So after the long drive on Friday and late arrival, we took our time getting out of bed. We did eventually and headed out to the race site by mid-day for packet pick up and course scouting. Saw Craig and Eva Van Stratum, who seem to reliably show up at several of the same races I do every year. Last year, they were at Memphis in May, Grand Columbian, and yes, even Iron Cross. So no surprise that here they are in Ohio!
After race packet acquisition, the three of us roll off to do one 18 mile loop of the bike course nice and easy. It was a beautiful day with blue skies, warm breezes and zero humidity. We had a fun time comparing our upcoming seasons, previous crazy races we’ve done and stuff we’d like to do in the future. I had a lot of fun. After I rolled in, I see Dustin Shinholser and we go ride part-way up the infamous hill on the run course. Recon complete.
Here’s what I learned:
Bike Course — Not quite as hilly as it sounded like it was going to be. Flat to gently rolling for the majority with a couple of climbs which we do twice on the two loop course. The roads were a bigger factor, with most of the course on recently re-graveled chip seal. Not too bad though, just not fast.
Run Course — That hill is pretty wicked, but the steep portions are short with the grade constantly changing. The thing is, once you get up the hill, you continue up and down in grades just steep enough to make down hill running more difficult and uphills pretty chop-stepped. It’s the run course that makes the event.
So that’s the scoop. Bike course not too bad, but when you bookend it with two tough hilly runs, it’s tough too. I’m here on ironman training and a short rest and with the main goals to not injure myself, get a solid workout and nab a slot for Richmond. The plan is to run conservatively, bike strong on the second half and finish the second run as I feel.