Hi all - just wondering if anyone is planning on racing the half-ironman in Rhode Island this summer. It would fit well into my schedule (although I'd have to miss one of Hugh's training tri's), but between the race fee, hotel, gas, and the hassle of driving I-95, it's a good deal of time and expense.
Not planning on it, but I raced it last year. That drive KILLS. The race itself was great, and Providence is beautiful. Lots of huge hills. I highly suggest staying an extra day to recoup and having at least one person with you.
Raced it the last two years. Last year, they improved race logistics over the first year and it is a little of a pain with the two transition areas. It is supposed to be a calm swim, but the water was rough the first two years due to the weather. The bike is flat for the first part, hilly in the middle miles and then somewhat downhill heading into T2. The run has a major hill about mile 1 in which you run twice. Definitely worth racing (and yes, the drive sucks). However I am not doing it this year because IMLP is later in July.
I am registered for RI 70.3. I will likely be driving and plan on breaking the trip up or at least going up way before. I will take the week before off and the week after. I am bringing my 9 yo daughter and have friends in RI that have agreed to watch her for the day. Also will stay on to visit my sister in Providence. Driving does suck - but only alternative is flying and shipping the bike which is a bigger pain.
PS. Thanks for the race analysis - this will be my first 70.3.
I'm racing this year. Its my first 70.3. I think I'm gonna fly.
All this talk makes me tempted, though my current plan does not have me attempting a half until the fall and I don't know if I will be ready. Whatever the case, a few comments:
1. its seriously not that far of a drive. For the hassle of shipping your bike and everything, I would say- definitely not worth it to fly. Besides, this race starts and finishes in different parts of the state I believe and thats just a pain in the ass if you don't have your car. It will take you probably 7 hours- just make like I do and drive in the middle of the night so you can avoid hitting rush hour in all the major cities- Baltimore, the Delaware bridge, NJ, nyc, etc. I sort of consider myself an expert, having made this drive many times a year for the last 5 years or so.
Also, get an ezpass if you don't have one. stopping at the tolls is a pain in the ass and wastes time. Do expect it to be expensive- I haven't calculated in a while, but a couple of years ago it was around $27 in tolls headed north and $17 headed south. Probably add 5 bucks to each of those by now.
2. Providence is pretty neat- but the beach area (Narragansett for example) is a lot better. If you want to make a vacation out of it, I suggest just renting a beach house. RI has some of the best beaches ever. But then again, I am biased. I grew up on those beaches.
3. My family and a lot of friends still live there so its conceivable that I could see if anyone wants to put up a couple of people if you need lodging.
Excellent advice. Thanks.
I decided to sign up for RI 70.3. I'm looking to share a room with someone to help save costs. If anyone is interested please let me know. Also, I'm trying to figure out logistics. I may end up shipping my bike but have never done this before. I've always put it on the flight with me. This may end up costing a lot of money. I might take the train....only way you can take a bike with you is to go at 10pm and travel overnight so an option, but sucks if you can't sleep! The case has to weigh under 50 lbs.
Let me know any pointers on shipping bikes or about sharing rooms!
I went on vacation once and shipped my bike in a bike box via UPS. Wonder if there is a bike store up there that one could arrange to accept delivery. UPS insures unlike the airlines. UPS will also come pick it up to ship back as well.
I looked at the TriTransport website that arranges for bike shipments, but it does not look like they are covering Providence 70.3. I would entertain this option if offered. Maybe we should all email them and start a lobbying campaign.
Yeah they have prices listed on the RI website for receiving the bike, putting it together and then packing it up. I guess shipping would be another extra cost. Might be cheaper just to fly with my bike. Sucks tritransport isn't involved. Wonder why? Maybe not enough people??
Those of you who have raced this before....did you have a car to get to T1 which is 45 min. away from the finish? I emailed and they said they have a shuttle out there race morning but you have to have dropped your bike off the day before. They didn't say anything about getting back out there after the race either. Kind of odd logistics. Any suggestions??
Hi all - Providence 70.3 was my first half ironman and it was awesome. I saw Glenn and Courtney on the course and one undisclosed DC Trier - sorry did not catch your name. I would totally do this again next year - great organization (despite the separate t1 and t2) and nice finish festival and expo - I bought tons of stuff! The hills on the bike were not as bad as Columbia - but of course it was a longer course with a head wind all the way to Providence. The only bike hill that could rival Columbia was the hill at mile 45 a straight vertical climb late in the course - but alas it can be conquered. The run was hot and hilly - but I did not care once I got to the run. This was my first ocean swim and I felt like I had eaten a bag of pretzels when I got out of the water.
Super nice finisher medal and a cap too! (Yes I am all about the goods!)
Sorry this is a bit long...figured if anyone is interested in doing this next year, you might want to read so you are aware of the logistics etc.
I’ve been very bad at writing race reports so figured I should write this one up before I put it off. This 70.3 trip started out on Friday morning before the race. I rode up with some friends from Team Z and met up with a few others from DC Tri in Providence. We took our time getting there and with four stops we got there in about 9 hours. Just in time to make it to registration and packet pick-up. The next day was filled with a lot of running around because of the crazy logistics to get everything ready to go for race day. I expected this and wasn’t too annoyed. We went back to the Convention Center to get some race goodies and listen to the ‘mandatory’ race meeting. After that, it was time to drive 45 minutes out to Narragansett, where the race would start on Sunday. This is where the bikes had to be racked. I took my bike for a quick 15 minute spin and then ran for 10 min. to see how my legs were feeling. I had been nursing a sore hamstring/glute since before Eagleman. Today it was feeling pretty good. After we got done with the bike racking, we got some lunch at a seafood restaurant by the water. Now, as you will see later in my report, I may have made a huge mistake with the choice of food I had for lunch. I decided that a huge tuna steak sounded delicious. I had text my boyfriend Ron, to tell him we were getting some good seafood, and he warned me to be careful of eating fish. I thought I’d be ok and went with the tuna steak anyway. Hmmmm might not have been the greatest decision.
After we ate, we had to drive back to Providence, pack our run gear bag and walk to T2 about a half mile away. My cousin lives only a half hour away from Providence, so she came down to hang out with me for awhile. After hanging out a bit, it was time for me to get all my other race bags ready and get to bed. Since the race started at 6:30am, we had to be at the bus stop by 4am. This meant wake-up time at 3:00 am! Holy crap!
Race morning came with a burst of panic! Our alarm clocks didn’t go off and we had not called for a wake-up call. Melissa woke up at 3:30 asking if it was really time to get up. For some reason, both of our phones had stopped at midnight? (I’m still baffled at what happened) and 3am never came. The guys were next door and at 3:40 I heard the knock on the door. It was time to go and my nutrition was not ready! My friends helped me fill my water bottles and then we were off to the bus stop a few blocks away. Thank you Melissa for waking up to the noise outside the room!! We got on the bus and were out to the start around 5:00.
This race has what is called a ‘clean transition’, which means you can’t have anything touching the ground but the tire of your bike. Everything else had to either be placed on the bike or in the bike/swim bag we were given. T1 closed about 5:45 since the race started at 6:00. I had everything ready to go, put my wetsuit half way on, stood in line for the bathroom and then lined up with my age group. Our swim wave started at 6:25. Right before the gun went off to start, one of my favorite songs came on. “All the Single Ladies” was blaring and it made me think that it was going to be a great race. I smiled, bounced around to the beat a little bit and it was time to start. Since this was a beach start, everyone ran into the ocean with a few doing dolphin dives into the waves. I am not comfortable swimming in the ocean so was very cautious to not get my heart rate up too high before settling into my swim. It was a little rough getting through the breaking waves at the start. I have to admit, I got a little panicked with the rocking motion and current. I settled myself down, telling myself to just keep swimming and I’ll finally get into my groove. Well, that groove never really happened until the halfway turn. And then it didn’t even seem like the waves were pushing back me in too much. I have changed up my stroke/breathing ever since going through Total Immersion, and have been breathing every three strokes. Since it was so choppy and we had the waves, I decided to breathe just to the right side every other stroke. That’s the only way I could make myself feel comfortable. I finally see the finish of the swim and start picking up my pace a bit. I know my swim is always a bit slow, but I was a little disappointed when I saw my time b/c I was trying to at least swim around 37-38 min. Once out of the water, the wetsuit strippers were just ahead. I had been looking forward to not having to take it off myself! I seem to have a problem with that and it slows my T1 down. I ran to the first two volunteers available, sat down, and swoosh, my wetsuit was stripped off. It was a fairly long run from the water to the bikes. I felt a little dizzy from swimming in the waves but expected that.
Swim: 41 min.
The dizziness subsided, but when I got on the bike my quads felt a little tired. There was also a headwind and unfortunately, it didn’t stop for most of the ride. I had read race reports and expected the rolling hills, steep hill at mile 45 and then the bumpy roads the last five miles. I did not expect the false flat the first 20 miles when someone wrote the first 20 were ‘flat’. Unfortunately, I had not spent much time training on the hills and had been training on flats for Eagleman. My goals for the race changed during the bike. I originally signed up for this race to try to go for a Clearwater slot. I know now, I totally misjudged this course! If anyone goes up to be a spectator next year, position yourself along the last five miles of this course. You will be able to collect tons of water bottles, co2 cartridges and expensive carbon bottle holders! ;) Very rough!
Once I got to T2 I knew my legs were probably shot from the hilly bike course. I still tried to race it like it was a flat. The first mile of the run was great and everything else went downhill from there. Right after mile 1 is a steep hill that is easier to just walk up. Since it was two loops you had to do this twice. After the second loop, I started to have bad stomach issues. I had to wait for two other athletes to get into the bathroom at mile 7.5. From there to the finish, it was brutal for me. Besides the GI issues, my back issue kicked in from the hilly bike. I could feel a twinge of pain in my lower back and hamstring with each step. I thought about walking the last three miles but just kept jogging, walking through the water stops. Finally, the finish line was in site and unfortunately had to spend the next hour in and out of the bathroom. ?
Run: 1:55:21 Finish: 5:38:42
I admit I was pretty hard on myself after this race since I set such a high goal set for myself (5 hours) but I came away with a few lessons learned. Don’t just look at a course online and think you can race it fast; train for hills if you are racing a hilly race ;); and don’t eat a huge ass tuna steak the day before a race! ? I’m very thankful my friend, Rodrigo, was there to be sure I was ok after the finish. He was going to make me go to the medical tent, but the Imodium finally worked and made me feel better. It was also nice to see several other DC Tri folks on the course! Volunteers and race support were great! I’m disappointed I didn’t take more time to enjoy the scenery on the bike course, since at the time I was so caught up in trying to keep my goal pace. It was just a rough day for me on a challenging course.
Great race report and fantastic time up there in RI. Usually, when I need to wake up for a race I set my watch, my cell phone and my clock (plus, always get the wake up call). I figure with 2-3 alarms going that there is no way I would over sleep.
That swim was alittle choppy. I liked the ride except for those last 5 miles of New Englands style potholes and train tracks. I too saw the carbon X-wing dble waterbottle cage. That hill up to Brown Univesity was a mean one, I think it got steeper the second time. I would do this race again. The "clean transition" was alittle different. I thought the water stops were great, chuck full of everything you could need.
Congrats Cortney for powering through. You are a superstar!