Whaling City Tri & Du – July 3, 2016
Candice’s Race Report:
I completed the Whaling City Triathlon in New Bedford on July 3rd. This was a sprint distance triathlon: .25 mile swim, 12 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run. It first started with me checking in and then getting marked. I then went over to the transition area, which was nicely organized by your race number with plenty of space for each person. I then went over to the bathrooms, which was probably the biggest downside to the race: about 6-7 portable bathrooms for the whole event.
The swim portion was done in Buzzards Bay and the water was beautiful for the race! I couldn’t ask for better water temperature. The swimming portion started where you entered two by two with a five second delay until the next pair came in. I felt strong at first with the swim, although did get a little tired at points with the waves and slight current of the water. The route was a triangle from one shore line to the other.
I then transitioned to the bike. The swim transition was a little bit of a jog to the transition area, but I managed to get my bike gear together and start riding. The bike course was a 6 mile loop that was done twice. The route itself was nice and flat, with beautiful views of the water and of New Bedford. I’m still having trouble with those turns on the bike though! Any advice from TE members would be awesome.
The bike mount and dismount were very close to the transition area, which made it easy for transition to the run portion. The running route itself was flat and probably my favorite part of the whole race. The route itself was right on the water with stunning views. If I was not completing a triathlon, I would have stopped and took some pictures! The down side to having stunning views right on the water is that there are little trees or opportunities for shade. When the temperature is already sunny and in the mid 80s and humid, I was dying for some relief when I finished the race. It was probably the most scenic triathlon I have done so far, although it was definitely the hottest as well.
The finish area was also nice, with kiosks to print out your personal times and they gave you a cool rag at the finish line. The best part when I finished was the kiddie pools filled with ice cold water to put your feet in! I’m so glad they had these as I was very hot and tired when I finished.
All in all, I thought this race was very scenic and flat. I would do this triathlon again. The only thing that I would recommend in the future is more bathrooms. Oh, and keep the kiddie pools with ice cold water.
Fran‘s Race Report:
After a 4 am wake up call, I piled my bike and gear in the car and headed to New Bedford for the Whaling City Triathlon. It’s a sprint distance, with a 0.25 mile swim, 12 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run. It was a great day for a race, with temperatures only getting up to around the mid 70’s by the end, and just enough breeze to cause some annoyance on the bike but cool things down for the run. And I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the race organizers had given the three representatives from TE, Candice, Sarah, and I, consecutive race numbers, so we were next to each other in transition.
It was my first race with a wetsuit (and my second swim in one), and my first real swim in salt water. I’m still getting used to all that extra buoyancy, sometimes it felt like my feet were barely even in the water. Save ’em for the rest of the race, I guess. I was pleased to look at the summary from my watch later and discover that I didn’t swim as far off course as I thought I had, but I still need to work on my sighting and bilateral breathing.
The bike portion was made up of two six mile loops, which initially caused me some consternation. It took me a little while to figure out that I was getting passed so often during the first half because I was among the super speedy people who were on their second loop. I managed to keep out of their way and eventually got around to passing some people of my own. Not Sarah Poole, though. Even with a cold Sarah is way faster than me on a bike. Still, I managed an average 15.6 mph pace, which is a big improvement on where I was this time last year.
I managed to locate my running legs somewhere around half a mile into the 5K, only to lose track of them at about the three mile mark, but still finished fairly strong after a quick breather. And I had my fastest average pace during a race, so call it a win. The run course was nice. It winds along the shore around Fort Taber Park with some great views of Buzzards Bay.
Overall, it was a good race. It was well-organized with plenty of signs to tell everyone where to go. There weren’t many hills, and the few that were there were pretty mild. My only advice to anyone interested in doing this race in the future is to try and get there early if you want to get a close parking spot. Apparently, there were fewer parking options available this year and I’m not sure if those filled up and where people had to go if they did. I got there around 6:30 and got one of the last spots in the first of the two parking lots.
Sarah‘s Race Report:
I really enjoy the Whaling City Triathlon. Unfortunately, a nasty cold (sneezing, chest congestion, cough…all the fun stuff, really) almost sidelined me this year. Neck rule be damned, I decided to adjust my expectations and race anyway. I threw all time goals out the window and set out to race at a comfortable pace and to have fun.
The water was perfect for the swim – calm, a comfortable temperature, and not too crowded (thanks to the time trial start). This was my first race in my new sleeveless wetsuit, and I really liked having the extra range of motion in my shoulders. I stayed relaxed and steady in the swim without pushing my pace and exited the water ready to hit the bike – so far, so good!
Whaling City’s bike course is flat, fast, and closed to traffic. Most of the route features a lovely view of the shoreline. I went out strong and felt much stronger (and faster) than I had anticipated. Tempting as it was to push the pace, I knew I still had the run ahead of me. I stuck to my revised plan and maintained a steady, comfortable pace, which turned out to be a little faster than expected. Sweet!
My chest congestion finally caught up with me on the run (I was SO close!). I started out slow, had to take several coughing breaks, and just never really found my pace or my breath. So, I took it easy, walked a bit, and enjoyed the scenery – the course offers beautiful views of Fort Taber Park and the waterfront.
It wasn’t the strongest finish, but I crossed the line and enjoyed a nice ice bath for my feet. I had a lot of fun racing with my Fran and Candice (I love that Sun racks teams together in transition), enjoyed a well-organized, scenic race, and surprised myself in two of the three events. Considering how close I came to not racing at all, I consider the day to be a success. I even managed to remove all traces of my body marking before attending a wedding reception that evening!
Next up – Sharon!