Jun 11, 2009

Sneak peak at Winding Trails 2009

Despite getting rained out on Tuesday night, I rode the new bike course and then followed it up last night with the official "Demo Day" at Winding Trails. The course has changed this year as the race has gotten much bigger, over 300 racers over the course of the year as opposed to 80 or so when I first started 5 years ago.

The swim course is the same, although I did find out that there will be 3-4 waves instead of the 1 or maybe 2 that we have had in the past. It appears that there will be an attempt to seed folks based on predicted swim times which would certainly be an important difference from the past. In order to support this they've moved to a chip system for tracking which will also give better split times and better accuracy. The other important difference is the location of the transition area which is going to result in a longer run out of the swim. It's close to a 300 meter run after getting out of the water on a sand covered road which has a couple interesting implications. First, coming out gassed and then running for that long will definitely slow down some folks and it will probably make sense to pace this run a bit more than the normal sprint. Secondly, your feet will be covered with sand so it may be worth having a water basin for your feet or even some shoes near the swim exit. Lastly, the question of where to take off the wetsuit will take some thought as well, I haven't entirely decided what my thoughts are on this yet.

I got a chance to ride the bike course twice and although I was originally disappointed because it seemed easy, I think it will be a decent course and definitely structured to not get congested. The main difference from last year is that the first mile or maybe even two is wide open trail and although it's a bit hilly it will be fast. Clearly the goal was to get the racers to spread out and I think that will be the case on this course. It gradually adds some single track and some hills as you get through the bike course. There is still very little technical demand to the course but cornering skills will be very helpful in making a difference to your race. It's definitely a twisty course with a lot of braking and accelerating where bike handling will help you a lot in addition to being in shape. The final touch of the course is where you ride on the deep sand that they laid down to protect the feet of swimmers running into transition... ug, really sucks your legs down just as you're ready to run!

The run course is the same as it was last year but shifted a couple hundred feet to the new transition area. Ultimately, this means a few less steps to warm up before the hill and then your finishing kick will obviously have to start at a different spot. I'm thinking just as you get to the bridge... but this will have to play out over the course of the season.

All in all, I'm really looking forward to next week and the start of the "real" season!


Admin Control Panel

New Post | Settings | Change Layout | Edit HTML | Moderate Comments | Sign Out

About This Blog

Visitor Map!

  © Blogger templates Psi by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP