OLY in Palm Springs in December so an open-water swim opportunity is welcomed.) The weather that day was kind of nasty high 50's, raining, chilly. I'm a little soft so I wasn't thrilled with all this wet weather but we went to do the swim. The water felt great. It was much warmer (with a wetsuit) in the water than out of the water.  Parts of the lake were shallow. You could literally stand up in the middle of it if you wanted to. Most importantly, the water was clean. I enjoyed the swim because it's the first time in open water where I personally felt all of my swim practicing come together. There were a lot of rocks and branches and stuff in the water and it made getting out of the lake a little tricky but the Rev3 team cleared out as much of that as they could for the actual race day and I hear that it was a non-issue. 

The Bike: 
My Dad also drove us on the bike course. This is where I realized I had made the right decision to defer my race. If you're a confident and adventurous biker then this course is amazing. The first 4.5 miles is all downhill. A 25 year old named Hunter that we had met that weekend said on a practice ride he got up to 50 miles per hour going down that section! The bike course was pretty but has some serious technical riding to contend with. After going down hill for the first 4.5 miles you then had to navigate some pretty twisty / rolling hills roads / with a few decent climbs. This would be an excellent challenge if you were trained but if you're new to the bike / not trained / not so confident on the bike yet (like me) it could be tricky. Most of the triathletes getting off the bike seemed to really love it though. 

Biker - and yeah. That's a bear on the left side!! Um.
pic from Rev3 FB page
The Run: 
I almost got to run in this race because Angela was very close to wanting to relay (She would swim/bike and I would run). She ultimately decided to do the whole race on her own (and she wound up placing first in her division so that was a good call!) so we killed the relay plan. But in the end I did get to run most of the OLY course. A friend we met in our Facebook chat group, Michelle, was running her first half distance. She was bringing up the rear of the race and was out there for a long time. When she was at her 9 mile mark I decided that I would run out to her and keep her company for the last few miles. So out I went. It was challenging (always running up or down a hill) but it was super gorgeous. It felt awesome to be out there. Right past the 3 mile mark I ran into someone from Rev3 who told me that they mixed Michelle's route up to get her off the road and running through the park instead. Good thing I ran into him because I could've been running without finding her forever. So the good people of Rev3 scooped me up at that point to go meet her and finish the race with her.  It was awesome.

pretty run. Pic from Rev3 FB page
A few side notes:

Not that I've done many triathlons but this was the first I had ever seen where T1 and T2 were in two completely separate locations. So you had to coordinate your transition set-ups. You bike out by the swim and at the end of the ride you bike in to where you run out. The Rev3 folks provided everyone with bags to put all your T1 stuff in and they brought it back for you. 

I volunteered by making packets one day and by working packet pick-up the next. It was cool being on that side of things and fun to give back to the sport. I was also glad that I was familiar with the course and swim so at pick up I could answer a ton of questions for the athletes. 



The weather on race day was gorgeous. The day started off as on the chilly side but by the run it was low 60's, low humidity, blue skies and sunny. 


The Rev3 team is amazing. Truly amazing. Not sure if you know this or not but they pretty much will never sweep someone off the course. The girl who came in last (our friend Michelle) for the half distance was out there for more than 10 hours!! This team will do whatever it takes to get someone to the finish line and Sunday was no exception. When I went out to find Michelle it turned out that Stu and Eric (Rev 3 staff) had already met up with her around mile 7. They spent all those miles with her, keeping her moving forward and when I got to them they were all smiles and having a great time. These guys were generous with their time and support - it is so awesome. The Rev3 folks keep the finish line and jumbo tron up and make it a big party and celebration for that last runner in. The entire staff line the shoot, cheer the runner in and blast a special song for that person.  I love that they do that. I think it's wonderful. Makes me heart them big time. 

Stu - Michelle - Eric post-finish line
These guys rock and Michelle is bad-ass
Nearly every athlete I spoke to after the race was glowing and making plans to come back. It really looked like an awesome day and I was glad to be there even it was just as a spectator! 

XO
Jen


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