Friday, July 13, 2012

Rev 3 Maine HalfRev Recon {part I}

I am so excited for the Rev 3 Maine HalfRev (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run) race that will be making it’s debut in Old Orchard Beach, Maine this August 26th!

Not only am I lucky enough to be part of the awesome Rev3 Team, I am blessed to call Maine home and this race is taking place on my own stomping (training) grounds. What a perfect opportunity to give everyone a sneak-peak at what’s to come with the HalfRev course!  Today, I will take you through the HalfRev bike course and later this week, I'll give you the "run down" on the run course for both the Rev3 HalfRev and Olympic distances. Also to come is a preview of the Olympic bike course (which IS different than the HalfRev).

The Swim

What can I say about the swim other than this is where you will be swimming.
Gorgeous. Simply wonderful-the (cool) Atlantic ocean.
Somedays the water is very calm, other days there are rolling waves to contend with. You never know what kind of weather Mother Nature will dish out on race day but I promise you will enjoy this swim. The water is even getting warm (by Maine standards) and I have already had several open water swims in the ocean.

Transition-this is the view from "BIKE OUT"

The Bike

Upon exiting transition, you will head up a very short, little street with a bit of incline out on the main road through town. The road is basically 3 miles of flat with some short, easy inclines. This is a good time to get the legs warmed up and get ready to ride! This stretch of road has some “cranky” spots of pavement but nothing major and it is easy to navigate around the rough patches of road.

Shaded roads along Flag Pond Road
A side view of the overpass and the Maine Turnpike

Once you cross busy Route 1, you will be bearing left, heading inland and into farm country with some fun rollers and beautiful views. Right away you will hit up a small little hill-which is the overpass crossing the Maine Turnpike and a bit after that, you will turn left through a lovely residential area with lots of big trees (shade!) then onto Route 112. The first part of this section is flat and fast but get ready for a little (or even a lot) wind as this area can windy even on a calm day. The roads here are super smooth and clean and this road tends to be very busy. Lucky for us, we will be racing on a Sunday which should limit some of the larger vehicles like 18-wheelers.
After a couple miles here, you will come upon a gorgeous equestrian farm with a long, white fence and the typical “big red barn”, this is your warning that you will be making a 90* left hand turn. Be ready for some gentle rollers, pretty farmlands and some fun, fast flats. This is also the start of the “meat and potatoes” of the course. I’d like to quote my Rev3 Team Mate, Ryan now from his Rev 3 Maine bike report, because he sums it up so well:
“Here's the thing: when you hear "flat," if you are from, say, Kansas, this course will come as a shock to you. If you live in Montana, then this'll be considered pancake-flat. For the rest of us, I think the most apt descriptor would be "rolling." This course isn't like Rev3 Quassy, which is a beast to climb. But what it will do is separate those who can use their shifting to their advantage and those who attempt to go at courses with the idea of smashing it.”
The white fence
get ready to turn left!

After the horse farm, you'll head into the country and hit up the rollers

Also note, if it is a hot day, there is little shade now to protect you and being inland, you will no longer have the cooling air of the ocean so keep this in mind come race day and make sure you are hydrating!

As you head further inland on these picturesque country roads dotted with farms and large fields, you will be hitting up lots of (what I call) gentle rollers. There is nothing that really screams “climb!” but there are several short hills to get up and over.

 My co-riders cresting the top of one of the rollers on Rt 5

an aerobar view of another roller
one of the longer rollers to get over,
 this picture does not do the incline justice!

As you head into South Waterboro Road (mile 17.76 per Rev 3 map) you will have some steadily undulating terrain, the shade will return. This is also my favorite part of the course! Lots of ups (I think the longest, steepest climb is here) and some fun downs. This will then lead into some flats where you can take a break from the rollers (only for a bit) and you are roughly half-way done.

But don’t get lazy here either--because while flat, there will be more winds to contend with. I ride this road often and it always seems to have a strong headwind and crosswind regardless of the weather. You’ll have several miles of (mostly) flat to enjoy!

Around mile 40, you will head right onto Simpson Road. Be aware of the road conditions here. There are some rough spots and some uneven road from frost heaves and such, but you are not here for long.

see the warning for the stop sign on the right?
 you can just barely make out the upward turn to the left
 where the road will eventually go. UP UP UP

This is also where the Rev 3 sense of humor can be seen.

You’re trucking along, feeling pretty happy about the day when you see a nice little downhill coming up. You will also see a sign that says “STOP” and another that says ONE LANE BRIDGE AHEAD. But you can’t really see much more.
So this quaint little downhill that then goes over a cute single lane bridge and then WHAMMO!
There is this steep little bugger of a hill...but once you get up that steep part, it continues on up up up and around. Now, it is not a long hill or a hard hill (heck, after Quassy, I really wonder if there are any hills anywhere that compare...) but just be aware of it.

I’ve done it in a hard gear--trying to power DOWN the little hill to float up.
That’s not gonna work unless you can get some shifting in early on the downhill.
I’ve stopped at the STOP sign (as directed) and then spun up the hill in a super easy gear (no issues) but lost some time doing it that way.
There is definitely a happy medium to be found to get up the hill quickly without mashing or crushing your quads.

After this stretch, you are homeward bound! You’ll pass the familiar red barn, white fenced horse farm and turn left, back into some country farmland. There are lots of turns here and you will find yourself heading back through familiar territory (the first 3 miles of the course).  Now you can take advantage of the decline on your way back. Get those legs spinning and ready to run!

I love this course and I think anyone doing this race will enjoy it as well. It has enough challenging elements to keep the seasoned triathlete working, definitely a course to seek out a PR and yet gentle enough to be a perfect first at the HalfRev distance (70.3 miles).

Stay tuned for a step-by-step breakdown of the run course!
Here's a hint of what's to come!!


Unknown said...

That course looks amazing... I'd totally consider the half for next year, but the Maine ocean scares me! What's warm, like 55 degrees??? Ha ha! Thanks for the recon.

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

I will never be able to do what you do!

Chloe said...

Nice kit. Cool bike. We really need to train together since we have those two in common :) Great post - I'm hoping next year I can make it up for this fantastic REV3 race!

Suz and Allan said...

This sounds like the perfect race for you. I know you are so excited!

Katie said...

wow, awesome recon! I've been thinking about this one...