Any tips from the veterans out there on what it's like to race in the rain? Nature may not be cooperating for Rumpus on Sat. I've never raced in the rain nor cold before.
Any tips on keeping things dry in transition? Best way to get on extra layers after the swim while soaking wet? Bike safety?
I've read a lot and the general consensus is bring lots of trash bags! I'll probably dust off and bring my ShamWows too :)
Here are a few things I've learned:
Put your tire pressure lower, around 80-90 psi, instead of the typical 120. Helps with the bike handling on wet roads.
Don't put trash bags on your seat. Its going to get wet once you start riding anyway. All it does is add to the trash in the transition.
Do use trash bags to keep your bag dry. But don't leave them there after the race.
I'm sure you'll get a bunch more suggestions, but this will get the thread started.
The first triathlon I did, it was raining cats and dogs -- I had a blast. Ditto on the trash bag for the saddle. It's not worth it. Definitely keep dry clothes separate for after.
One thing I find helpful since my feet blister easily: turn your running shoes upside down so it doesn't rain inside them while you're swimming/biking.
And, slightly OT: put your bike in a lower gear -- you have a slight uphill coming out of transition.
Good luck, it's a superfun race!
If you wear socks on the bike or run, keep those inside a separate plastic bag inside your larger transition bag. It's no fun to put on soaking wet socks in T1 or T2.
It was raining at Nations last year, so you should get plenty of good advice here! I actually enjoyed it. Kept everything nice and cool.
Biggest thing is to keep your shoes/socks/transition towel dry until you need them. I kept everything in a smaller kitchen garbage bag and it worked out well.
The only other thing I can think of is sunglasses. The wetness and humidity will leave some rain and fog on the lenses.
Also, if its a bit wet and chilly, getting your wetsuit completely on while you wait will keep you nice and warm.
I'm not familiar with the course, so all I can do is offer some general tips:
-First of all, don't forget to hydrate! When it's wet & cooler on the way to the race, it's easy to overlook this! Summer weather can change quickly... when the sun decides to come out midway through the bike, you will get burned by overlooking this on the run!
-Rain often forces race directors to cancel the swim (but not always... so still bring your swim stuff!). Make sure you're mentally prepared to start off with an extra 5K run if they convert it to a duathlon. This means making sure to hydrate enough to do 2 runs and a bike. It might also mean bringing an extra pair of running shoes (if you use the same ones, I guarantee they will be soaked by the time you run the last 10K).
-Whenever you ride in the rain, be extra careful in the turns! If there are 10 turns on the course and you make it through 9 at your normal pace than slide out and crash in the 10th, you're far worse off than the rider who was slightly more cautious and made it through all 10 upright.
-Same thing goes for downhills. There was a monsoon at Diamond In The Rough last July in Perryville, MD. Everyone was riding their breaks down the hills. One girl went a little too fast, lost control and hit a tree going 30mph. She broke her elbow... needless to say her season was over. Better to lose a minute on a disastrous race playing it safe than a whole season going a bit too hard under less-than-ideal conditions.
-Watch out for metal grates and road striping... both of those can be extra slippery in the rain. I crashed on a metal grate in Ballston that same weekend last July and broke my thumb.
-If its cold and raining but they decide to hold the swim, your wetsuit is a great way to stay warm. Just ask anyone who did Nations Tri last September.
-Bring your glasses for the bike, but I'd go with the clear (or orange!) ones instead of the sunglasses as you can see better in them in the rain. You may also consider skipping them altogether... it rained at Sprint Nationals last September in Tuscaloosa, AL, and I did the entire ride without glasses. I got a little water in my face, but I could still see better than looking through wet glasses.
-As several people mentioned, bring a lot of trash bags. I would put one over top of my bike & run stuff when I head for the swim... kindof like a tarp. This should keep your running shoes dry.
-The good news is the rain generally keeps things cool for the run!
Good luck and have fun! Ideal weather is usually better the day of the race, but I def think people bond better over disastrouos race conditions!
The faster you go, the faster you can get out of the rain!
Watch out for and if possible avoid puddles, little potholes that hide in puddles can make big holes in tires/tubes.
In lieu of trash bags, if you've saved any of those metallic blankets they hand out and the end of road races, those are a great cover-all/under for transition.
Make sure that your drivetrain is properly lubed before the race. And don't wait too long to clean/dry off your bike and relube it afterwards.
What about tires in the rain? My bike has the slick tires it came with - -bought 4 months ago. Does anyone switch to tires with some tread? Or just reduce tire pressure somewhat?
wow, thanks for all the advice! I didn't even think of the possibility that they might turn it into a Du :( We got the updated email and said if it's thunderstorms, they'll delay for 1 hr, if it hasn't gone away, they'll turn it into a Du. I rather just have it pour rain than do a Du.
The thought of doing a race in the pouring rain is actually starting to get me excited!
You do not want to switch to treaded tires. Keep the slicks. The reason car tires have tread is primarily to move water and avoid hydroplaning. On a bike you are never going fast enough to hydroplane, so that isn't an issue.
Most would suggest lowering your tire pressure about 10psi. I usually don't think of that when I need to, so my tire pressure is the normal level and I haven't suffered any bad consequences (knock on wood).
"SATURDAY - WITH POSSIBLE RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 2 INCHES...LOCALLY HIGHER...AND MOIST ANTECEDENT CONDITIONS...FLASH FLOODING WILL BE POSSIBLE. LATEST GUIDANCE SUGGEST THAT HIGHEST [RAINFALL POTENTIAL] WILL BE ACROSS POTOMAC HIGHLANDS..."
So, if you're in my age group PLEASE be safe and stay home. ;)
Moist antecedent conditions are the scariest type of conditions
Well, I personally cannot wait to race on Saturday...
this is shaping up to be an epic.
Anyone interested in carpooling?
Race in a hurricane. Awesome.
Trevor- Brent and I are driving down today around 1-2 pm today. We also are sharing a lake house with a bunch of other people and I think there is still room, especially Friday night. in case you didn't want to sleep in the rain :) lemme know