The Nation's was my first oly and I want to go for a half ironman this summer. Can anyone out there suggest a good half for a first timer? And does the Tri Club have any half ironman training groups?
I did the New Orleans half last year. Very fun-some quirks-transition and swim start are 1 mile apart-alligators on the ride. But the finish is in the Quarter and is a tremendous rush down Decateur street w 1,000s of cheering fans. I'm doing it again this year.
I have done both Rhode Island in July and Timberman in August. Typically there is a good group that head up to New Hampshire for Timberman.
I'll answer the second half of your question first, which is that yes, the club does have a half ironman training program. You should be able to find out more information under the train link and we will also be at Happy Hour on the 19th to answer questions. You can also email me at HIP@dctriclub.org and I'll answer any specific questions you have. Next year's program will be targeting Eagleman (which is sold out) and the National Club Championship in October (which you can do even if it is your first half-ironman race).
As for races, I haven't done these but a number of members did Timberman, Augusta, and Austin as their first half-ironman races and they all had good experiences. Plus, with a number of DC Tri attendees, there was always someone to train with and to cheer for at the race.
I've done Devilman and Diamondman and would recommend Diamondman over Devilman. There was a lot of wind on Devilman the year I did it and a two loop sandy run which made the run harder than it needed to be. Diamondman has a fairly flat bike and run course and a lake swim. It's not as big as one of the 70.3s but close by and very doable.
Another race that I know some DC Tri folks are doing next year is the Patriot Half and I also know some people doing the Tupper Lake Half as a first half-ironman.
I am signed up for Providence 70.3 July 2010. Would enjoy the company. This will be my first 1/2 Ironman and I'll be wearing my DC Tri duds!
Also doing Eagleman as a relay - I have the swim - but I think we have a weak bike link so I would not mind doing the 2 legs. My friend with fresh legs will be doing the run.
Thank you everyone! I'll take a look at the ones you all suggested. I'll try to make it to the happy hour to talk more about the half training group and figure out which race is a good fit. Biking is definitely my weakest area so I prefer no crazy hills. I'm definitely going to need a group to train & race with so knowing there are a few races out there with a good size group of DC Tri peeps is helpful!
It was my first half (of two total, so I'm basically an expert), and it was super fun! Also, the post-race food was fantastic.
a friend of mine runs this race.
its in september and will be going into its 3rd year next year. any questions just ask. so get in while its still "a new" race and you can say that you did it before it became popular or "the race" to do.
While I also heartily recommend Timberman, I would recommend something closer to home as a first half-distance effort. Mentally, it's a whole lot easier. Mountaineer (Charleston, W.V.) or the Set-Up or Piranha events are good that way.
(However, as a first half, the way to earn some bona fides is to do Savageman ;-) )
I f you are a slow swimmer
I recomend Augusta and yo will have a sub 30 swim It have an Ultra Fast current.
Morgantown is close and not $$$ but the roads are in really bad conditions
I've heard nothing but good things about Beach to Battleship. It also has a strong current that pushes you along.
I did Timberman as my first, too, and loved it! It's in NH, which is a long drive, but you'd have the company of a large DC Tri contingent.
Pros: beautiful course and scenery right on Lake Winnipesaukee, not too crazy on the hills, very well-supported (the run was basically a two-lap block party), good food.
Cons: Transition and packet pick-up were in two separate parks, which meant a lot of trekking back and forth the day before the race, plus to and from wherever you are staying. Try to get lodging as close to the race site as possible.
Also highly recommend the HIP program for anyone attempting their first 1/2... you will be more than prepared :o)
No matter which HIM you select for your first A race, the Kinetic HIM should be on your training schedule. It is early (2010 TBD but most likely early May again), very well run, local [rather than fight Fri southbound 95 traffic, I recommend just driving down early that morning after of good night's sleep in your own bed], smaller, and can be pressure free (both internal and external). The flat, calm (but can be a bit chilly, but not as cold as it was when they held it in April -- 52F brrr.....) swim and challenging bike and run makes it, in my mind, a perfect season beginning "how's my training going?" event and a tremendous preparation for your first A race HIM.