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Review of Tri Rock Triathlon Series – San Diego by

Posted by: on September, 23 2013

The San Diego Tri Rock has one of the best venues for a triathlon. I have now down this race 3 times. Pre Race: The expo was a decent size with a few dozen vendors around a large grass area. I had no problem with picking up my packet and the volunteers were all very nice and helpful. They also did “course talks” throughout the day which were very helpful. The Course: This was my 3rd year doing the Tri Rock and I believe the course has changed a bit every year. The swim was very interesting. The previous two years doing the race (intermediate distance) my swim time was around 30 minutes. This year it was 46 minutes! It was a brutal swim. The current was very strong going from North to South and I felt as though I was swimming in the ocean(as opposed to harbor) at times. I also started in wave 4 and had many people to navigate through continuously. Side note, if you’re new to triathlon PLEASE do not stop at every buoy. It creates a road block. Swim through or past the buoy then take a second to site where you’re going. I also had an issue with the last buoy you rounded before heading back to the South. I swear that thing was drifting! As I approached the buoy it seemed like it was getting further away. Once going South the current gave you a nice “push” to the swim exit. But it was incredibly demoralizing to take a look at your watch and see a time 16 minutes slower than expected. I felt a little better in T1 hearing others equally frustrated about the swim. The Bike: I was determined to make up for that brutal swim. And had a strong effort on the bike. The course takes you out on Harbor to the South. This part of the course is very bumpy but manageable if you take a good line. There are also rail road tracks that have been very dangerous in the past. This year that made a GREAT effort to let people know the tracks were approaching and that you should slow down and take them head on as opposed to at an angel. I didn’t see or hear of anyone who crashed (unlike previous years). The rest of the bike course went through the Naval base. It was rather technical with many turns but the roads were in good shape. It was also very cool to see all the ships as you were cruising through. Overall the bike course is mostly flat. It would be a fast course if not for all the turns and bumpy roads. I ended up averaging 20 mph which is what I expected. The Run: Flat! You run a basic out and back to the Midway museum with a side trip onto the peninsula. It’s two loops for the intermediate distance. There was decent support with two aid stations. Post Race: It was a bit disappointing having the finish line and post race expo at the grass in front of the convention center. Previous years it was held on the peninsula where they have the huge stage and bleachers for spectators. But it was still very good with the band, beer garden, and some cool vendors. Overall: I have to give the race a solid “B”. I’d like to find out more about the swim. Some people said they had their GPS measure close to 1.4 miles? I don’t know if that is true or not but I do know that it was 16 minutes slower for me than last year. And I’ve done a half ironman distance tri swim (1.2 miles) in 41 minutes. Another HUGE issue with this race was the absence of any bands!! This was supposed to be Tri ROCK. There were NO BANDS on the swim (they previously had one that setup on a catamaran), NO BANDS on the bike, and NO BANDS on the run. There was NO MUSIC at all until the finish line festival. I’m not sure you can call it “Tri Rock” when there is no music! But even with the absence of music it’s an incredible venue for a triathlon and I’ll likely be back next year.