Thursday, September 2, 2010

Journey for Sight Triathlon, Chicopee, MA

By Mary Beth

August 29, 2010

0.5 mi swim, 17 mi bike, 3.5 mi run

Journey for Sight is a Firm race in my hometown of Chicopee and this was the primary reason that I wanted to race. Mark V. decided to race it as well and Christina (FOBTT) and Jake came with Mark to cheer us on and then Christina had her own cyclocross race in Palmer at 1:15 p.m.

The race was at Chicopee State Park – easy to find and plenty of parking but less than 200 folks raced. In addition to Christina and Jake, we had other spectators as a few of my hometown friends came out to cheer. The Cyclonaut Triathlon Team appeared to have a Speedo challenge for the day so a few of the race kits were “interesting”. Transition was really friendly and relaxed and having a good laugh at/with the Speedo challengers.

Here are the specifics of the race:

Swim: It was a beach start for the ½ mile swim (triangle). Only two waves – most of the men went first and then 4 minutes later off went the ladies, clydesdales and relays. The race was delayed only by 2 minutes as the announcer stated that they had to wait for the state police. The water temperature in the pond was in the low 70’s. The swim was uneventful but probably a little short.

Transition 1: A challenging transition so it deserved its own section. Racers exit from the water then run up a paved hill with about 10 stairs to climb at the top. The stairs should have been covered as they were wooden and really not great for bare feet.

Bike: Racers rode out of the park about 3 miles and then the bike starts a loop which you do twice. On the ride out of the park, there is a huge speed bump and there should have been a volunteer or big sign warning about the bump. Other than the speed bump, I thought the bike course was great. It had wide shoulders, well paved roads (except for one small section) and very little traffic. Troopers and volunteers were at several intersections and very attentive and a few of the Troopers were cheering (this was a first for me). The course had a few climbs but I’m guessing I really would not have thought anything of them had I not just raced a ½ Ironman the week before.

Run: The 3.5 mile run was on a paved trail inside the park and it was completely shaded. Regardless of racing Timberman, the run course was challenging. The run begins on flat trail for about ¾ mile then you start a long climb which is also the start the first of two loops. I gave a shout out to Mark as I was starting my first loop and he was heading into his second and then I blinked and he was gone.

I thought the race venue was great and really enjoyed the morning. I think this race just became my new favorite tri and I’m hoping that a few more of us can get out to western mass next year and maybe I’ll give you the hometown tour.

Cyclocross: We then traveled to Palmer to cheer Christina on for her race and she placed second under really tough weather conditions since it had to be over 90 degrees by the time her race started. Mark and I noticed that a few folks who raced the triathlon traveled to Palmer and raced in that event as well so there is a nice challenge for folks next year.

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