Friday, September 23, 2011

Pocono 70.3 Race Preview-From the Eyes of SlowTwitch

So I've been doing some research on the pro triathletes that are doing this race on October 2. I have just started, however, to actually look at the race itself and what it will entail. WTC describes it as such: "The event will take place in and around the scenic Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area with a fantastic finish down Main Street in historic Stroudsburg, PA. The race marks the first Ironman event in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."

However, doing a quick search found that not everyone was thinking that the race would be so fun.

This one blogger wrote:
"1) October in the Poconos has a high probability of COLD! Changes are it will be in the 40s, maybe high 30s at the start of the race, and highs are likely to only get into the 50s.
2) Chance of rain or bad weather is high, and wind and rain in October means WET LEAVES on the road. If you have traveled on these roads (I used to drive through there several times a year going to and from Lehigh), they are lined with trees.
3) Chance of animals, especially DEER crossing the course is high, especially since this has a lot of protected areas that don't have hunting. I have also seen two bears traveling through the Delaware Water Gap that basically runs by this course.
4) There is either going to be a long walk to start the race, or a long run to T1. Maybe they are planning a long run to warm up the swimmers.
5) Did I mention cold? You might want to practice riding in your wetsuit, saving time in T1 and then strip it off in T2.
6) The bike course looks "forced". As pointed out, in one section as laid out there is one of two areas in which cyclists cross over each others path. How many courses have you seen where a race CROSSES over itself on the bike. Out and back is fine. INTERSECTION? Not so good. "

Another author wrote:
"I was thinking of doing this race but....

1) It's the first year
2) I was nervous they didnt have courses months ago...
3) Its October and its up in the Pocono Mountains
4) River swim..meh. "

A third writer gave some warnings as well:
"Not much you can do on the swim. You will either have a long walk to start the race or you will have a long walk/run to T1. The river is only so wide and you are really pretty much doing the around .8 Miles or more length wise. Maybe they can add in a dozen buoys and have people zig-zag across the river to shorten the distance.

Given the amount of time they have had to "plan" this race, it seems like a pretty much "forced" course, and to still be fiddling with the course 3 months out?

One other fair warning. Looking at T1 and T2 and just having been through this area, not sure if they will be running shuttle buses to the start, but I am thinking that this will be more like Timberman and long waits than Longhorn, which though separate Transition areas, was really just a couple miles and really along 1 road. "

As expected with most inaugural events, there are sure to be some snags, but with some planning(like getting to the race as early as possible and wearing a full-sleeve wet-suit->Amber) we hopefully can eliminate some of the logistical concerns of these writers. I am interested to see what becomes of the areas where we are supposedly intersecting other riders(it may end up not being an issue) and am excited about the potential for a nice cool fall day for a run. Both Am and I run better when it's cold, so bring on the FROST!
I also like WTC's description of the run course:
"A couple of hills are present early in the course, which flatten out for the majority of the first half. A gradual incline approaches just before the turnaround, and then you will have a good downhill to kick start your return. As you head towards Stroudsburg you will have one small hill at mile 11 then you'll go through the quiet neighborhood streets welcoming you towards the finish. "
Can't wait for the false flats!
Up Next:Adirondack Marathon for Danny then POCONO's the following week.

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