Course Work

WINforKC hosts a number of training sessions to help beginners prepare for their first triathlon. (Visit the WINforKC web site; they're a fantastic organization.)

Saturday's workout was on the triathlon course in Smithville. Now, if I continue in the sport of triathlon as I hope to, there will be many a course that I won't see before race day. And I think that's OK. You can't get hung up on preparing for every possible contingency. You just do the best you can.

But I'm happy to have gone over the course. Now I can visualize and prepare for its quirks. It has some.

The Swim
The lake is shallow. Be ready to dive forward when the water's at your thighs, or you'll be running a long way. And the bottom of the lake is silky (some would say slimy) and soft. Also, you'll be going down and back up a small embankment, not an even slope. It's a triangle course this year, we were told.

The Bike
The county roads haven't been resurfaced lately, so you'll notice the crevices. You'll feel the bumps but they aren't a safety hazard and shouldn't slow you down. There's a little loose gravel where a side street or driveway comes out to the highway. No large potholes, but definitely keep your eyes open.

The Run
It's a bike path, so be mentally prepared for congestion if needing to pass slower runners. You'll get a glimpse or two of the lake, some pretty woods and ponds, and it's nicely shaded. The finish is uphill to the gazebo, and there's no paved path toward it, so I'm not sure if they're laying tarps or you just run up the grass.

With 690 registrants, some of the transition area may be spread out into the grass. It'll be interesting to see if they get everybody into the parking lot! No matter what, you will have to weave your bike through a lot of racks and uphill to get to the mount line. From the mount line, the bike course starts flat and well-paved.

And that's the scoop. Have fun in the last two weeks of training, everybody, and see you there!