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Re: Miami Man / USAT Nationals unsafe [bbcgrrrl] [ In reply to ]
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I don't think there is much doubt that the USAT Long Course Aquabike Championship race is going to draw a more competitive field than the local races I've been doing regardless of the non qualifier. Coincidentally my local races are MultiRace products too and seem to have a good following here in St Pete. Miami was the first race where I've missed the podium so I hope there isn't a whole 'nother group of even faster guys who can kick my butt around the course. I would be sure to complain about that if it happens.

In any event I guess I'm just easily amused and not in the mood to get worked up about things today.

"Aquabike is a swim then sleep session on aerobars ...."
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Re: Miami Man / USAT Nationals unsafe [bbcgrrrl] [ In reply to ]
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bbcgrrrl wrote:
I'm not blaming the race for the swim. Although I would suggest that it wouldn't kill them to add a couple of buoys for sighting! I have no idea why I was 30 seconds slower per 100 yds than usual, but it was not good. And I swear there was a current after the turn buoy heading into the finish! In a spring fed lake.... so weird! But I take total responsibility for that. The dangerous bike course? No. And it wasn't just the winds (I know they don't control the weather! I'm not an idiot!). It was also traffic. Getting blown around and trying to control a bike on a open road with traffic is VERY dangerous. And that's exactly what I experienced the last 15 miles. And, in reading some of the comments here and elsewhere, it's been the same problems year after year. Multirace and USAT seem to be tone deaf to the concerns of athletes. Yes, some of it is out of their control (weather, duh). But a safe bike course and better run course are very much within their control. I'm getting a bit tired of athletes who act like we can't be critical of a race or USAT because of some unknown consequence. (???) The best races I've done are the ones where the RD sends out a survey after the race. And then addresses what is within their control. It ends up being a great experience for athletes and spectators.

And hey, if you had a good race, well done you! I didn't. And a lot of it was down to Multirace and USAT. It wasn't my first time. I've done big and small races and everything in between. And it was not well run from my experience.

As for your comment about the "best".... it's not like long course athlete's have to qualify to race there. It's an open and you race who shows up. They may or may not be the "best". They may be the people who could afford it. They may be the people who live close. They may be the best. Or not. I'm not taking one thing away from anyone who showed up and raced. We all have a lot to be proud of. But none of us qualified to get there.

I wish I had know the issues with this particular race before I signed up. That's my lesson learned. I'll do more research next time. And I'll wait until USAT changes venues for the long course championship and give it another go. Good luck next year!

Seriously interested in what triathlons you do with closed course or closed lane?
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Re: Miami Man / USAT Nationals unsafe [MrTri123] [ In reply to ]
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Age Group Nats in both Milwaukee and Cleveland were closed courses, at local NJ races both AC races have a closed lane for the bike course and closed overpasses for turnarounds. Even at NJ State they shut down a lane using the existing bike lanes for a great portion of the course. I think in the age of texting and driving and anger toward cyclists closing down a lane for a National Championship is not too much to ask, it's mostly a matter of getting the municipalities on board.
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Re: Miami Man / USAT Nationals unsafe [bbcgrrrl] [ In reply to ]
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bbcgrrrl wrote:
I originally signed up to try and qualify for Almere. However, this was before the length of the Almere course had been announced. I know how much time it takes to train for an full Iron and wasn't interested in doing it again for quite a while. And I've been to the Netherlands. When 2021 in Australia was announced, I thought, "Great! I'll use this trip to scope the course and get a baseline for training for the 2020 race. I've never been to Australia!" I did qualify for Almere (still not going). And, I've decided for the reasons below, that I won't be returning in 2020 to try and qualify for Australia.
I came specifically to qualify for Almere. I raced ITU LD Triathlon WC there in 2008. Since I can no longer run, the full distance aquabike was precisely what tipped my decision to go back. However, like you, I've decided to pass on Australia; partly because I'm tired of the Miami Man venue.

bbcgrrrl wrote:
For me, it was one of the worst races I've ever done. The swim was one of my worst. How was there a current in a spring-fed lake? Still can't figure that one out.
I've done MiamiMan four times and it is always one of my worst swims. The fact that it is long is only a small part of why I was so much slower than similar venues. I don't know what it is about that particular mini-lake, but it is slow. But it's the same for everyone so I don't let that get to me.

bbcgrrrl wrote:
I'm 56 so I was in one of the last waves and that meant being one of the last to get out on the bike course. As a result, the winds kicked up something fierce. 15-16 mph steady cross winds with terrifying 30 mph gusts. It was all I could do to keep control of my bike. Those last 15 miles with the wind and the angry traffic were the scariest miles I've ever spent on a bicycle. I'm so glad I didn't crash or have a flat because I NEVER saw any race vehicles despite their promise of several on the course. I only saw a course marshall once.
I'm 62 so was behind you at the start. It's definitely a raw deal to start later and have to deal with much higher winds, but that's pretty much how it is at so many races. The pros get water that is like glass, and then by the time the late AGs go off it is choppy, hotter and much windier. I thought the wind was challenging on the second loop, but far from terrifying. I've had the good fortune (or misfortune) to have experienced much worse so that part is strictly relative. I did think during the last 15 miles or so that there was more traffic on the roads than I remember from past races there. I did see course marshalls several times in the middle of the race and figured they were spending more time on the pointy end of the field.

bbcgrrrl wrote:
.Re-entering the park presented it's own challenge - racers who had already finished strolling along in the middle of the road! And there was the run.... it felt like running around a disused military base, complete with overgrown roads with uneven crumbling pavement, rutty grass (hello rolled ankles!), dodging families in the .5 mile portion in the zoo (twice), and dodging cars in the camper-van park area (twice). Thank goodness for the volunteers on the run, because it sure as heck could not have been more spectator UN-friendly..
That is the big marketing bait and switch of Miami Man. They only show you pictures of the very brief section running through the zoo displays and not the majority of the run which is XC, admin roads, campground, old trail, XC. It is far from a scenic run course. But hey, you finished and qualified. Congrats even if you aren't taking the spot.
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Re: Miami Man / USAT Nationals unsafe [ In reply to ]
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Myself, my wife and my father all did the International distance and for the most part thought it was a great race.

- The bike course for sure got sketchy with the cars. I was at the pointy end of the International race and saw a crash of two guys having to go around cars just after the turn around point.

There were a few cops that were on it and keeping things straight but there were a couple cops out there treating it like their first day on the job letting cars cut in and out. It definitely made for some unsafe riding conditions. For the conditions of the road, I thought the 10 miles out was fine. It's not the smoothest but didn't have any issues. Like someone mentioned before, We drove the route on Saturday so were able to make a few notes on where/when to move over.

My whole point in doing this race was to see how the Multisport team organized their races. They are diluting out our races up here in Tampa by running races at the same venue the weekend before and after long standing area cornerstone races. So I wanted to see if they are legit or just a bunch of assholes, but I would have to say overall I thought the swim was good, the bike was good minus the traffic, and the run course was fine. I didn't have an issue with the aid stations at all, quite the opposite, they were stocked and had tons of people.

I'll go back for sure.

Now, for those Multisport folks that do read this: Shit can your FD3 series... we already have long standing races that service the community just fine on the same exact course, you're only hurting the sport as a whole. It just makes you look like a dick when you schedule your races the weekend before and the weekend after Top Gun or any of the other long running races we've had.... . That is all :-)
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Re: Miami Man / USAT Nationals unsafe [leonmac] [ In reply to ]
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leonmac wrote:
Now, for those Multisport folks that do read this: Shit can your FD3 series... we already have long standing races that service the community just fine on the same exact course, you're only hurting the sport as a whole. It just makes you look like a dick when you schedule your races the weekend before and the weekend after Top Gun or any of the other long running races we've had.... . That is all :-)

I respectfully disagree, and I raced Top Gun when it actually did draw a 1000. But you are suggesting that it is better to have only one multisport event on Fort Desoto over the summer instead of four. Top Gun is the only longstanding local event on Fort Desoto impacted by the FD3 schedule. Further, Top Gun has lost a lot of luster (it changed ownership in recent years) and only offers a Sprint Tri and Du (for 2020) while MultiRace offers those two events plus international tri and international aquabike. The market has already spoken that FD3 is the preferred race (it outdraws TopGun by a couple hundred). If you don't like FD3, then don't sign up, but please don't suggest that having three fewer race options in the Tampa Bay area is somehow better for local athletes.
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Re: Miami Man / USAT Nationals unsafe [HuffNPuff] [ In reply to ]
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The FD3 series is what got me back into racing, I had no idea Aquabike even existed until last year. My only complaint with Ft Desoto is the road surface, it's really getting bad.

"Aquabike is a swim then sleep session on aerobars ...."
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