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Chicago 2014
CREATED: 08/20/13 by JoeC REPLIES: 183
PamS's ravatar PamS    JOINED: 1/26/10    POSTS: 363
RE: Chicago 2014
POSTED: 6/27/14 6:00 AM

Friendly reminder. TSA does not like CO2 cartridges or pedal wrenches...

mosered's ravatar mosered    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1770
RE: Chicago 2014
POSTED: 6/27/14 4:58 PM

Dinner meetup/recommendations for Friday eve, ,near the race site (roughly c. Michigan & Congress), post away!

Also, if any are interested in checking out the Field Museum (dinosaurs!), Adler planetarium, or the Art Institute, all blocks from the race site in The Loop, on mid-afternoon Saturday, before strolling over to the club dinner at One Museum Park next door, post away!

(Other suggestion: Cubs are playing DC's other visiting sports team, the Nationals, in twilight doubleheader, 12 & 6 Saturday, at famed Wrigley Field).

(Also, if you'd like a short book chapter on the origins of the city's amazing skyscrapers, ask me for it.)

Also also, an official at the lake said the swim leg is being changed to a buoy out and back, perpendicular to the shore instead of along it. Temps felt about 65 degrees; official said it was 62.

K8yBair    JOINED: 3/19/13    POSTS: 7
RE: Chicago 2014
POSTED: 6/27/14 5:12 PM

I was planning on seafood tonight and am considering Eddie V's or Shaw's in River North (short walk from race site).

Katie

mmerson's ravatar mmerson    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 68
RE: Chicago 2014
POSTED: 6/27/14 10:57 PM

Ed: The swim alongside the shore line is for paratri -- they start at 8 am on Saturday am and quite a race to watch if you're around.

The other swim course is out and back but I was told there are two or three buoys out there not just the one out and back that was there today for the elite swim familiarization.

Water temperature was 65 degrees Friday evening. After the hot sun all day today, I would think it would be a bit warmer but maybe not. No one was complaining about the water today and I was out on a boat on it observing the swim for at least 2 hours today.

Don't forget to come out and watch the elite women tomorrow afternoon -- featuring the U.S. standout Gwen Jorgenson (Gwensanity!). If she has a good swim, you'll get to see some of the most amazing running ever seen in triathlon. The bike course is extremely technical with tons of tight turns so BE CAREFUL out there!

If anyone has a big problem of any kind and needs help, find me or ask an ITU official to find me. I will be on the swim course in the morning, on the pontoon for the swim start in the afternoon, and in the run penalty box. On Sunday, I will be on the start line and at the finish line.

Have a great race, DC Tri!

mosered's ravatar mosered    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1770
RE: Chicago 2014
POSTED: 6/28/14 6:26 AM

Thanks, Melissa.


Our bikes are here!:

Half block toward lake on right from corner of Balboa & Columbus:

"Hi athletes,

Your bikes have made it safely to Chicago! Just a few friendly reminders to ensure that your weekend goes smoothly:

Schedule:
Saturday, June 28: Bike pick up in Chicago from 12pm-6pm CST at the corner of South Columbus Drive and East Balboa Avenue in front of Field #7. See below for directions.
Sunday, June 29: Bike drop off in Chicago from 9am-6pm CST at the corner of South Columbus Drive and East Balboa Avenue in front of Field #7
Tuesday, July 1: Bike pick up 11am-5:30pm EST at Freshbikes Fairfax
The address in Chicago is:
41°52'23.0"N 87°37'09.3"W
Chicago, IL 60605
Corner of South Columbus Drive and East Balboa Avenue in front of Field #7
**From Michigan Avenue: take a left onto East Balboa Avenue (towards Lake Shore Drive) and walk straight to cross over Columbus Drive. After crossing Columbus, continue walking on Balboa until you reach the second entrance on the right. You will see the white Prime bike truck parked directly in front of field #7.
**From Columbus Drive: continue walking until you reach the intersection of Columbus and East Balboa. Take a left onto Balboa (towards Lake Shore Drive), the white Prime truck will be at the second entrance on your right in front of field #7.
**From Lake Shore Drive: take a right onto Balboa avenue, walk half way down Balboa towards Columbus drive and you will see the white Prime bike truck on your left directly in front of field #7.

Pick Up Details
Please have your ID ready to present when picking up your bike. We will NOT allow anyone other than yourself to pick up the frame unless you have made arrangements BEFORE the transport. Details of who the person is, their address, phone number and other details should have been sent to Lauren Rios prior to Thursday.

Drop off details on Sunday after the event
Location of the truck/trailer for loading will be the same as where you picked up your frame. Please have your bike ready to go prior to your arrival at the drop off. You will need to remove all water bottles, computers, and anything else that could fall off of your bike. ALL bikes MUST be dropped off by 6pm on Sunday otherwise the responsibility and related costs for getting your bike back home will be borne by you.

We ask that you be the person to pick up your frame in Chicago and Fairfax so that we don’t have any issues with security. Again, if you assign a surrogate to doing this on your behalf, we will need to have their specifics, if you haven’t already sent them to Lauren Rios, in order for them to claim your bike (including photo ID).
We wish you the best of luck in your race!

Lauren Rios
Research and Development Coordinator
p. 719.884.5617 | f. 719.597.2020
5825 Delmonico Drive, Suite 200
Colorado Springs, CO 80919
usatriathlon.org"

tpulham's ravatar tpulham    JOINED: 8/10/12    POSTS: 36
RE: Chicago 2014
POSTED: 6/30/14 7:10 PM

This weekend was really, really fun. Thanks a lot to everyone who arranged the bike transport, set up the club dinner, cheered on the sidelines, and helped out in lots of other ways.

HappyRunner's ravatar HappyRunner    JOINED: 1/15/11    POSTS: 202
RE: Chicago 2014
POSTED: 6/30/14 9:10 PM

Let's have some race reports! I've heard mixed things about the organization, plus some claim the bike was a couple MILES short!

mmerson's ravatar mmerson    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 68
RE: Chicago 2014
POSTED: 6/30/14 10:26 PM

I did not do the race but was an ITU Technical Official on the course at various points. You may be surprised to hear that on Saturday night, the LOC (Local Organizing Committee -- which is an amalgam of USAT and Lagardere/Upsolut, the big ITU international sponsor) contacted ITU and asked them to manage the race. This is astonishing yet amazing when you consider that the resulting event was seamless and no one realized that ITU had taken over management at literally the last hour.

You raced under USAT rules with USAT officials calling penalties, but a dozen or two ITU officials were out there helping out on the course and managing various aspects of the swim, transition, run course, and the finish -- with lots of help from the LOC and a too small group of extremely hard-working and motivated volunteers.

The bike course was 38.3 ( I think it was .3) miles because a short stretch was cut from the course after the elite paralympic race Saturday morning. The road was very rough and rather than risk accidents and bad things happening to people, the T.D. (technical tele gate) decided to reroute the course around that spot. This was announced to everyone there.

The weather largely cooperated rain wise but it was extremely hot, especially for those who were in the sprint which had waves starting at mid-day.

Most of the DC Tri folks I spoke enjoyed the course. I worked at the finish line for several hours helping people find fluid, medical, etc. as they crossed the line. The biggest complaint I heard was that people lost their GPS signals while riding through the short tunnel on the course. Lots of folks reported they had PRs -- perhaps because of the shorter bike course, but mostly because the course was flat and FAST!

DC Tri was the biggest and most visible club on the entire course. It was noticed! There were some LA Tri uniforms in the crowd and a few San Diego people but the Chicago area tri clubs are much smaller than we are and not so well branded.

It was great seeing such a strong showing of DC Tri Club colors at an ITU event.

bcfrank's ravatar bcfrank    JOINED: 3/23/09    POSTS: 966
RE: Chicago 2014
POSTED: 7/01/14 6:33 AM

My quick recap as I know it takes me forever to write my actual race reports:

1) The swim: I think the course was long. Some others felt that way as well. The course itself started off a disaster as the swim was in a narrow channel and you had to swim up to the turn buoy (about 500 meters) and then come back. At first, the only buoy was the turn buoy, so when the first wave made the turn, it became a Braveheart like clash of two forces as when wave 2 took off, they spread out across the entire channel. They eventually put in more buoys and that helped but that didn't stop people from swimming off course and I saw 2 or 3 people swimming straight at the start line to be totally plowed over as a wave of swimmer started. There is a reason for rectangular swim courses. The run from the swim exit to transition was REALLY long.

2) The bike: Flat and FAST. The roads were really nice for the most part. The biggest issue with the surface was that most of the potholes were right when you went from aboveground into the tunnel, so your eyes hadn't adjusted yet to the dark. Tough to navigate but not undoable. It's very likely that the course was short. My Garmin said 22.5 miles and it's supposed to use the speed sensor on the wheel to measure distance before it uses satellites, but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. And the major worry that I had was the bike course being overcrowded and it was completely NOT. The course was clear and wide open. While it sucked waiting 2.5 hours before my swim wave off compared to the first wave, that made for a wide open bike that let me fly down the roads. The only issue that I had was that people were not riding to the right. In a 3 lane road, people would be riding down the middle of the middle lane with 2-3 bikes trying to pass. The run from the bike dismount line back into transition was REALLY long.

3) The run: Very spectator friendly. Very flat. Not much shade, which was a problem when the heat of the day came into play. I liked the course, though it was actually very crowded at points, especially the short out and back on the north end that was cramped into one lane of a road. But I got to see a lot of teammates out there, which was a lot of fun.

Overall I really liked the course and think with some minor adjustments, I would definitely do it again.

Bryan

mmerson's ravatar mmerson    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 68
RE: Chicago 2014
POSTED: 7/01/14 7:41 AM

It would be great if someone could aggregate all the club feedback. If be happy to share it with ITU for next year. As next years race will be the age group works championships, there will be a serious review of the course.

jxjia's ravatar jxjia    JOINED: 8/13/12    POSTS: 112
RE: Chicago 2014
POSTED: 7/01/14 9:27 AM

Overall I had a blast. It was very well organized and I don't recall the last time racing on a course that's completely closed off from traffic (I have yet to do Nations).

My biggest concern ahead of the race was the bike course, with all the U-turns and the congestion; but it turned out quite alright. Yes, I heard people say the road was littered with launched bottles for the later waves, and there are sketchy bits, but I think that's just how

My thoughts:

1. I do wish there were more officials on the course. Lots of rule violations (blocking, drafting, passing on the right, overtaking, position fouls), but I understand it's almost impossible to avoid on a flat, looped course with thousands of participants. To come clean, I committed the position foul a number of times; but I really made an effort to sit up or stop pedaling when someone passed me. You know you are taking this sport (a bit too?) seriously when you start caring about the rules.

2. Not a big deal but those starting in the first couple of waves could have used more body markers.

3. Big thanks to ITU staff, volunteers, DC Tri board/members, Mario, and all the spectators. It's my first time flying to a triathlon race and the experience exceeded my expectations.

-Johnson

johnsos10's ravatar johnsos10    JOINED: 5/7/09    POSTS: 2
RE: Chicago 2014
POSTED: 7/01/14 9:51 AM

One thing I would add to the previous comments is about the gap between transition closing and swim start times – in my case, over three hours. I was originally bummed about this but it turned out to be a nice alternative to Nations or Columbia Tri, where I can stand around for 1.5 hours after transition closed waiting to swim. In Chicago, I was able to set up transition, go back to the hotel room for a couple hours sleep, and then walked down to the swim 20 minutes before my wave began. (Of course, this would not be so much fun if someone wasn’t staying at a close hotel.)

Also, many thanks for organizing / staging the team dinner Saturday night, the bike transport, and all the other support including the cries of “Go DC Tri” during the race – made for lots of fun.

NKazmerski's ravatar NKazmerski    JOINED: 10/2/12    POSTS: 3
RE: Chicago 2014
POSTED: 7/01/14 9:54 AM

I thought it was a great event, interesting and fast bike route (going through Lower Wacker Drive was pretty cool and welcome relief from the heat). Also great that so many DC Club members were there, either racing or as support.

Looking forward to the next Club event.

lockemike's ravatar lockemike    JOINED: 5/26/09    POSTS: 57
RE: Chicago 2014
POSTED: 7/01/14 10:09 AM

As one of the few sprinters, I'll say a lot of the concerns about the course others have voiced don't really apply (the swim was a straight shot, the number of bike/run loops wasn't a problem), and overall I really liked the experience. Definitely spectator friendly. The bike course was seriously fast and well-marked, and even when an ambulance had to come onto to the course to attend to a racer, it didn't impede traffic at all. To everyone who organized it, many thanks. As far as advice for future stagings:

-Transition ingress/egress flow. Since our setup time overlapped with the Oly race-in-progress, the entrance was tucked in to an unmarked area snaking between the bike out/run out. Even with all the volunteers trying to direct foot traffic, I saw plenty of people with gear stepping in front of bikers and runners mid-race.

-SIGNS around transition. I was about to leave to go to the swim start and realized I had no idea where the swim in/bike out/bike in/run out locations were and had to go ask a volunteer for guidance.

-I agree with Bryan that the runs in from swim and bike to transition were long (which is especially notable in a sprint when your T1 time approaches half of your swim time!) but I don't know how that could be rearranged.

-WATER STATIONS: not enough! Since it was so hot during the sprint, perhaps it would have been better to have had more (and smaller) hydration areas on the run. The way the course was set up, we passed by one station right outside of T2 and then only had access to the other (massive) one twice.

Hutchings's ravatar Hutchings    JOINED: 11/1/10    POSTS: 19
RE: Chicago 2014
POSTED: 7/01/14 10:38 AM

This event surpassed all expectations, especially the bike course. I will piggyback off Bryan's race recap. I had an early start - 6:20 and could have written an identical race recap as Bryan. As for feedback, I can only add a few things.

1 - the swim exit - I initially was going around both buoys near the exit, then I realized no one was going around the far one, so I split them. I noticed some swimmers didn't even go around the 2nd to the end buoy, including the leader of my wave (not that it made a difference in the standings). As for the start, I made a point to line up left near the seawall when I saw swimmers crossing over, but I still ran into an oncoming swimmer. Fortunately, there was a big gap before the wave after me started, so no issues on the return.

2 - bike course - I had a scare with a missing pipehole covering just before the u-turn on Wacker near the center line (I was passing and not riding the line!) on the first lap but it was covered before I returned on the second lap. I seem to do most of the ride following a referee so I can't comment about the lack of refs. I would be curious about the number of blocking violations since most folks did ride the center line. I screamed on your left which only had minimal impact and actually told one guy he was in the middle of the road. I got an earful back from him, but I quickly left him and didn't hear it all. I know the refs will be all over this for Worlds having been a receipent of a penalty in London last year (which I still disagree with).

3 - run course - the road on the north end was also crowded/tight for my early wave. The aid stations were also stingy with water, only an inch in a cup, so I started taking two cups.

Thank you to everyone for all their hard work, organizing and cheering. I met so many new folks and loved having folks to cheer for. And last night, I was particularly happy about my bike being safely tucked away on the truck as I sat on the O'Hare runways for 6 hours before the flight was finally cancelled at midnight. Thank goodness this gigantic storm came after the race weekend.

Cindy

markhakd's ravatar markhakd    JOINED: 10/8/09    POSTS: 223
RE: Chicago 2014
POSTED: 7/01/14 10:51 AM

Quick suggestions from my participation in the sprint:

- The run was really, really hot and could have used more aid stations.
- My watch put the run at 3.4 miles.
- I saw zero signage at transition marking swim in/bike out/bike in/run out. Those would have been helpful.
- Lines at bag check and packet pickup were often very long.

Kevin

dmcelhare's ravatar dmcelhare    JOINED: 4/17/10    POSTS: 49
RE: Chicago 2014
POSTED: 7/01/14 12:13 PM

Here's a question about bike transport pick-up.

On drop off day Mosaic had a US Soccer block party that impacted traffic/parking.

Does anyone know if they are hosting a similar game watch today?
Would that have any impact on our ability to get our bikes?

Thanks,
Drew

wbdowntown's ravatar wbdowntown    JOINED: 3/28/12    POSTS: 95
RE: Chicago 2014
POSTED: 7/01/14 3:08 PM

First thanks to everyone who organized the pre race dinner. It was great to see so many DC Tri kits all over the course. Thoughts on the course:
swim: nothing new to note. There was one guy who swam backstroke into my start wave. Once he realized we were yelling at him he rolled over and swam the fastest 25 yrs of his life.
Bike: pleasantly surprised at the amount of room overall. With so many folks out there it was next to impossible to ride strictly within the rules. Disappointed the course ended up so short overall-when you advertise a 40k course and it comes up 1-2 miles short that's significant. Lower Wacker was extremely dark especially with sunglasses (I shoved mine up in my helmet 10sec after getting in there). The turnarounds were sharp and technical but not overly terrifying.
Run: aid stations - more of em. Course was again short. Why didn't the just extend the north section of Congress to hit 10k?
Overall it appeared that race organizers did not meet their quota for volunteers. Some areas were lacking (gear check was one). Those who were graciously volunteering their time didn't always seemed briefed or up to speed on their particular assignment. I didn't care for the "no bags in transition" policy; another issue no two volunteers seem to be able to explain or agree on.

Bottom line though organizing an event with over 4000 participants isn't easy and my gripes are relatively nit picky. I had a blast and would head to Chicago again given the chance.

Wes

mina's ravatar mina    JOINED: 12/7/12    POSTS: 30
RE: Chicago 2014
POSTED: 7/02/14 10:14 AM

Thanks for the awesome weekend and DC Tri Bike transport deal! I had amazing time but mostly because of our great Club.

Transition layout was just not working and weird. Long rows without any break between them. There was no sign of bike-in, swim-in or out!

The transition closed at 5:45AM and my wave wouldn’t start until 9:45AM. Body mark was a long long line!

I went to my room to grab breakfast and came back but it was a hassle and took a very long time to cross any road as they already started and lots of runners and cyclists.
We finally started at 9:50AM. Swim felt long. I might have been zigzagging because I had problem with the shape of buoys.

T1: was amazingly long and then going through transition when sprint group were setting up their transition was not fun!

Bike: was fun and fast! I thought I felt like being in batman movie when going to Lower Wacker drive!

T2: Again long but not that bad.

Run: I ran at hottest time of the day! The water on aid station was so hot that I couldn’t drink it. I had to spit it out. There was no ice to cool the water or body down.

It felt like age groupers were not the focus of the weekend at all for ITU race manager. We had so many DC tri members on the course that volunteers/racers were asking me why and what is going on! Go DC Tri!

mmerson's ravatar mmerson    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 68
RE: Chicago 2014
POSTED: 7/02/14 11:00 AM

Great feedback but please understand! ITU wS there only to manage the elite events! They only manage age groupers at the world Championships (so next year!). This race was to be managed 100% by USAT & their partnership (called Upsolute North America). There were USAT officials in red shirts and on motorcycles. It was only at the last minute that the LOC asked ITU for help and about 2 dozen of us got up at 4.30 am to do that. Our elite race director (the technical delegate) took over as race director and saved the day. There wS only so much she could do at that late hour when they were woefully short of volunteers and race staff. Those who were there were great and worked SO hard.....but it was impossible to redesign transition or re-route the course, all if which they hadn't seen previously. The elite transition and race course are at a completely different location.
As ITU will be managing the course for next year as part of Worlds, these suggestions and comments are all helpful and very important. I will pass them on.

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