Today a few friends and myself took part in the inaugural 2013 TriRock Asbury Park sprint triathlon. Held at the Asbury Park NJ (Jersey Shore). This sprint triathlon that features a short and calm 500m ocean swim, followed by a flat 10-mile bike loop , and finishes a 5k run on the boardwalk .
This was our second team relay triathlon as team Two and a Half men I would take the swim, followed by Jose on the bike and Christine would anchor us on the run as usual.
The weather was perfect for a late-August day in NJ. Sunny and clear skies and about 78.
Being in the relay division we started with the 3rd swim wave. After the national anthem and cheering on the earlier waves, MC Ann, prepared us to head on out onto the 500m oc
ean swim course. The water was fairly calm with the usual ocean wave breakers. The trick with these ocean swims is to dolphin dive user the breakers and tri to get to the first bouy as fast as possible. I started well, went through the early breakers cleanly and arrived at the first turn buoy in decent shape. Then it was a straight shot down through the next three buoys, best part the bouy’s were all marked with the distances (100m, 200m etc.) so it was easy to know when you were almost done. I struggled a bit in the middle part of the swim to find my rhythm, but when we turned for the shore, I picked up the pace helped by the incoming tide. I body surfed a wave or two in then popped out of the water and a quick run up the beach to T1. I was disappointed with my time, but realistically ocean swims are often times hit or miss .
Transition of the timing chip to Jose went smooth and he was off and cycling . The bike course was mostly flat through ocean avenue up till about the foot of Long Branch then back through Asbury park. Jose reported some headwind, but in either case he still managed a strong 22.7mph average, and was one of the fastest riders on the course.
With a quick transition, Christine motored out of T2 and set a blistering pace for her first mile of the 5k. The run featured a counter-clockwise loop with most of the run on the Asbury Park boardwalk, running through the old Casino building and through the iconic pier Arcade building, a timing mat at the 2 mile marker, made sure runners didn’t turn the course early..
The opposing relay team had a strong runner who set a blistering sub 6min/mile pace and passed Christine within a mile of the finish line, to take 1st place in the relay group. With a final surge Christine finished strong along the Asbury Park boardwalk , and put our team solidly in 2nd place.
Overall it was a fun day.
TriRock Race Organization
TriRock did a pretty good job of organizing and running this triathlon. Of course they’re a national series, so I would expect nothing less. They had a good pre-race expo and orderly and well run packet-pickup. The course markings were first rate, with metered swim buoys , clear directions on bike course and high-quality signage. Plus their finishing straight and post race area is very well attired.
The post-race athlete amenities were nice as well, very nice selection of food (besides usual bananas, bagels, sports drinks) they offered , box of muffins, ice cream, fruit cups and a bunch of other stuff. Results were immediately available and awards ceremony took place shortly after the end of the race. Plus there MC Ann did a fantastic job of keeping all the competitors apprised of pre-race and post-race , plus being a great cheerleader to all the competitors. Racs that have MC’s (Announcers) always seem more fun..
The only suggestion would be to give out trophies instead of beer mugs to winners. Trophies are pretty iconic of sports accomplishments,sadly many races are moving away from trophies, to cut costs I suspect, which I think is a shame..
MORE RACE PHOTOS
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Photos are FREE , but kindly leave a comment if you like them.