What a race! Let me tell you. Saturday was nerve-racking thanks to the crazy thunderstorms that rolled through. But the race directors and Challenge Family made sure everything was still a go come race morning. This was one of my best 70.3’s to date and a great day overall.
The expo was held in Bally’s casino with a collection of booths. The expo was like two miles away from the casino and they offered discounted parking and the option to park twice in the building if you kept your receipt. So we were able to go to transition and drop off my bike. When I dropped off my bike, the wind was starting the pickup and the rain starting. I’m lucky I got my bike in when I did because the weather only got worst. The guys at Delmo sports really did a great job of keeping us informed during the storm and overnight about the conditions at transition and it was very nice to have constant communication via the facebook page.
3:45 am wake up call to get to transition early. I did not know how much I would have to clean and set up with the bike so I planned to get there early. Well I guess I got there right when transition opened, because we didn’t have to sit in traffic to wait to get in, and got a good parking spot which was important because the field was flooded thanks to the storm the night before.
I was most nervous about the swim because it said mass start on the guide. Well, that was not a mass start it was a jump in and go when you feel like it. That was probably the most comfortable and stress-free swim start I have ever done and I loved it. The current was not so much fun on the way back as it started to rain and the wind picked up, but I finished under the time I wanted.
Because it started to rain, I made sure to cover my shoes and socks before I left on the bike.
I was kicking butt on the bike. The headwinds, crosswinds, minor hills, none of that could stop me. I was averaging 19-21 mph and watts of 135-150 the entire bike except for the ride back into town where we had a tailwind. There were only two aid stations for the 70.3 distance and it was the same spot as you biked out of town and back in. We also drove through the parking lot of a Wawa which was interesting and maybe should be changed for next year. For some reason, there were an extra two miles added onto the bike course, which I was rather bummed about because I would have beaten my best bike time by almost 10 minutes. Also, the bike in and out of transition was not enjoyable seeing as there were carpets covering gravel and wet sand (ie hard to pedal through). Luckily though, I did not get any flats unlike many of the people I saw out on the course. The bike tech vehicle had his work cut out for him.
For as long as the transition was, I am impressed with my transition times. I put my socks and shoes on and headed out.
My goal for this race was to focus on a faster bike time, but I also wanted to get under two hours for the run. Well, I accomplished my goal. It was a nice 70 degrees when I started the run but was starting to warm up. The course was all on the boardwalk with gorgeous views of the beach and ocean. The first two aid stations did seem far away from the 3rd and 4th though.
The only part that was annoying were the people crossing in front of you while you were running but the volunteers did the best they could to stop them. What I did find interesting was that the first few miles had mile signs rather than tape on the ground. After mile 5, I can’t remember seeing any. I enjoyed the finish line because they were playing fun music to dance to so I danced as I crossed.
This was a great race. I would have preferred more of a food selection at the end as I don’t eat meat, but it was pretty, very well informed, and run very well.