I had never been to NY before this weekend and I was looking for a race in July a few months back. I had seen this race before and wanted to do it and this year it fit in my schedule!
The female pros start first at 5:50am, they had an "equalizer timing format" which was a time of 11 min 30 sec the guys would start behind us and whoever crossed the finish line first (1st place girl or 1st place guy) would get $3000 bonus. Kept the race interesting.
Morning of the race I woke up at 3:30am, ate breakfast and headed over to transition. It was at least a mile walk from the transition I was in, (since its such a big race they have two transitions) and the swim start. Our transition closed at 5:15. Around 5 I began walking to the swim start. They wanted us to be there by 5:20. The weather was great this morning, I heard for passed races it has been very hot and humid but it had rained on Friday which seemed to cool things off.
This race is very well organized. It has been a race for 15-20 years. The swim is in the Hudson River, the bike course is on the West Side Highway, the highway is completely closed to cars during the race and the run is a mile from transition to Central Park, 5 miles around the Park, to the finish line which is also in the Park.
In the pro meeting on Saturday they did mention the swim start for us was a dive start. I'm not a diver and most races are, in water or beach starts, I can't say I practice my dive starts often....This dock was higher than I expected and once we were on the dock I just kept thinking this isn't going to be pretty! I was hoping my goggles wouldn't come off. The race started, I gave it my best dive, which was very ugly, but my goggles didn't come off and I was in the river, laughing to myself about what that just looked like! The water was 74 degrees. No wetsuits for us but the water felt great.
There were no bouys to sight off but the swim is straight, you swim right into the ramp out of the water. You can't miss it.
From the swim exit to our transition it was almost a half mile run on the concrete. Once out of transition on the bike there is a short, steep hill to go up which puts you on the main highway. Make sure your bike is in the right gear for that hill.
I had a good group of girls around me starting out on the bike. We did spread out after a while, I was feeling good on the bike and picked up the pace the last 5-8 miles putting a little time between me and the girls behind me. The bike course was a little long and there are a few hills, but nothing too crazy. I loved the bike course, very pretty.
My coach and I discussed a plan for my run and I tried to stick to it even though I didn't expect the run to be so hilly. Right out of transition there is a short punchy hill, takes you out to 72nd St which is shut down for the runners. Once in the park the hills begin. I had biked the run course the day before and ran some of it Friday, I had an idea of what was coming. I knew I had some girls not far behind me. Coming off the bike I was in 8th place. With a mile to go I heard I had a girl back 1 minute. I tried to push the pace to the finish line and I kept my 8th place spot. Overall my race went well, I really enjoyed this race and if you ever get a chance to do this one, go for it!
New York was awesome. We did some "sight seeing" Sunday & Monday. Unfortunately our flight was cancelled as was a lot of other flights that evening due to some "traffic control problems". It was a mess trying to get home with all the Southwest flights from the NY airports booked for the following day. We had to get up at 2:30am to catch a 5:30am flight Tuesday from a airport far away. I had a great time in NY and racing but it took me a few days to recover from the early mornings and traveling!
Thanks to my sponsors, Epixgear, Flying Fish Bikes, Xterra Wetsuits, First Endurance and my coach at Tribal Multi-sport, my family, friends and husband for the support along this journey in triathlon!