We checked into our campsite Edge-O-Dells on Friday afternoon. It's for adults 21 and over, and it comes complete with a bar, pool, and an itinerary of activities including live music, tequila volleyball, happy hours, etc... ha! More on that in part 2 :)
After getting settled, we headed out on our bicycles with intentions to preview the 56 mile REV3 bike course! However, since we got a late start, we weren't able to actually ride the entire course- we took a shortcut (which only saved us maybe 6 miles!) order to get back before dark (we did... barely). I will give you my impressions... however, check out my friend Mike's blog- he has detailed accounts of both the bike and run courses! We did DRIVE the rest of the course on Sunday, so I can give you a fair review.
Roads: for the most part they are in great condition! There are couple rough sections, but they are pretty short-lived. That is great for us coming from chip-seal country!! :)
Weather: We didn't have to deal with much wind, but it was hot! Make sure you have a nutrition plan and PRACTICE it beforehand!! I used Powerbar Perform and Green apple gels... yum! There weren't many places to stop for water on the course- if you plan on previewing it prior to race-day, my suggestion would be to bring a camelback, carry 4+ bottles of water with you, or go a tiny bit out of the way to stop in Baraboo (15mi) or Caledonia (35mi)- check out course map here
Also, Powerbar has a great article specifically addressing racing in heat and humidity.. it talks about the physiological changes your body goes through, and gives specific recommendations and tips throughout the article, specifically at the end.. check it out!
Course: Rev3 course maps are very thorough- even though this course had a lot of turns, we were easily able to follow the map. It even marked the significant climbs and technical descents.
Terrain: hills. Hills. HILLS! Bring your climbing gears. I agree with Mike in his assessment that this course is more challenging than IM Wisconsin, but not as bad as Horribly Hilly Hundreds (or Dairyland Dare, etc.) I rode my tri bike with a compact crank and an 11-28 cassette, and I was glad to have the extra climbing gears! Even if you can get by with a 12-25 or 23 mashing up the rollers and standing on the steeper hills, your legs are going to be TRASHED for the run (which will also be hot and hilly!). I would highly recommend getting a climbing cassette with at least 27 or 28 cogs! :)
Most of the hills are rollers, and the course is pretty "fair" - you'll be rewarded with a downhill! For the first 30 miles of the course I rode, I was able to stay seated for all of the hills- including Bluff Rd. (near Devil's Head-mile 18ish), which was one of the two NASTY climbs on the course. It starts off pretty steep... but the grade becomes a little more forgiving as the climb progresses. When we rode it, there was a lot of fresh, loose gravel on this hill. It didn't bother me climbing it (since I was going ohhhh 4-5 mph??). I'm sure the the gravel will be smoothed out by race day :)
|The guys reaching Tower Rd., the top of the Bluff Rd. climb!|
|I LOVE my Pearl Izumi tri kit!|