I'm heading out to Luray to preview the international bike and run course next Saturday, weather permitting. Course looks hillier than I expected, so I want to see what mess I got myself into. Let me know if you're interested in meeting up out there and I expect to bring a cooler and goodies for a post-workout picnic. I may have one space + bike left in my car, so msg me if you want a ride.
We're going on Saturday, July 27. Still have space for one more person + bike if you want to join us. We leave DC at 7:30 AM and expect to be back by 3:30 PM, if not earlier.
Doing the international. No time to go before the event. Would love to read your thoughts on the course when you return...
IMPORTANT: So make sure you have the right address on your GPS. If you use the address given on the website (725 Lake Arrowhead Rd
Luray, VA 22835), you will be in the wrong address (5 miles too far). I ended up plugging (200 Lake Arrowhead Rd Luray, VA 22835) into my GPS.
Here's a recording of the route I did: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/254716785 (I road the last gigantic hill twice for fun, so it's longer than the race route)
Bike: The route reminds me of riding to the T from Georgetown. It starts with a 0.9 mile uphill (like riding up to Reservoir Rd. from PNC Bank). Then there is a sharp drop with some rollers before you get to a 5 mile section that has a very gradual non-stop climb that looks deceptively flat. I would haven't noticed I was going uphill until I checked my speedometer and I was going 5 mph slower than my flat pace. Then you essentially do another loop of the rollers and the 5 mile section, before retracing your route back to the transition area. On the retrace, you will have to climb that hill at 23.3 mile (previously, the sharp drop), and it's pretty steep but only about a 1 mile climb (like riding up Mountain Gate Dr. from MacArthur times TWO). I normally sit on climbs, but I had to get off the seat for this one.
The roads were all well paved. I don't remember seeing any potholes or cracks the entire ride. You can go full speed at all the downhills without braking since the turns are fairly wide, except when you hit the T while riding fast downhill on Hollow Run Rd. and turning left onto Fairview Rd. That turn is wide, but it has a lot of loose gravel and I almost wiped out. (It's like going down Brickyard Rd. to MacArthur, but you make the left back towards Georgetown instead of right towards the T and imagine there's loose gravel at the intersection)
Run: Some minor rollers here and there, but its almost flat-ish for the run. Only problem I had was I used a lot of energy riding up that last uphill on the bike and there was only a mile to go before reaching the transition area, so there wasn't much time to recover my breath/legs before starting the run.
Swim: I didn't do the swim as they wouldn't let me swim outside of the roped area, and the roped area is tiny. The water was like a mirror glass though.