Any recommendations for/against ChesapeakeMan in September 2011? It would be my first IM distance race. I saw where portions of it is on the Eagleman course which is detested by most people in this club however given its at the end of September, it might not be as hot. Any feedback would help! Thanks.
ChesMan was super hot last year!
Eagleman is a fast course (if the swim is not long, against the current, and non-wetsuit). I have not raced ChesMan but under the right conditions, it should be a fast race. It is however a small race (a few hundred participants vice 2,600+ at an Ironman) with limited spectators. It may get a little lonely on the course.
An intimate and well-organized race by Bob Vigorito. Can get windy,totally flat. Run course is cut into four loops. Less than a two hour drive away. A good, inexpensive option for first timers.
Another great thing about this race is that it doesnt fill...so you dont need to lay out a ton of money months and months ahead of time.
I've done the AV and agree with the others; the bike course can be really windy, and very lonely.
It is a well run, safe, local race that is less expensive and easy for local family to cheer you on. The bike can be windy and isolated but since there are three loops on the run everyone is brought back together there where you really need it. I did it in '07 when it was windy but the swim was the toughest leg since it used to be point-to-point and the Choptank was extra choppy that day! I still like my chances on a good weather day at the end of Sept. then some other IM races. Also the Cambridge Hyatt is a beautiful resort which is key for a post race massage or keeping family entertained! Good Luck and if you want to do it you probably can sign up as late as Aug 2011 after you see how your training goes.
I did the AV this past Sept and yes, it was ridiculously hot and windy. Windy I expected (I train out there quite a bit...a nd race EM), that heat in late Sept, well it stunk... but that isn't the race's fault.
The pro's (as I see them): (1) you can train on the course as often as you choose to drive to Cambridge; (2) you will not have to re-finance your house to pay the registration fee; (3) lodging will be cheap and easy and close by (not as big as Eagleman, I booked a room a few weeks out); (4) you will actually get swag (not just a t-shirt and hat IF you finish); (5) there's a decent chance you will come home with hardware (not many people race at all... so in any category you stand a good chance of placing).
The con's (imho): (1) you may go for miles and miles and miles on the bike without seeing a single soul; (2) there are not many rest stops on the bike; (3) virtually no crowd support on the bike or the run - except the turnaround point.
I've already signed up for an IM next year, if that weren't the case I would consider this one... and may do it in a few years. It's small, it's laid back... and that's a nice change of pace to the crazy ego-mania that you will see at a WTC race (HIM or IM).
I've done this race 3x - 2006, '09 and '10 and it is one of my favorite races. The others here have already listed some good pros/cons but I think my favorites being the cost (cheaper than a WTC race), and you don't have to register 1year in advance. This year I signed up 4 weeks (I think) before the race. I emailed CTA to see when registration was closing and made sure to sign up before then. This way if something came up with work travel/school/injury I wasn't out the registration fee. You don't have the washing machine style swim start that WTC IM races have because it's a smaller race but then you don't have the wetsuit strippers or the awesome volunteers in the change tents that you'll have at a WTC race. Yes, there are volunteers in the tents but not as gung ho to help you out.
I've done the bike course several times and know where the aid stations are which (to me) mentally helps break down the loops. It's also a way to plan out your nutrition so you're not taking extra bottles for water - just use the water provided on the bike course. Yes, some of the bike is on the EM course but not much and I actually prefer the bike course of CMan to EMan.
The run course is OK but it's on the same out-back 3x. Boring - maybe - but if you're racing you can track your competition. Also you really don't have to carry water w/ you since the aid stations are every mile. Aid stations at CM aren't as packed as a WTC IM race, but they are still pretty good.
The finish at CM is very small and it's not Mike Riley saying "YOU ARE AN IRONMAN" but instead Robert Vigo saying "You Are a CheseapekeMan!". Not fancy but it's still 140.6miles. Plus the finish line is (usually) all yours to enjoy since there aren't many people so you can have family finish with you or just savor it on your own.
I could go on about ChesMan since, like I said, it's a favorite of mine. If you have other questions feel free to send me an email.
i signed up for this race. anyone else in?
I haven't registered for the race since I want to see how my training goes between now and March but I plan on doing this one. If you are interested, I am doing a long run/ride this Saturday/Sunday.
Maybe. Usually play that one by ear. Can usually register the week of the race.
I signed up. It will be my first 140.3. My family will be there to tell me I'm "Iron" which is good enough for me.
Just signed up for the half (skipjack). Anyone want to split a hotel on fri night? Shoot me an email
pamela dot simmonds at gmail
David and Josh, I am in for the full and it is my first. Hope to see you on the course, will definitely need some encouragement on the run.
Anyone looking for a roomie? I just started looking for a room (late, I know) and the pickings in Cambridge are pretty slim...
I heard - stay in Salisbury - you'll find a room and the hotels down there are less of a hassle then near Cambridge.
I got booted out of the Tidewater at last year's Eagleman even though I had reservations for almost a year. They booted all the triathletes to make room for a wedding they booked the same weekend. Don't ever stay at the Tidewater. Cambridge Hyatt is ridiculously expensive.
Salsibury is a college town so lots of chain hotels - decent price - not a bad ride to the start.
Dave Venables, 10:48. (One wonders if he carried his flat Coke and hot broth on him like his water for his Saharan multimarathons.)
David Cheek (after modest training program), 13:39.
Sunday Bike Ride with the Vertical Swimmer member Josh Glazer checked in with a very respectable time of 11:46.
Word on the street is that all participants had some major jellyfish attacks during the 2.4 mile swim and 4-6 inch of flood water on portions of the bike. David Cheek had to manuvers around some Chesapeake Bay blue crabs on the bike course. That's what I call on-course nutrition support.
I didn't have too many problems with the jellyfish but the bike course had some flooding problems. This wouldn't have been an issue if I had packed a pair of socks in my run bag instead of relying on the socks I wore for the bike. My feet hate me right now...
A great day out, and good to meet some other DCTri'ers - who was I talking to on the run (apart from myself) - John, I think?
Cycling through all that water made me feel like a kid again - great fun!
Definitely a great experience for my first IM distance race, and a huge learning lesson. A mentally challenging course more than physical, I can see how it can be tough during Eagleman or Chessy when the weather doesn't cooperate. Getting stung by the 'sea nettles' was part of the charm, I think.
It's an intimate race, everyone was friendly and really excellent organizers, the packet just about covered everything but the flooding on the course.