Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tomahawk Triathlon: one heckuva race!

I have nothing but positive things to say about this race. The organizers of this race, Start2Finish Charlotte, really went all out when they put this one together. I hope they plan to put this race on again next year because I want everyone to do it. Before I get into my race I would like to discuss what made this particular race so awesome.
  • First of all, one month from Tri Latta, this race is the perfect distance for anyone looking to bridge the gap from sprint to international triathlon distances. 
  • Unlike Tri Latta, the parking for the race is 200ft from the transition and there is no heavy traffic congestion for you to stress out about. 
  • The race shirt is pretty nice. Unique, colorful, and made of a high quality cotton blend.
  • The swim is an open water time trial start. What does that mean to you? Well you get to experience an open water swim without the thrashing beat down of a mass start. 
You think I am putting my cap on but I am really flexing. 
  • The swim course was easy to sight with only two turns and one sighting buoy between each.
  • The turning/sighting buoys were a different color than the swim caps (a personal pet peeve of mine).
  • The bike course is rolling with no major climbs. The farmland scenery is beautiful and if you are lucky the cows will moo at you as you roll by. I may or may not have moo-ed at them.
  • A lead race escort on the bike and run.
  • The run is a trail run. I know a lot of people were not happy about this but it was different and most importantly shaded. Only about 1 mile of the route is on the road, the rest in on a densely shaded hard packed trail. All the exposed roots were spray painted safety orange so it was super easy to navigate. It was by no means technical so experience and special shoes are not required. 
  • John Behme: run course race support. Need I say more?
  • A unique finisher's medal
  • Results are made available immediately on several big screens. 
See what I did here? Do ya? (hint: rhymes with fun)
  • You can even print out a receipt with your individual results within moments of crossing the finish line.
  • Online tracking works really well, at least according to Linda Leiser, super fan. 
  • The awards were phenomenal. Cash prizes and 2XU compression socks worth $45 for  for the top three, customized plaques, and preems for fastest m/f swim, bike, run splits.
  • The race benefits RunningWorks. The Running Works volunteers were out on the course in full force!
Volunteers running in with one of the participants
It seems like race organizations are getting so big that the race experience has become a bit generic to the point where the awards don't even mention what place you finished let alone what race you even did. Start2Finish put some thought into making their race standout and the differences did not go unnoticed (at least by me). They really set the bar high with Tomahawk. I am excited to see how others respond to the challenge.