For those of you who didn't know it, there's a half-ironman coming to Connecticut in June. If you live in Connecticut, have one or more friends who are triathletes and don't know it, you have probably been in a long-term coma, judging from the amount of conversation it's generated in my circle.
The half-ironman is the Rev 3 triathlon. I'm not sure where Revs 1 and 2 went, but it's being held out of Quassy Park, home of a pair of great races, the Griskus Olympic and Sprint Triathlons. Anyone who's either done the Olympic Race, the Ride for Rick, attending an Eric Hodska camps or just rides in that area- or did the Nutmegman half-ironman last year- has been on these roads.
Routes 6, 63, 61, 64, 254, 118, well, if you want names and numbers, I'm not really your guy. Once I get off route 146 in Guilford, I have no idea where I am, which is why I like a good out and back. But I digress.
So, what's the bike course like ?
It actually starts with a pretty high-octane downhill section on what I guess is 64- right turn out of Quassy, and you start off like you're doing the Griskus Sprint, except instead of looping around the lake, you go straight. This part of the course is fast, at times scary fast (in a pack of 50 people when the road is wet anyway like last Saturday).
However, this early downhill section enforces the one constant of this course. Any downhill work will be punished by equal amounts of climbing.
If you don't want to climb, don't sign up for the race. If you've signed up for the race and you don't like to climb, you have about a week to develop a new attitude about climbing before it'll be too late for you.
The course can best be described as rolling. The overall profile is within that, however, is pretty severe for a rolling course. Many of the climbs are long and relative steep. A few of the downhill sections are a little dicey as well, without great sightlines. None of them are dangerous, however, and except for one left hand-turn past the halfway point that might have you on the breaks at the end of of a nice downhill run, you can probably descend without much break action.
The course is also pretty, and on a nice day, this is going to be a great course- with clear sight lines in many places which will allow you to see your competitors for some distance (or them you).
Riding the course brought back a lot of memories for me- as someone who usually rides alone this is an area I've only ridden in groups.
I would say this biggest challenge of the course is that except for the first 5 miles, you will never have any opportunity to rest for an extended period, so expect to get on the bike and work hard until you get off, while somehow trying to save something for the equally challenging run.