Race Report – NYC Triathlon
The game plan was simple enough: a mile-long swim in the Hudson before biking 25 miles or so along Manhattan’s West Side highway into the Bronx and back, then a 6.2 mile run through New York’s famed Central Park in the final stage of this iconic race. At least that was the plan until organizers announced that they were reducing the run course by a mile given the blistering heat and humidity. A controversial decision to say the least – most of us trained for heat and triathletes don’t shy away from tough conditions, we embrace them – but organizers were rightfully concerned about the safety of the 4,000 participants.
Logistics for this race are tough as there’s a mandatory pre-race briefing on Saturday, bikes need to be racked in transition before 9:00PM and you need to return to your bike by 5:00AM on Sunday morning in order to set up your area. Once that’s done, it’s a mile walk along the waterfront to the swim start. My old guy wave started at 7:40AM, so lots of waiting, while monitoring nutrition and hydration levels, especially on a hot day. I used GU Original Sports Nutrition Energy Gel, before and during the race, which helped a lot.
Though many worry about the swim, it’s actually the quickest and easiest portion of the race; my swim took 26 minutes this year. There are a ton of lifeguards and emergency personnel in the water and on boats, so it’s pretty safe. Sure the Hudson is filthy, but the annual immune system boost has served me well and keep in mind that as triathletes, we pee while riding our bikes so as not to give up a precious 30 seconds of time.
Once out of the water, it’s onto the bike for a ride up and down the Henry Hudson Parkway. New York City is hillier than you think and this year’s heat slowed everyone down a bit. There were more people than usual walking their bikes up the steep climbs and I saw two bike crashes in the congested areas on the course. I had a solid ride, though, and finished it in 90 minutes.
The last leg – the run – usually my strongest suit, was tough. The sun was out in full glory and it was HOT. The 5.2 miles took me 53 minutes and my total time for this year’s NYC Tri was 3:01:01. The finish line is a major production at this race and all of the volunteers were amazing. This is a very well organized event and if you’ve ever thought about doing the NYC Triathlon, next year’s race will be held on July 16, 2017 and the registration entry lottery opens at NYCTri.com on November 1, 2016.
A huge thanks to all of those who donated to FCA and sponsored my race. Your generosity, love and support carried me through the swim, bike and run; your dollars will help those who struggle in less than optimal conditions each and every day.