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NOLA 70.3
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Is this race worth doing? I have read a bunch of reports that sound kind of crappy, but not sure. I am trying to pick a fall 70.3 that I haven't done before. I am also considering Atlantic City. I live in North Carolina and trying to keep it to a 10 max distance away.
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Re: NOLA 70.3 [FluxCapacitor] [ In reply to ]
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The race, or parts of it, have been canceled or shortened numerous times over the years. That’s the biggest strike against it.

The race also lost all its character when they moved the run and finish out of the French Quarter.

2018 Races:
Augusta 70.3, September 23rd | Waco 70.3, Waco, TX, October 28th | Cartagena 70.3, Cartagena, Colombia December 2nd

Gear: Dimond Bikes | Desoto Sport | Hoka One One
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Re: NOLA 70.3 [FluxCapacitor] [ In reply to ]
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Have you done patriots Half in Jamestown, VA?

"Ain't no shortcuts to the Opry."
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Re: NOLA 70.3 [FluxCapacitor] [ In reply to ]
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I did it in 2013 when the weather was good, nothing was cancelled and the finish was in the French Quarter. That was a good day. However, I would imagine it sucks most years when the weather doesn't cooperate and I can't imagine the run being any fun if you just loop around the T1 area.
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Re: NOLA 70.3 [FluxCapacitor] [ In reply to ]
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It's just in a crappy part of town, nowhere near the FQ. I did it in 2014, and I'm told they at least changed the run so that it ends back at T1/T2 now. The swim is much less likely to be canceled now that they moved it into the marina (used to be in the lake), but it can still be a rough swim, and the water quality is poor, unless you enjoy a gasoline taste.

Of course, the entire race was canceled last year due to a storm.

I remember the roads being fairly nice, and completely closed to traffic. Not sure if that's still the case.
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Re: NOLA 70.3 [FluxCapacitor] [ In reply to ]
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FluxCapacitor wrote:
Is this race worth doing? I have read a bunch of reports that sound kind of crappy, but not sure. I am trying to pick a fall 70.3 that I haven't done before. I am also considering Atlantic City. I live in North Carolina and trying to keep it to a 10 max distance away.

I've done it twice. Didn't think it sucked, but it's a matter of opinion for sure.

It's just a race that seems to be snakebit.

It used to always be in April, and they had terrible luck with weather. I never had a cancellation, but in 2016 I dealt with the worst winds ever. They moved it to the Fall for 2017 when the weather in NOLA is normally much better and, sure enough, it had to be cancelled due to weather.

The RD (PEM) is good. It's not really scenic. It's not close to the FQ or downtown. The course if flat and hot.

I enjoyed the FQ and the NOLA scene and, personally, it doesn't bother me that it doesn't happen in that area. I stayed in Metaire and never dealt with any traffic or congestion issues and it was close to the race site. Took Uber to FQ when we were ready for fun.
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Re: NOLA 70.3 [The GMAN] [ In reply to ]
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They cancelled it last year after making us stand around in transition for a few hours in driving rain.

Then to make things right, they gave a $10 discount to a marathon or something... but you had like 24 hours to take advantage.

Ill never sign up for that one again.

Also, the Ironman Village sucked
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Re: NOLA 70.3 [FluxCapacitor] [ In reply to ]
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I can't speak to NOLA, but if you're considering Atlantic City, I would highly recommend the race. It's well designed and executed brilliantly. I did it last year for the first time and would go back in a heartbeat. Uneventful swim (which I always welcome) in a bay channel, so it's saltwater without much current. Bike is flat - I think 800' vert for the entire course. Road conditions were mixed - some better than others - but none really bad. Run is 90% on the boardwalk first heading south to Margate and then turning back around and heading north into Atlantic City. Finish area is lively and tons of spectators/course support. Really can't think of anything negative to say about the race. Bonus: the run on the boardwalk allows you to use the beach showers to cool off!
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Re: NOLA 70.3 [FluxCapacitor] [ In reply to ]
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I have done it four times and had pretty good luck....race went off without a hitch each time. Since the swim was moved to the harbor they haven't had to cancel until last year when weather forced a cancellation of the entire race. The bike is flat and fast, but you can run into some hellacious headwinds coming back. The run is flat and hot. I liked it better when the finish was in the French Quarter, but many people didn't like it being 10 miles away from transition.

I like New Orleans and like the race. Just a little too hot for me.
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Re: NOLA 70.3 [Spartan420] [ In reply to ]
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Spartan420 wrote:
They cancelled it last year after making us stand around in transition for a few hours in driving rain.

Then to make things right, they gave a $10 discount to a marathon or something... but you had like 24 hours to take advantage.

Ill never sign up for that one again.

Also, the Ironman Village sucked

I got to do Austin for $50 and $100 off IMTX. Reality is there was no way they could get a 7 or so hour window that day. Ive been to races cancelled too early. Glad they waited and didnt do it prematurely. The area sucks. The view isnt pretty. Im from the area originally and know thats the armpit of NOLA. But im not going to hold last year against them. The course seems fast and I'm contemplating trying again this year.
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Re: NOLA 70.3 [KG6] [ In reply to ]
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Yeah, I was at NOLA last year as well and I thought they handled it about as well as they could have. I couldn't take advantage of the Austin deal, but I used the $100 off to do IM Gulf Coast 70.3 this year. I'm signed up for NOLA again in October. Since I didn't do the race last year, I can't speak to the course, but I really just love New Orleans, as does the wife, so it makes for a fun trip for us.
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Re: NOLA 70.3 [FluxCapacitor] [ In reply to ]
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I did it in 2016. Not a fan. I won't do it again.
  • Ironman Village sucks
  • Location is distant from New Orleans and most hotels
  • Swim is an "M" pattern in a tight harbor with boats and boat exhaust in the water; tastes like diesel
  • Bike is pretty fast and flat with average grade roads, probably ~15 miles worth of expansion joints that are maddening
  • Run is a nice out-and-back along the lake and through nice neighborhoods
  • Finish area blows-- it is practically an industrial park
  • Spectator opportunities poor
  • Wind and weather can be (often has been) harsh

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Re: NOLA 70.3 [MRid] [ In reply to ]
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MRid wrote:
Yeah, I was at NOLA last year as well and I thought they handled it about as well as they could have. I couldn't take advantage of the Austin deal, but I used the $100 off to do IM Gulf Coast 70.3 this year. I'm signed up for NOLA again in October. Since I didn't do the race last year, I can't speak to the course, but I really just love New Orleans, as does the wife, so it makes for a fun trip for us.

I'm a fairly strong cyclist and there were gusts of wind that came through around 10am that would have blown me off the road - I'm not upset that we missed that. Nobody wants a cancelled race, but IM handled it about as well as they could with all of the future discount opportunities. We also love New Orleans and my only real complaint with the cancellation at the last minute is that it only allowed us one day/night to screw off in town, rather than the full weekend. As for the race/course itself, I don't think I'd sign up again because of the expansion joint/road quality mentioned above, as well as the general dull area where the race is held - I don't need much visual stimulation, but to say they picked a really crappy part of an awesome town to hold the race is an understatement.
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Re: NOLA 70.3 [FluxCapacitor] [ In reply to ]
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I did it in ‘14.

The course is mediocre and out in middle of nowhere. Swim I felt like I was breathing diesel fumes from boats entire time.

Bike is pancake flat. Literally only climb is an overpass. It’s a fast course, but if windy can make for a “fun” day. When I did it wind really picked up last 10 miles of my bike and dropped my average speed by 3MPH over those 10 miles for entire race. Was rough going.

Run is also flat minus a MASSIVE climb over a bridge right at beginning and end.

Course sucks for spectators. It’s all out and back with minimal opportunity to easily get around course to cheer.

That being said. Overall it’s an OK race. And NOLA is hella fun. It’s a 9 hour drive for me so not too bad getting to it. I’d do it again.

But for a true destination race, I’d look elsewhere.
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Re: NOLA 70.3 [FluxCapacitor] [ In reply to ]
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Depends where you're coming from, how expensive, etc. AS a race itself? No, but you can obviously make a little destination weekend out of it. Did it in 2014 ish when the run was a point to point to a park halfway to the FQ

-Swim - - very odd M shape in the marina makes sighting a challenge, TT start spread folks out, and yes diesel fuel smells.

-Bike - Year I did it, was a south ish wind so we had essentially a cross wind going out and back. My shoulders were pretty worked by that, but generally flat. I do recall the aid station spacing was quite odd. I dropped a bottle right after the 22 or so mile station, figured I'd get water at the next one, should be close, right? It was at about 42 miles.... and then another at about 50 miles. Not very scenic except for a little out and back on the way back (assuming the same course).

-Run- as noted ran out of T2 along the shore, started on the way back and then cut into the neighborhoods to end in a nice park. LARGE bridge to run over at the start, and I guess now also on the way back other than that over some minor levees. But not scenic and an out and back on the lake would suck. Finish area would suck, and there is nothing for anyone to do while waiting for you, except hanging out in a concrete parking lot far as I can tell.

Free Abita beer at the end though, so there's that.

The point to point run made setup and post race logistics kind of a PITA. i guess the marina finish at least solves that
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Re: NOLA 70.3 [FluxCapacitor] [ In reply to ]
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 I have done 13 races at the half distance, 6 in USA and 7 in Canada. I did NOLA 70.3 in 2016. Of all of these I would be least likely to recommend that event despite the good efforts and kindness of the RD and volunteers. The venue is unappealing. The marina, though sheltered, still had quite rough water with waves coming from the lake and bouncing off the concrete. The bike was ok with closed roads but the minefield of launched water bottles over the bridges was not great. The run was fine, though when I ran it, the headwind on the return trip was fierce. The post race event had beer and cookies so that was fine but no place to change into clean clothes other than the port-o-pottie.
If you are planning to visit NOLA for fun and it works out for you to do the race it will be ok. If you are looking for a really nice destination to visit and are mainly going for the event, you might find other more appealing options.
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Re: NOLA 70.3 [niagirl] [ In reply to ]
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Premier Management is not to fault. They’re good guys that made things right in 2017.

That being said, I wouldn’t do this one again if it was free entry. In 2016, the winds were gale force. 30mph sustained and 50mph gusts. The swim had 3-4 foot rollers coming and and bouncing off the sea wall in the opposite direction. They were pulling people off the course left and right up the sea wall. The bike had a 30-50mph headwind and crosswinds for 28 Miles. The tailwind turned into a crosswind at the turnaround. On the run you had to lean into the wind. It was an epic all time brutal race. Nothing can compare...period.

Last year a hellacious storm blew in that morning with crazy looking lightning, wind, flooding and funnel clouds later that day near Mandeville. Cancelling had to be done.

The Ironman Village looked like a bombed out war zone. Two total vendors being Tri Bike Transport and Tyr. I think TriBike Transport is damn near required to be there. I laughed and asked my wife if it was a joke as literally no one was there for packet pickup the day before. I will never see anything like it again at any Ironman event. It was depressing.

To top it off, the wind effing never stopped there both times. 15mph plus every day! Hell its been windy here in Kentucky the past two summers like that but damn no let up and racing in those conditions sucks. I’m done with epic race stories. They do nothing for me. Been through plenty of shit storms at IM events but don’t need this one again.
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