i spectated this time around. my husband raced. it was the first rev3 experience for both of us. a few items that i noticed that will definitely need to be fixed if this race is going to be successful. (disclosure: i haven't read the entire thread, so i'm sure plenty of these have already been discussed).
- this really should be an in water swim start after the water is deep enough to swim. that swim start was the strangest thing i have ever seen. when the pros are just walking for minutes, there's a problem.
-i thought i was imagining things when i saw racers coming out of t1 being asked to stop and wait for a minute so that traffic could go. i cannot believe this happened. i have never seen anything like it in any race. i'm not sure if this would have been a risk if T1 had been laid out like it was supposed to, but this is unacceptable.
-i stood for much of the day on the stretch of road just outside of t2. it was a complete and total cluster. within one tiny space, you have the bike dismount, the ~ 5mile, 12 mile and finish line of the half, and the ~5mile and finish of the oly. it was a zoo. no one had any clue where they were going. I watched racer after racer run up to the spot and have to scream to find out where they should go. the winner of the oly had to run through a crowd of people on the street to try to find the finish line, some ran into the bike in entrance thinking it was the finish line. I had to call in my own teammate and point her in the direction of the finish line of the half. she was standing in the street asking where she should go. i would highly recommend retooling the course so that you don't have this much happening in one small spot. Also, there need to be clear, large signs, as well as coned pathways showing people where to go (ex: olympic runners and Half Revs completing 2 loops, directed to the finish and a separate shoot for halfrevs needing to go on their second loop)
-from a spectators perspective, for a race that bills itself as family friendly, this really felt exactly the opposite for me. it was a hike to get back to the shuttle pick up area after the swim. I had myself, my baby, all the junk that comes along with having a kid out there for a few hours and the stuff my husband needed me to take back (stuff that wouldn't fit in his small dry clothes and swim to bike bag). my biggest gripe, though, was the food and shelter situation. once back in the t2/finish area there is really no place to go to get food for your family. again, if you're going to bill yourself as a family friendly race there needs to be access to food...either provided by you or not. i would have settled for a food truck. something. you're stuck on campus with no real options.
-the announcer. i'm not trying to attack the guy. i'm sure he's nice, but there is a difference between being charismatic and being rude. i think he went over the line a few times. the one that really annoyed me was when he was announcing that the post race food was only for racers. i believe the quote was something along the lines of "if you wanted food, you should have packed a snack." Seriously? it's an early race. many spectators were out in the pouring rain early on. we've shuttled from t1 to t2. we're hungry and THAT is what he says? i get that the food was only for racers, but he could have stated that without sounding like a jerk. this was just ONE example of the several times i heard him be pushy and condescending. there were a few times that i heard him call out people inappropriately as well. just ease up a little, guy. more announcing...a little less 'tude. (for the record: i had packed food and was fine.)
despite all this, when i asked my husband what his perception was, he thought it was mostly fine. fortunately, he wasn't really impacted by some of the chaos that i saw. many teammates said the same thing. everyone noticed the swim issues, but the other stuff wasn't a huge deal for the racers that I was there to support.
if you REALLY want to earn two gold stars on the family friendly front, have a few port o johns reserved for spectators only. obviously, not a requirement, but it would be AWESOME to not have to take your kid (or yourself) into a hot, racer ravaged port o john..
the discount on busch gardens tickets was great and our family enjoyed monday at the park. williamsburg, in general, was a lovely place to visit for this race.
the area is beautiful. i rode a little of the bike course the day before and enjoyed it. the beach is also awesome. i hope this area can work as a swim site because it's a great little beach.
it was great as a spectator to be able to see your racers so many times in the t2/finish area. i hope that this can be re-engineered a bit, though, to ease some of the course confusion.
parking. we had no issue with parking at t2 in the morning.
the family finish is really, really nice. again, this was our first rev experience. to see racers be able to run in with their loved ones is a great experience.
GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR IMPENDING DELIVERY!!!!!