Today a few friends and myself took part in the second annual 2013 Six Flags triathlon, held at the Six Flags amusement park in Jackson, NJ.
We participated in the Olympic distance race as part of a relay team. This Olympic distance triathlon featured a 2-lap (1500m) swim, followed 24.8-mile bike loop , and finished with 10k through the Six Flags amusement park, including parts of the animal safari during the run.
This was our second triathlon team relay as team Triple Threat this year. I would take the swim, followed by Tony T. on the bike and Christine as usual would anchor us on the run .
The weather had rained the night prior but was a nice,cool and dry 60 deg. on race morning.
ALL FREE RACE PHOTOS
We took 700+ photos check the Picasa Six Flags Race Photos direct Link Photos are FREE , Feel free to share on Facebook or with friends.. kindly leave a comment below if you like them.
The swim begins at the park’s aquatic arena which is on one end of a lake in the park. The arena has a grandstand (water shows are performed here), so its an excellent swim course for spectators (As they can see the whole thing). This year’s course was different instead on one 1500m loop (out and back), there would be two 750m loops. The start was also different, no waves this year, rather a time-trial start, where athletes single/double file, cross the timing mats and hop into the water and start. No chance to warmup because of the long walk to the swim.
The start was pretty mellow, with everyone jumping in one behind the other, there wasn’t too much jostling in the beginning, but it did make for a lot more contact throughout the swim. My navigation lap one was less than perfect as I seemed to be swimming to wide, drifitng right of the counter-clockwise turning buoys.
At the start of lap two the rising sun peeked through some clouds and caused some immediate glare issues, but then it became covered again, so it became less of a problem. I think I did a better job of sticking closer to the buoys on this lap. Still the two loops course caused a bit of a crowded swim I had to break my rhythm and stroke often as I came upon slower swimmers quickly . Also the buoys were not in the shape of a circle or oval , so trying to navigate point to point was the key here. But after turning for home on the last yellow buoy it was just a matter of aiming for the center of the grandstand and out of the water I came. I was disappointed with my time, I had been swimming great in the pool but not sure if I did extra distance or what, just not happy with my performance.
One unique thing about this triathlon is the long .45 mile run from the swim exit to T1. If you’re serious about competing here, you need to factor that in as its around 3+ minutes worth of running. I came out of the water and immediately stubbed my toe on a raised piece of sidewalk,ouch, then I put on my running shoes (why people run in flip flops here confuses me) and ran as fast as I could to T1. There I saw our cyclist team-mate Tony, still with his warm up jacket on.. I yelled “jacket!” and he immediately took it off. Then is was a quick chip exchange and off he went.
Tony had ridden this course last year and several times in training rides, so he was pretty familiar. The rains the night before did pose some challenges in certain sections of the course, especially with wet leaves and other debris.
Tony as well as other riders lamented at the fact that volunteers instead of pointing out the dangerous patches, couldn’t have just swept the debris off the course..
Tony’s strong bike performance, similar to last year gave us a good advantage going into T2. According to Tony, there was a bit of drafting off of him, he mentioned another rider saw a train of riders hanging onto his wheel for miles on end. In non-drafting triathlon cycling, it’s really unfair and shows poor sportsmanship for the drafting riders. Local races don’t usually have course race marshals so it’s harder to officiate and penalize. But at the end of the day, you should follow basic rules of your sport.
The familiarity with the course helped Tony near the end as a short but hidden hill behind a curve allowed him to be in the proper gear and time his effort so that he manged to pass a significant group of riders as he crested the short rise.
I saw Tony return to T2 in strong fashion.
With another quick chip exchange Christine was off and running, the 10k run featured two 5k loops through the park including parts of the animal safari. The run is mostly in trail areas and the rains the night before did add some extra puddle hopping to the run.
Christine didn’t feel her performance was strong , but it was good enough for cementing our first place relay finish.
FINISH & RELAY Results
Below are the Olympic distance relay results:
|team Christine N. (Our Team)||29:41||04:49||1:09:02||0:35||54:17||2:38:27|
|team Larissa M.||33:17||5:37||1:26:21||0:30||47:25||2:53:12|
|team Jennifer M.||28:03||16:05||1:14:17||0:42||57:21||2:56:29|
|team Donna R.||33:29||5:35||1:32:26||0:33||54:38||3:06:43|
|team Amy A.||33:27||6:28||1:34:45||0:41||1:00:07||3:15:31|
(bold indicates first in segment)
Our team’s 2013 vs. 2012 Results:
Keep in mind , every year same course has different race-day conditions.
As usual it was a Overall it was a fun day.
For a local race the race was fairly well organized,the only points were there was some confusion as to where the 5k run/walk (a simultaneous event started). Also porta-potty locations could use better signage. Also starting at 6:45 is a bit early, plus you have a long walk to the swim start..which causes everyone to rush to get there.. Maybe close transition at 7 and start at 7:30.
Also friends were there supporting injured cyclist/triathlete Cole P. who suffered an serious accident the week earlier. Lend your support for Cole visit this page for more details.
Post race you get a breakfast at the Six Flags park and entry into the park as well.. so it’s not a bad way to spend the day with family and friends.
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