Since the DC Tri is out, my fellow NTPer/roommate and I were thinking of doing the Philly tri as our goal race. Anyone done it? Loved it? Hated it? Good for a first tri experience? Any and all input would be much appreciated. Thanks!
I haven't done it but here are a few race reports
Hi Laura. I was one of the posters from the linked thread, and I did this race again last year as well. I guess it's a good sign that I went back :-)
I still think it's a fine race - it's not perfect, but they never are. Last year I was in one of the last waves, and while I had to contend with slower people from waves in front of me, it was never awful. I actually think the bike was less crowded than Nations', though as an NTPer I know you don't have that frame of reference. The bike course is 2 loops, and there are two fast downhills that are followed by quick/sharp turns that you have to be aware of, but nothing terrible. And there's one steep uphill that STINKS but it's manageable; as long as all of your training rides aren't on a totally flat course then you'll be fine.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the race, just be prepared for a long walk to transition and a bus ride over to the swim start. Oh, and per my comment about the tech shirt - the 2010 version is probably still my favorite, but last years was awful.
Philly was my first Oly. I thought it was a great fit. My first was Rumpus (sprint) and it wasn't the best experience (I freaked out on swim), but finished... became a triathlete.
I enjoyed Philly. I liked the swim better than Rumpus - pretty straight until the turn to land. A HUGE plus as sighting at Rumpus was not my strength. Rumpus was more of a triangle. (Also, it wasn't wet suit legal for the Oly... and it really boosted my confidence when I finished strong)
The transition was nice for both the bike and run - Rumpus (muddy) and Columbia you had to run up hills to exit :-(
I enjoyed the bike course. Although there was several hills, the down hills were fun and the course was pretty spread out for me. At no point was I hating it. BTW: the bike is my weakest link.
The run was flat... nice for my first Oly. It was an out and back so seeing fellow DCTri racers was a huge boost for my confidence.
I would totally do Philly again - unfortunately this year it falls on my daughter's birthday!