Could someone please describe a time trial start like the one being used for the swim waves? It sounds like there won't be a way to hang back at the start since the waves are only 10 seconds apart.
Wow, they are using TT start.
In a TT start, you walk across a timing matt and they encourage/help/expect you to jump in the water and just go. If you want to hang back, just swim to the side a little bit and out of people's way to get your bearings.
A TT start is a bit nerve wrecking in that you really have very little time to gather your thoughts in the water before you go ... no chance to get a feel of the water before you go. The good thing about it is that it probably is a better start for newbies. You have less of the washing machine effect where everyone is smacking each other or the 100 swimmers from the next wave gunning for you. It is less of a cluster f***.
Even as a very very poor swimmer, I'd rather have a wave start, or better yet .. a mass start. It allows you a few minutes in the water to calm your nerves and get a good feel of the water. The washing machine effect where everyone is getting molested is one of the cool things about triathlons. It's like a right of passage. It's a beautiful thing to watch and be a part of :)
Ha, thanks, Tuan. Being in wave 10, I'm pretty sure I'll still get molested by many, many swimmers as they race past me.
Do you know if you are allowed to dive in normally during a TT start, or is it a feet first jump?
You most likely will be able to dive in. I have never heard of a race where that is prohibited. The water is 8 feet deep. When they had the ITU there two years ago, the pro start was a dive in start. Having heard of stories from people cutting themselves from the bottom while jumping in hard feet first in prior races, it might be a safer bet to dive in.
The problem with getting molested in the washing machine wave starts is that everyone in my wave is in my age group and gender. I usually start toward the back of the pack so I avoid most of the madness.
The TT starts are a little more relaxing for us slower swimmers. At least when the fast swimmers catch up, it will only be in small groups, not a huge wall of arms and swim caps.
Huh. First I heard about a time trial start was in the race info we just got. They did normal waves last year. For some reason, I don't see them pulling off 8 people every 10 seconds without some issues, but hopefully it works out.
From the organizational standpoint, the folks producing the race are a division of WTC (ie, Ironman) and they put on 1-2 races per weekend all around the country. Time trial start, wave start, out/in water start... These folks know how to run a triathlon better than anyone out there. They'll get you through it. If you do dive in, please be careful. You never know what is floating under the surface of the water. I'm probably going to do a really fancy jacknife.
the TT start is certainly out of the ordinary but it will hopefully have two positive effects -- it'll help those people that are concerned about getting clubbed at swim start feel like they have more room to maneuver. Also, it will spread out the AGs as they head out on the bike. Hopefully providing a less congested bike course with less drafting.
Who knows, you may end up liking it? I've never participated in a TT start so it will be interesting for me as well.
Have a great race!
I've always wanted to do a time trial start at a race. Any idea whether they are planning to do the same for Nation's?
I *think* they are but I don't know for sure. I'll find out.
I think it would really help out the bike course at Nation's so this race should be a great preview to see how it will work for the 'big' race.
Also, if you still have some questions by the expo, come by one of the Ready to Race clinics at the expo. Matt Clancy from SSPT will be giving a great prep talk and I'll be there to help with general race Q&A. Matt did a great job last year and it was more advanced in topics covered than a typical race briefing.
The Half Full Triathlon in Ellicott City MD had a TT start last October, with 2 people starting at a time. Same format this year, 2 people starting every 5 seconds. This year they will have a non-standard "Olympic" race as well as a near-Half Ironman race (70.0 miles). It takes place in early October. The transition area is in Centennial Park, which I believe is the same as the Columbia Triathlon.
Even if Nation's isn't a TT start, you can still do the Half Full Tri.
Yah, if it helps the bike course I'm all for it! Especially this race where it's two loops. I'm also up for not getting mauled at the swim start.
The latest race email read "We will be using a time trial start. Athletes will line up in their swim corral by Swim Wave # at 6:00 AM, with eight (8) athletes starting approximately every 10 seconds."
Does this mean if you're in wave 2, only eight swimmers will be ahead of you in the water??
Each waves usually has about 100 swimmers. This means that if you are in wave 2, there will be 100 age group swimmers from wave 1 ahead of you plus however many of the wave 2 swimmers there are that are in front of you.
They let 8 swimmers from each waves go in 10 seconds increments. They will line the waves up in corrals prior to the start and move the corrals toward the man-made pier. They will let 8 in the water at a time. Each wave will have a different color swim cap.
Time trial starts are fun.
At Lousiville, it's like being a paratrooper with the jump master yelling at you to get on with it already.
are there implications depending on where you start w/in a wave? (in the first group of 8 vs the last group of 8 vs somewhere in the middle?)
If you are a good swimmer, the further in front you are in line in your wave, the less people you have to fight through as you pass them along the swim course.
If you are a poor swimmer, the further in front you are in line in your wave, the more people there are that will be gunning for you from behind.
If you were trying to get a podium spot within your age group, it's tough to know who your real competitions are since not everyone is starting at the same time. The person crossing the finishline 10 seconds in front of you may actually be 20 seconds slower than you are or vica versa.
True story: I was once chicked by Adrian Fenty at the MCM. He outkicked me at the end. I looked up the results only to find out that I beaten him by 6 seconds because he used the "I'm the Mayor" card and was given a head start. He denied me my "in your face Mayor!" speech.
This is why I say, throw all 3,000 competitors in the Potomac at the same time and post the videos on YouTube :)
Anyone know if there will be gaps in waves or if it's just rolling all the time?
There could be a compromise solution. Start off all 3,000 athletes in the transition area and have them fight their way to the dock for the first spots, just like they used to do in the coin tosses in the venerable XFL. Oh wait, that league didn't last very long, did it? Never mind...
Speaking of swim waves, does anyone if there is a master schedule that shows all the waves and what gender/age group are assigned? I know my own wave, but would be nice to know when everyone else starts.