This whole question may be moot - seeing as the swim was cancelled last week ;) - BUT, I read that Nations will be using a TT start sending off 10-15 racers at a time.
A. How does this work? Anyone at DC Tri experience this first hand?
B. What is a good strategy for navigating this non-wave start successfully?
C. How do you have a TT start with 10-15 people? (Ok, this one maybe more rhetorical...)
Thanks in advance,
It's really a modified TT start since they start you in groups. They bring the whole wave onto the pier, then a group lines up on the edge and goes when they tell you to. Immediately the next handful of swimmers lines up at the edge. One key difference is you jockey for starting position within your wave on dry land instead of while treading water. Stronger swimmers want to get into one of the first groups, swimmers who typically start at the back of a mass start may want to go with a later group.
Your timing chip activates when you leave the pier, so once you hit the water, you better get swimming ;) This means that if someone in your group jumps in a second or two early (which happened at the DC Tri), don't worry about it because they aren't gaining a time advantage over you. A TT start makes it harder out on the course to know where you are relative to others in your wave since some started before and some started after you but you don't know by how much.
Race directors of larger races this year seem to be embracing TT starts (DC Tri, NYC), so we'd better get used to it.
Is Nations Swim cancelled this Sunday?
Nation's swim isn't canceled for Sunday. With all of this fresh water falling out of the sky, how can the water possibly be too dirty to swim?
Andy -- Are you racing in the elite wave? If so, the elites are going off in a regular swim wave (according to the last update I heard) and then all others are TT start.
If you are going in the AG wave, you still group together in corrals according to your AG so you will want to get to the front of your swim cap color. The common complaint among fast people at DC Tri was that there was no way of knowing how many people are in front of you in your AG so you'd better start up front to alleviate that issue.
Also, the race director for NYC, DC Tri and Nation's is Bill Burke so that explains why these races all use the TT format. Most people really responded well to it at DC Tri.
For those that are reading, another change, if you haven't noticed it yet, is that the bike course will continue further out Clara Barton this year. This should be good to help thin the herd since there is a slight uphill on the way out. Just be safe and stay to the right unless passing and the course is great.
Finally, I'm sure you've seen the calls but we still need volunteer help at swim start, Friday registration and at the DC Tri water stop. Check the eNews this week for more details.
Great info, Steph and Travis! Thanks!
I thought the TT start at the DC Tri went very smooth. Spread the crowd out well. It was a nice stream of people, which is good and bad. It was never as congested as a wave starts get, but there was never as much open water as you get when swimming between waves.
For slightly above average, confident swimmers, I don't think it's as good as a wave start because it can be harder to find the draft of faster people. You have to hope someone in your small group fits the bill, or that someone from a group behind passes you.
I mostly stayed right to avoid the line of people bunched up along the direct line. I'll probably do the same this year. I breathe left so I can also spot any fast people coming up along the inside of me. By contrast, last year at Nations I started far left along the line and just swam hard to get to the clear direct line until I started hitting the back of the previous wave.