Here's my 2 cents... Swim:
expanded age group waves. I think my wave was men 40-49, so maybe just under 100 people.
it was pretty good. the swells were maybe 2' and it seemed like it was maybe sets of 2 to 3 waves, so pretty easy to get out to the first buoy. The race director had a ton of lifeguards out in the water. T1:
standard racks, decent amount of space. My only feedback to the race director would be to set up the swim entrance and bike exit so that everyone has the same distance to travel in transition. Bike:
the first mile was a bit rough, but not too bad. I actually dropped my chain running out of T1, so started riding a little frustrated. After that, the road wasn't really that bad. There always seemed to be a 2-3 foot wide section of the road to stay in and ride pretty smooth. The stretch on Figueroa and than near USC and the Shrine Auditorium was super smooth and back to LA Live are was good too. Where the road got ugly was when we turned on the Wilshire for the out and back stretch. Dodging the potholes was the key objective and it was hard to stay in aero. My seat actually loosened up a bit for those last few miles. **after the race, I heard (from a good source) that the Herbalife24 CEO was on a relay team as a cyclist, and he later said he'll do what he can to update the route to avoid that stretch of Wilshire**
Really well organized and so many volunteers, they even had bike catchers that took your bike, and then you ran to where someone had your T2 bag ready for you. A quick change in a changing tent, and then you handed your T2 bag to another team of volunteers. Run:
The olympic distance was a 5k out and back, twice. Pretty cool running on the closed streets in downtown LA. The run had a fairly steep climb that made it a good challenge. I think the total elevation gain was about 350 ft for the 10k. The run course also had a DJ out on the sidewalk playing music. Finish and Expo:
This was a great location, Chick Hearn Drive, right between Staples Center and LA Live. Again, plenty of volunteers at the finish line, and we got a wet towel and finishers medal as we crossed the line. The expo had a few vendors, and of course, Herbalife24 recovery smoothies.
Overall, it was a great event. It was an olympic/sprint race with the feel of an Ironman event. There was a small pro field, with some decent money on the line. *Free race photos* *loaded backpack and swag bag with lots of goodies* The cons: some stretches of the road were bad, hopefully that will improve in the future. I believe there's a 3-year contract for now. Also, as with any point to point event, the pre and post race logistics aren't ideal. Would I do this race again? Yes, likely, but sign up earlier next time because it isn't the cheapest race out there.
-------------------------------------------- Team Wattie Ink