Apparently, I didn't look at the website photos very clearly when I signed up for Nations. Today I received an email from them announcing their sponsorship deal with XTerra, maker of wetsuits. So, my question is, do I really need a wetsuit for this race? Is the Potomac really that cold in September? Or is the suit to protect from the toxicity of the river?
And the XTerra sale through June 1 is 50% off. That means full suits for $200 and sleeveless for $150. Are these good prices?
Thanks for your thoughts.
It depends on the models but generally speaking, for a mid range wetsuit (i.e., $300-$400 MSRP) those are excellent prices. You can't beat 50% off. Is this your first tri ? Do you anticipate on doing this for the foreseeable future ? Are you a good swimmer ? Wetsuits generally go for $35-50 for a weekend rental. If you do 3-4 tris then it pays for itself but if you are unsure about your tri future then a rental might make more sense.
Keep in mind that all wetsuits should be given a spin prior to a race. You don't want race day to be the first day that you have it on. It may feel very constricting and difficult to breathe in when you have it on for the first time but eventually it will feel a lot more comfortable.
Do you need a wetsuit for Nations ? No. There were people who did it without wetsuits last year but most had one on. If your consideration for a wetsuit is warmth then only you can answer that since we all have our own ideas of what water temp is tolerable.
As far as toxicity, Nations follows USAT rules on what is acceptable. If they let you swim in it then it meets the USAT standards. They've canceled the swim portion in the past because it didn't meet those standards.
Thanks, Tuan, this is just the info I needed. I'm not a good swimmer and not sure how much I will like tri.
I was just kidding about the toxicity but it is good to know that someone official is watching out for us.
I talked to my mentor about this - I'm doing the one on June 21st as well as Nations. She said Nations was almost too warm for a wetsuit (as Tuan mentioned that's subjective)...but the race on the 21st is definately wetsuit temp.
I think we'll have some open water swims in June (you'll miss the sale though) and you might want to rent one to check out how you feel in one - they will add some buoyancy which may give you a bit of confidence in the water.
Does anyone know if we can wear wetsuits in the DC pools - practice swimming/taking off purposes?
I didn't get the email about the discount though...grrrr. Is it a promo code to enter at checkout? Mind sharing?
OE - i just forwarded you the email from Nation's about the wetsuit discounts.
OE - i just forwarded you the email from Nation's about the wetsuit discounts. code is NATRI.
I was thinking about taking advantage of this Nations Tri offer, in part because I have a cabin on the lower Potomac that would be a good place for regular open water swims. Any thoughts on the choice between the version with sleeves ($200) and the one without ($150). By the way, if folks are ever searching for an open water swim location, I'm happy to offer this place up. It's actually on St Clements Bay which is protected water to a degree--and it's just about a mile across. About 90 minutes from DC.
Answers above are all very good-
No - you do not need a wetsuit for Nation's. Water is comfortable without it. However, the wetsuit will make you faster so it's up to you to make the judgment on how much you value that speed. If you're not a great (i.e., experienced) swimmer, I'd suggest starting with a sleeveless suit. It's less constricting on the shoulders and you won't tire as quickly.
I own a sleeveless and the only time I've ever wished I had a full suit is at Columbia Tri when the water is still pretty chilly. (It was very comfortable this year, though).
That's great to know about your OWS swim opportunity at St Clements. We used to have a club member who lived on the bay and hosted several swims for the club but has since moved. It would be nice to establish something like this again.