So, firstly – mark your calendars:
Saturday, September 15 is the ladies triathlon. Start time is 10am in China and Sunday the 16, 10am is the men’s event- China is GMT +8hrs – I only wish I knew what that translates into for California time – but I suspect I’ll be deep in REM at that hour so fire up the Tivo. The start, the finish, the transition area and the multilap format puts pretty much all the focus on top of the dam of a reservoir in China. There’s an amusement park right beside it so you gotta think that the surroundings are beautiful but to hang out on a dam all day as a live spectator OUCH- this sounds like a made for TV event.
The swim is scheduled for the Shisanling Reservoir (translates into Thirteen Tombs – nice!). This is NOT the much discussed, man made pond where the rowing events will be held (and the 10k open water swim – more on that in future posts). That puddle has become a problem with algae so think it’s rumored to be like jello, but there are promises to solve before any events take place.
The swim will launch with a dive from a pontoon, each athlete will have their own little 75cm space in which to stand – this is typical of ITU events and the athletes will be familiar and comfortable with the set up.
The first buoy is a full 550+ meters from the start. This course is all left turns and after the big opening straight away there is almost a constant arc to the next 400m of swimming.
There are mountains surrounding this rather large body of water and in every photo I’ve seen there is wind and chop on the water. The bumpy surface would likely give the better swimmers an advantage but the swim is expected to be cold enough to allow wetsuits and that will even out the field a bit more. Many ITU events have a two loop course allowing for spectators to identify the leaders as they exit the water at the end of loop one before diving back into the drink for the the start of loop two – that will not be the case here but presumably TV coverage that keeps us all in the loop.
The bike course is six loops of ~6.5k and it’s said to be technical. There are 9 turns per lap with 1 turn being a 180 degree reversal and a couple of other 120 degree turns.
The run course is four loops of 2.5k and it’s said to be rather hilly.