2011 Revolution 3 Quassy

Today’s Revolution 3 Quassy Half Rev was really hard. It was my first triathlon since last October and the rust showed. The only place I didn’t see hills was during the swim. This was my slowest “half Iron-distance” race, but I had lowered expectations going into this event. I’m not at fighting weight yet, but this race will pay dividends next month when I take another crack at the 70.3 distance (1.2m swim/56m bike/13.1m run). This was my first Rev 3 event and it was done well. The volunteers were fantastic and the race production was very good. Rev 3 is growing fast and will eventually give the Ironman brand series a run for their money. They are already stealing share in the markets where they have events. Ironman is still king of the hill, but they have made some missteps in the past year as they have struggled to cope with their own growth and the explosive popularity of triathlon in general.

Yesterday afternoon, we drove to Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, Connecticut to pick up my race packet and drop off my bike, which needed to be in the transition area overnight. It was so nice to be able to drive to a race of this caliber in my home state. We stayed at Debbie’s parents house in Prospect, only 20 minutes away. One nice touch was that every triathlete had a their own spot to rack their bike (in nice racks) complete with a nameplate. I wish I grabbed mine, but I forgot. What good fortune for me, considering that two weeks ago, I got a two-minute time penalty at the Shamrock Duathlon for racking my bike in the wrong spot! This was one over-the-top feature of Rev 3.

I’ve raced at Quassy several times in the past two years. The popular Pat Griskus Triathlon Series races are held there. I’ll be there again next month for the sprint, which is one of my favorite races. I’ve gotten to know Lake Quassapaug, which was warm for early June. I had a pretty good swim today and was very happy to be in the first amateur wave at 7:00 A.M. I had a horrible experience last year at Timberman 70.3 when I went off in the 13th wave and was cold before the race even started.

The Rev 3 Quassy race expo was small by Ironman standards, but I’m not really comparing. We were spoiled in Kona last fall, and I’ve got enough gear anyway! I like the fact that the race is at the amusement park. Our kids had a blast today and our daughter enjoyed her first ride on a carousel. The race course is absolutely gorgeous. It is the hills that make this course. On both the bike leg and the run leg, if the road isn’t going up, it’s going down. I haven’t been able to track down an elevation profile and I didn’t wear my GPS today, so I’m curious how much elevation we gained. Judging from how much time I spent in the little ring, I know it was the hilliest triathlon that I’ve done yet. I tracked every split on the run course with my stopwatch and there were some big hills there too, including a very nice dirt road section.

The bike course is fabulous, with lots of winding roads through the farm country of Litchfield County. We went past the Winvian Resort and there was an out and back section with a turnaround at White Memorial Foundation, where Debbie and I were married nearly 10 years ago. It was gorgeous out there and the brilliant sunshine was welcome. I loved bombing descents and there were several great corners to show off your handling skills. The road surface was mixed, but better in the second half.

The run course was equally as hilly and there was more up in the second half, which made it tough. The last big hill came right before the turn to the finish line. I opted to run the whole race, even the steep climbs. I never felt strong. I’ve got some work to do with my training. I’ve been getting about half as much as last year. The winning time was just under four hours, which proves that this is a slow course. Rev 3 treats the pros like royalty and they have massive prize purses, with the $150,000 Quassy purse being the largest in their series. It would have been great to watch the race because James Cunnama put up a 3:59:17, only 12 seconds ahead of Terenzo Bozzone and only 31 seconds in front of Joe Gambles. They were the only three athletes to break the four-hour barrier. On the women’s side, Julie Dibens took a convincing win in 4:23:37 over her friendly rival, and Ironman World Champion, Mirinda Carfrae. Angela Naeth was third.

More than 1150 athletes started the race and there were 901 finishers, including 27 pro men and 23 pro women. My finish time was 4:56:28. Rev 3 does a good job with their timing. They have an odd, but unique way of posting the race results. You wait in line outside a tent. Inside there is a series of large flat screen monitors with a PC. You can search the leaderboard or look up your time. It is paperless, but it takes some off the fun of crowing around sheets of paper tacked up on a wall. Overall, this was a great experience. I saw a lot of fellow club mates from the Hartford Extended Area Triathletes, and there were a lot of cheering spectators, including my own family. I was knackered after the finish, but I’m looking forward to improving my fitness in the coming months.

Race Results

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