Anybody know anything about it? I'm considering doing it in lieu of the DC Tri (I have a wedding that weekend). Thanks!
A lot of people from the club do it; last year we had a dinner on Saturday night that was pretty well attended. I'm sure the organizer can confirm how many people were there, but it was great to have a bunch of DCTri people up there; we also had a tent for before/after the race.
2010 was my first time at the race (my first Olympic distance, too), and overall it was a good experience except that someone tragically drowned during the sprint race the day before. We had a run-bike-run, which worked well considering the circumstances. I think the heat was a pretty significant concern, but that would be the case in DC or Philly.
The bike course was a double-loop with a couple of hills, and the run course was a mix of sun and shade except for the last section, which was totally exposed.
My biggest beef would have to be parking/logistics, since the race location isn't designed for a gazillion people to be there all at once, and participants have to park all over the place. I got there early and still had a hike to transition, so I can't imagine how far latecomers had to walk. Having said that, logistics for Nation's was also a mess, so I'd imagine that DC would be the same way!
Oh, and so far it's my favorite tech shirt, which is always a plus :-)
I raced the Philly Sprint Tri last year. I registerred for the Sprint the week before the race, but the Olympic filled in January because 1) it was Mid-Atlantic Club Championships, 2) it was a Toyota Cup US Open qualifier, and 3) it was a big race for Team-in-Training. The swim (0.8K) was a clockwise loop in the Schulykill River, and wetsuits were illegal due to the warm water. I thought the water was more still and had less current than the Potomac, although as Hamburger1971 (great screenname!) pointed out, someone drowned in one of the later age-group waves last year. The bike (25.3K) was long, and featured a lot of rolling hills and several tactical turns. The run (5K) was a flat, fast out-and-back, but it had very little shade-cover and the same brutal sun and 90-degree heat as the DC Tri the week before. I competed as an age-grouper (7th wave overall), so I spent a lot of time swimming over/around people, and passing people in heavy traffic on the bike (although this is no different than any big city urban tri). The run from swim to transition was very short (sharp contrast to the 200m dash from swim to transition at the Nations tri), but Philly really needs to rake up the sticks and twigs in transition next year, because they are all over the place! Bikes rack on a first-come, first-served basis, so get there early! Also, it's about a 1/4-to-1/2 mile walk from parking to on-site packet pickup and a 1/2-to-3/4 mile walk downhill from packet pickup to transition (about the same as the walk from lot A/B/C to transition at DC/Nations Tri.
Hope this helps! It's a great race... I strongly recommend doing it!
I'll be the contrarian. I thought this was a poorly run race. I raced the Olympic last year. I totally understood why it was turned into a duathlon, and that is not my problem with this race.
As the first poster said, the logistics are terrible. Everything about this race was a pain, from packet pick-up to race day, especially leaving the race site. Much worse than Nations in my opinion, but I'll concede that maybe DC is easier because its my home town and I know how to avoid traffic and other logistical problems better here than in Phili.
The bike course was an absolute mess. It should have been a fun course. Lots of hills and you go through some cool parts of Phili (the Rocky Steps, etc.). But the race management of the bike course was terrible and dangerous. There were people all over the road. I didn't see any efforts from the race personnel to make slower riders stay to the right. Considering its a two-loop course with some technical descents with lots of new Team in Training riders on the course, it was pretty crazy. Way too many people on the course. I was forced to spend most of my time passing slower riders on their right. I had no choice because of the conditions. Both a lack of pre-race education and in-race enforcement.
The run is also near a highway/rail road tracks without cover. It was really hot last year, but even if not so hot, it would have been a boring run course. Reminded me of NorthEast Tri, which is also an out and back on an exposed highway.
I wouldn't recommend this race.