Monday, June 9, 2014

Topeka Tinman Short Course Preview

At Topeka Tinman, 2013 (Note transition in background)
Well, since the Topeka Tinman triathlon is almost upon us, for all my Kansas friends (and anyone for that matter), here is my race preview (keep in mind, this year the course is slightly different, which I'll bold in red the changes)


First you have to get to the race site, you take SE Croco Road down from I-70 about 2 miles or so (you'll pass some ball fields on the right, that means you are close!) and look to the right for SE East Edge Road (it has gates and maybe some police) and you'll park in the designated (read: grass to the left) parking area, which is about 1/3 of a mile to the race area, so get all your gear in your bag!

Transition Area:

Last year, it was in a parking lot area near the lake, and you rack by your grouping of numbers, so if you get there early, you might get an aisle rack spot!  I did, but the wife hated getting there 2 hours early!  Nice metal racks, not flimsy, just remember to keep your area clean (put your bag out of the way by the fence) and hang a towel on your spot when you take a warm up ride!
2014 Tinman Shortcourse
Swim (400m):

Last year, the swim was in a counter-clockwise direction, with a beach start.  Despite that, you could almost run down the beach a bit before actually getting in the water, but looks like they changed that this year, so no cheating!  The swim was fairly straight-forward, swim to the bouy, turn left, swim about 200-250 to the next turn buoy, turn towards shore (and the big inflatable) and out of the water.  Water was nice and in the 70s (can't remember how warm), but I wore just my one-piece trisuit, but a few wore wetsuits (not sure why for a warm-ish 400m swim, but hey, it's all good).  After exiting the water, you have about 200-300 meter run up hill (watch for acorn shells), across the closed road and into the transition area proper.

Bike (13.1 miles):

Looks like the bike has a changed slightly this year, as it goes out the north-east side of the pennisula and returns on the same road, but other than that, looks about the same to me.  Here is a link to my Strava for the bike, so you can see the elevation (and a bit more detail)  The big thing about this bike is paying attention to the wind direction, last year it was from the south, so the outbound leg, you had the wind in your face, but when you came around the turnaround block, you got a nice push heading back north.  The only real hills (not that bad) were on 37th Street, and a bit in the park (which you get twice!) but nothing to get you out of the saddle too much, but pre-ride it after you get transition set up just to be safe!  Should be a moderatly fast and flowy bike route!

Run (3.1  miles [Last year measured 3.25]):

After you come screaming back in to transition, loose your helmet and bike shoes, it is time for the run!  The bad news, that hill you just rode down/up, you get to run it now (twice!).  Here is my last year data from Strava -->  The run is mainly on the sidewalk that runs next to the road that you just rode on, with lots of hilly moments.  Last year it was humid and really sapped my will to run, but I still lived to finish it.  Only remember one water point, at the turnaround.  This is an out and back and it looks like they kept it very close to the same route as last year, will be interested to hear if they got it to the 3.1 miles or not.

Afterparty:  A nice area to hold a race, with a large playgorund for the kiddos, a covered pavilion for eating post race chow (pizza and soda last year, as well as water and fruit)  Overall, I enjoyed the race, and the location, so if you happen to have the 21st of June open, you get some good racing and good competition, you might as well race here!

I'll post more pictures when I get them in!

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