Sunday September 8th is the 27th running of the Skylands Triathlon at the Spruce Run Recreation Area. And I’m planning to do it again for the 3rd time. It’s one of my favorite late-season triathlon, a fun sprint with 1/2mi swim, 13.6mi bike and 5k run. (a duathlon and aquabike are also available).
You can register online until Tuesday at midnight or in the morning of the race near transition. If you register online, use the code 2013cblg to save $30.
The swim is in the reservoir, which is very clean and clear. The run quite flat is on paved roads through the park. The bike course though stands out with the big hill in the middle, which is ranked as a Cat 4 climb. Here’s a description of the bike course from my first Skylands race in 2008:
Everybody was talking about THE hill. I was like… well, it’s only 14 miles, how bad or long can a hill be? It was all rollers in the beginning, then it started going slowly uphill. Not steep, but relentless, had to give up and go in the small ring. Going higher and higher, then THE HILL. Maybe half a mile, and getting steeper and steeper. I was the only one riding here, at least 10-15 people I passed were walking. I thought it was not that bad as people talked. Right turn and… another maybe quarter mile stretch, steeper than before. I thought I was gonna die, I kept zig-zagging across the road repeating to myself “I’m not getting off the bike”. Got on top again, with fried quads. Waiting for the descent. Not so fast, though. Another half a mile climb, not as steep as the first ones, but at this point it was a killer. Again, passed a lot of walkers. Overall, the course gained 800 feet in 3 miles, but it was that 3-stage hill that did most of the damage. In this portion I passed most of the maybe 50-60 riders I passed in the bike race.
The descent – What goes up must come down. And at Skylands, it comes down in style: four lanes highway (5, counting the left turn lane), smoothly paved and completely straight. Not very steep, but long. 3 miles went over in maybe 5 minutes. Then back to the rollers to the park.
The race is organized by the Hunterdon Rotary Club, which does an amazing job every year. The course is very well marked and marshalled. Parking lots are all very close to transition. As restrooms you can normally use the huge bathhouse, with regular toilets instead of the usual porta-potties. And there are lots of cheerleaders from local schools on the course, especially around the climbs, which does wonders to the morale.
- 200 Cheering fans with cowbells!
- Great course
- Possibly the best tech t-shirt we’ve had in 27 years
- Finisher medals
- Improved awards ceremony
- Our usual great lunch buffet
- Enhanced awesome tunes from DJ Dr D Torrone
- USCandids professional photos included for everyone!
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