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Start Date/Time July 30, 2017 @ 9:00 am
End Date/Time N/A
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We decided to volunteer this year and enjoyed hauling swimmers out after their swim. Great location, well marked swimming area and kayaks followed swimmers so nobody was left behind. Participants needed better instructions at the start as to where to go and who went when. Great routes, well planned out and overall not too much congestion for racers.
I did the short course as one of my first tri's in 2008 and it still ranks as one of the best organized and fun ones I've done to date.
The freshwater swim is a triangular course in Lake Ontario - clean, clear, and warm, but a bit of a swell due to the local winds. Well marked and clearly explained. It`s an in-water start and a dock exit where volunteers are assigned specifically to haul you out of the water to minimize congestion and injuries. Weeds in the area are raked out the day prior and removed.
The bike course goes out and back on highway 2 with a good climb right off the start; there are 3 major (for Kingston) climbs on the short course. The road isn't closed, but police escorts and officials' vehicles along the route manage traffic well. This is the only race I know that works with the city to mark AND repair any cracks and holes in the pavement in the weeks leading up to the race. As well, the race committee and volunteers physically go out and sweep the bike course with brooms to minimize gravel on the shoulder. They also have a bike check to ensure that the likelihood of you or people around you falling apart on course are minimal. There`s a bridge crossing that they have a protocol for; I didn`t have to deal with it, so I can`t attest to its inconvenience. There`s also a ferry that comes in at various points during the race, but police handle the traffic very well.
The run course follows Lake Ontario through downtown, past Queen`s University and the penitentiary to Portsmouth Harbour. There are a few short climbs, but nothing major. The run course also has both lead cyclists and a sweep, again, great attention to detail. Multiple water stations with very enthusiastic volunteers. A long flat stretch brings you into the finish, where the huge crowd of spectators awaits. Volunteers radio your number to the finish line announcer, who welcomes you in with the crowds - I felt like a champion!
Transition is very well managed too, with security blocking any non-racers from accessing the fenced-off area. (Some of those bikes are expensive....) There`s a wall of port-a-potties right next to the transition exit, very convenient for pre- and mid-race use. Race numbers are assigned based on order of registration, which is great incentive to sign up early. (And there`s a cap for this usually-sold-out race.)
The food is also among the best I`ve had - hot lasagna, salad, and bakery desserts, in addition to the breads, juice, yogurt, granola bars, and fruit standard to finish line fare. It`s all set up at the back of the transition area, and you can lounge around the downtown waterfront while you eat and trade stories.
Great ambiance for this race - right downtown and enthuasiasm abound. Huge attention to detail and I applaud them for it!