Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My REV 3 Knoxville Experience

*** Photo credit goes to Eric Willis*****  

So for anyone who was counting, this past trip was 9 days long and got me home late Sunday night and capped off 4 weekends in a row that I have been out of town for the entire weekend (Mohican, Nashville, AL/Chattanooga and Knoxville).

The idea was to get an update out sooner, but I have been plunged into the world of playing catch up.  That and the fact that I want to do it justice.  So I am thinking a three part series the next three days to get it all down in some sort of manageable way as there is so much to say! 
  • Part I-REV 3 TRI Experience
  • Part II-My Race Report
  • Part III- Trakkers and Sponsors
So this past weekend was race one of the new Rev 3 Triathlon Series which I am participating in which includes the big three distances of Olympic, Half and the Full!

I had arrived bright and early after a 2.5 hour drive to Knoxville from Alabama on Saturday morning.  No sooner than we park, I hop out of my car to see two of my Trakkers teammates, Sonja and none other than Michael Lovato. This brings me to point number one about was sooo cool to get to be around such a large pro presence which led to a big race feel.

*** Photo credit goes to Eric Willis*****  
Photographer, Eric Willis is teammate, Sonja's dad and he took tons of pics of the cool is that?

The expo seemed to offer a lot to everyone including inflatables for kids, bike support, multiple nutrition vendors , a swim preview, an All 3 Sports booth with a little bit of everything, a REV 3 Booth (I was so in love with the little spaghetti tanks and the sweet REV3 swimming suits and was blown away how affordable the prices were as I could not get a boring swimming suit at the Dicks for the price).

who's that in the green :-)

*** Photo credit goes to Eric Willis*****
who's that in on the far left...wish it was me that sweet Kestrel in my hand! 

The volunteers were everywhere and everything was real easy to navigate through both at the expo and on race day.  I picked up my packet and headed to get my timing chip where they snapped a picture.  Later, I had headed down to the bike transition about a half a mile away to rack my bike.  REV3 thought of all the little things like my name and number where I would rack my bike.  Not only that, I am a huge fan of this style of bike rack.

This was my first time in Knoxville and I thought it was a great venue.  We stayed at the Holiday Inn for a reasonable price offered through REV3 (less than half the cost of hotels for Nashville mary).  The hotel was located right next to the expo and the finish line!  Bonus!  It did seem like most the hotels were pretty close.  I really liked that we could park and just walk everywhere!

Outside of the expo, my Saturday was pretty laid back.  We hit Downtown Grill and Brewery for a laid back lunch while sampling a couple beers :-)  Then for dinner we checked out Oodles at Market Square (Market Square was a cute lil area to walk around with a bunch of shops and restaurants) which was good and even offered some smaller very affordable portions....both places were thumbs up in my book and felt lucky to have found them both...thank you Internet!

The Race!  This one had to be fun to watch (which I heard it was) and left me thinking how cool it would be to be a spectator there!  Plus the MC's sure kept it interesting and fun all weekend!

First off, the field was deep in talent.  Not only where there around 70 pros, there was a number of elite age groupers and also a lot of talented age racers.  Needless to say, REV 3 brought out some good competition!

My wave was set to go off at 8:15, pros at 7:45 and transition was to close at 7:40.  I figured I would leave the hotel at 6:45 for the 1/2 mile walk to transition and still have plenty of time so I actually slept in until 5:45 which was really late for a race day which was nice.

I walked by one cop car by the expo stuff...definitely seemed like REV3 had a lot of them on hand everywhere!  I continued the walk to transition and set up my area and made my way to the portopotty line.  I probably waited 5-10 minutes, so not too bad!  Then it was off to the swim start which was probably another 1/2 mile away. 

At first glance the 0.9 mi. swim was incredibly scenic!  Definitely would have been cool to take in the start over the brunch on Calhouns overlooking deck.  It sure had a big race feel with the two helicopters, filming pontoon boat and all the stuff going on like the guy paddling out the pro men!
  *** Photo credit goes to Eric Willis***** 

The swim was well marked and seemed pretty easy to navigate.   No worries about waves, water seemed clean and the water actually felt warm!  Great SWIM course!
  *** Photo credit goes to Eric Willis*****

Next up-the 24.8 mi bike course!  I am a fan of a rolling course so this was great in my book!  The hills kept everyone honest and there were a lot of fun sweeping downhills like I am used to!  I did not think either of the two longer climbs seemed too rough but they will definitely slow ya down a bit.  Both the bike and the fun course seemed well marked and never did I have any real issues figuring out where to go.  I saw some course marshals out on the course but I did not notice any blatant drafting and seemed like a pretty clean race from my vantage point.  

  *** Photo credit goes to Eric Willis*****
(Just checking out the bike setups at this race was friggin amazing all in itself!)
Last up the 6.2 mile run!  It was mildly rolling and an out and back for the most part until the end and that was cool to see other racers and figure out where you were at.  Looking at the elevation profile, I had expected it to be much hillier than it actually seemed.  There were a few areas that slowed you down such as the 5 steps and the u turn.  Seemed like plenty of aid stations through the bike and run course with Cera Sport, Water and gels.
   *** Photo credit goes to Eric Willis*****
Just seeing the pros and how fluid while going so fast was INSANE!
  *** Photo credit goes to Eric Willis*****
The finish area seemed first class with the jumbo-tron, finish chute, and all the other stuff!  They had ART setup, an awards ceremony which went 3 deep in each division!  Oh and did I mention the sweet finishers shirt and medal we got on top of the race shirt, visor and Tyr Bag....Super Sweet Swag for sure!


Overall, easily probably the coolest triathlon to date I have done and I am just soooo much more excited for Quassy and Cedar Point!


Julia said...

Congrats of part one of the series, looks like you are ready for an awesome summer!

Trisaratops said...

My teammate Stu was the announcer at the end! :) Looks like a blast--can't wait for Cedar Point!

Tiffany said...

Love the pics - wish I had more. I'll take care of that at Quassy though. Great race ... you are like a cheetah!!

solarsquirrel said...

Looks like it was a BLAST!!! (And something tells me you did really well...) I can't wait for your race report.