(better late than never) Race Recap: 2012 Six Flags Great Adventure Sprint Triathlon


This post is only 8 months overdue, but I still remember the race in vivid detail, so I thought I would post it.  It's especially appropriate today since I have a sprint triathlon close to home this weekend: the Upper Dublin Sprint Triathlon.  The Upper Dublin Sprint tri is the very first triathlon I ever did, and I loved every moment of it, so I am excited to go back and try to crush last year's time.  I'll be sure to post a recap afterwards. 

Anyway, on to today's post.  I did the Six Flags Great Adventure Sprint Triathlon last year (late September 2012).  This race was not on my calendar and not in my plans.  I assumed my Olympic Plus tri at Quakertown PA (Quakerman) would end my triathlon season, but that race was so hard and challenging.  I wanted to end my season on a fun note -- one that made me excited to return to triathlon in the Spring.  So I found the Six Flags tri and thought it sounded like fun, the distance would be a snap and I'd end my season on a very high note.  Plus, I grew up going to Great Adventure ... the idea of doing a race there was kind of hilarious.

The race was a blast.  It was a .45 mile swim, 13.5 mile bike ride and 3.1 (i.e., 5k) run.  After a grueling race consisting of a hilly 39 mile bike and hilly 10K run at Quakerman, this seemed perfect.  Transition for this tri was in the parking lot, right near a big roller coaster.  There was plenty of room and, as always, I met some really cool people.  I love transition because you can swap stories and tips with other racers.  It was at this race that someone told me to always reinforce your ankle chip strap with a safety pin, as she was in a race recently where her ankle strap fell off during the swim.  Devastation.  That's the only way you are timed.  

My final time was 1:40:04 and I was the 14th woman (among 58 women) and 4th in my age group. I'll take those results, thank you and yes! 

The Swim:  .45 mile

The swim was in the stunt lake inside the park.  It was an actual lake, which was surprising.  The one snag was it was a good half mile (at least) from the lake to transition.  I am glad I read the pre-race email closely because it encouraged racers to bring appropriate shoes to cover that much ground (many racers did not have anything and ran barefoot or tried it in flip-flops ... the parking lot was really hard on the feet).  So I brought my water shoes (that I normally wear kayaking or canoeing) to run in after the swim.  Here I am running through the park from the lake to transition.

image (and all images) from Great Six Flags Tri
The lake water was cool - but I didn't have a wetsuit at the time.  I was one of the very few who did not wear a wetsuit.  The lake was probably the worst lake in which I've competed.  It was very dirty - probably because it is small and motor boats use it.  So when I got out of the water, my arms and legs were coated in black (oil).  Ew.  My swim was stronger than Quakerman but I still had an initial freak-out/panic.  I eventually settled into a good rhythm and finished the swim in 15:39.

 The Bike:  13.5 Miles

I confess I didn't have high expectations for this bike ride.  I thought I knew the area and thought it was just not that nice.  Boy, was I wrong.  This bike ride was lovely! Rolling hills, country fields, simply lovely scenery.  I was stunned.  I felt really strong on the bike ride and pushed hard on the hills.  Again, the far more rigorous ride at Quakerman put this one into perspective: short, easier and faster.  Yay.  The hills were not bad - a bunch of rollers with maybe two kind of steep climbs.  Time on the bike: 50:32 (about 16 mph).

The Run:  3.1 Miles 

The run was a blast, though it was pretty hot and sunny.  The course was through the park and around the haunted hayride trails, around some service roads near the safari and back through the parking lot.  The trails were a little rocky in parts.  There were a few little hills, but nothing major.  I was happy I wore my visor, because there was not much shade here at all.  I loved running past the safari and especially the monkeys.  The monkeys were watching us all run by, probably wondering what those crazy people were doing.  I had a great run:  27:05 (8:44 pace).  

I would absolutely do this race again.  The race has an Olympic distance as well.  Sadly, I cannot swing the race this year because it is the one weekend in September when I do not have a major event:  I am doing the Quakerman half iron on Sept. 7, then the Philadelphia Rock & Roll Half Marathon the following weekend and then the MS City to Shore 100-mile ride the last weekend in the month.  I think resting my body is a far better call.  

See you swoon,

1 comment:

  1. You look bad ass in those pics! Except the goofy smile one-- there you just look happy lol