Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Rev3 Florida: Part 3 - The Aftermath

My initial plan was to wrap up my Rev3 Florida series with a review of the race itself but now that I am faced with that task I have very little to say about it. Florida was my first experience racing in the Rev3 series. I went to Rev3 Williamsburg and I was impressed but my opinion of Rev3 grew exponentially when I actually got the chance to race in an event. As a production team they do a lot to create the pomp and circumstance you might find at a Ironman event but they retain the casual friendliness you might find at your local triathlon. Without further ado, let's get to the bullet points you all have grown to love:



Meeeeeeeeeeeee

  • The expo was fun, relaxed, and a lot less stressful than the WTC events I have attended. I don't know about you but whenever I go to a packet pick up at an Ironman brand event I leave feeling less fit than when I walked in. I want to go back to the hotel, put on a pair of florescent compression socks, the race shirt from my last big event, white sunglasses and a trucker hat. Can someone pleeeease get me a trucker hat? (not really) I also feel the need to skip my next three meals, bust out as many push ups and planks I can muster, and pound the latest must-have-pre-race-super-booster. Just me? Awkward . . . 
  • The volunteers were great, super friendly, and a lot of fun. The Rev3 staff was the same way. They looked like they were having a great time and that really set the tone for the rest of us. There was an easy of flow as we picked up our bib numbers, goodie bags, and timing chips. The volunteers, staff, and expo participants were all happy and engaging. 
  • Race morning parking was a little slow but there was plenty of it and right across from transition. It is hard to complain about that kind of accessibility. It is our fault we did not get there earlier. 
  • The swim course was well marked. The sighting buoys were cylindrical and yellow. The turn buoys were red triangles. They were easy to spot and made navigating a breeze. The mens' and women's waves did not have a uniform swim cap color which I thought was a bit odd. My wave consisted of mostly white caps with a sprinkling of yellow caps with the miscellaneous orange and green cap. Intriguing . . . 
  • The bike course was a little awkward and not my favorite. It was very flat and composed of several out and backs. There were a couple of U-turns (none of which were particularly tight) but one of the turnarounds went through a parking lot. It was odd. Functional, but odd. The end of the bike course snaked through a neighborhood. I did not particularly care for that just like I did not during the Carolina Half. While racing on highways is not particularly "safe" they are at least predictable. Neighborhoods, on the other hand, are not. Dogs, kids, walkers, someone dude backing out of a driveway . . . lots of potential for someone not paying attention. 
  • The run was great. I was a 3+ mile out and back we did twice. Most of it was on a paved trail by the beach. It was not congested and the course had a lot of support. I enjoyed watching the race unfold in front of me but I especially enjoyed seeing and cheering for several familiar faces. 
  • Since the Olympic and the Half were going at the same time on the same course I can imagine it was confusing for both the spectators and the racers. However, the volunteers did a good job of making the right group go in the right direction.
  • The finish line was great. Lots of spectators, a bouncey castle for kids, food, and even beer. Yep, you read that right. Every finishers is entitled to two free beers. I donated mine to my biggest fan and super spectator.
Finish line selfies
The only negative thing I have to say about Rev3 concerns their online tracking system. It seems, no one and I mean no one, in the triathlon world has a stellar online tracking system. Major marathons seem to have complex tracking systems, don't they? Why is the technology lagging in triathlon? Expense? Wear and tear? Well I do not have the answers but I know the online tracking system for Rev3 is too complicated to have any idea of what is going on out on the course. Even when I pull up the results, I have to take a moment to decipher what I am reading. And even then I have to pull up the results in two different formats to get all the information I am trying to find. Luckily, results stalking and online tracking I can do in the comfort of my own home. If I had to choose between a better tracking and results system or a fun, safe, and well run race I would pick the latter.

I had already started thinking about my 2014 race season prior to going to Florida but I had such a great experience I have decided to change what was going to be a WTC dominated season and instead weigh my 2014 season heavily with Rev3 races. Now if they would just announce the date of the new race in Mexico . . .  



Ok, ok, this concludes my Rev3 experience. No mas!