I just saw the info for the Black Bear Triathlon this Sunday in the Poconos. There are both sprint and olympic distances. The swim is in the Beltzville Lake and the bike offers "some very challenging hills but doable." I'm considering doing it! Has anyone ever done this race before? Any insight into Beltzville Lake or the hills in the Poconos? What are CGI Racing's races like (they also put on the NJ State Triathlon). What can I expect?
I'm signed up for this race, which I'm doing because it's just a few miles from my old hometown. This is my first time doing this race, but I'm familiar with Betzville lake and the surrounding area. There's definitely some topography, but nothing off the charts. There's also some top-notch mountain biking and trail running in nearby Jim Thorpe, PA (shamless plug for the hometown trails).
I did the Unite Half Marathon, also a CGI event, earlier in the year. The organization was absolutely stellar and the race officials were easy to find and responsive. I have high hopes for Blackbear.
Let me know if you have any other questions about the area.