Mooseman Race Report, Olympic Distance – Bristol, NH
From the mouth of team member: Gerhard
Travel to the Race:
The 5 hour drive from New York is not for the faint of heart or bladder. This is like driving to Vegas on Friday and back on Saturday, except that you’re not gambling or meeting cougars like Pat. Rather you’re driving to Vegas to subject your body to unknown dimensions of pain. On a positive note, the New Hampshire towns and forests are beautiful, and quintessentially New England. If I was driving with my girlfriend it could even be romantic. However, I was driving with Brenden, who decided to pass another car by crossing a double yellow at 90mph in a 50mph zone, while a cop from the Henniken county PD was driving towards us in the other lane. By 1:30am, we managed to get Brenden bailed out and crawled into bed around 2am, allowing us to wake refreshed at 5:30am for the race at 7:00am.
The swim is in the pristine waters of Newfound Lake. The temperature was approximately 60 degs on race day. The water was glassy and very swimmable. It tasted good. Even with a kick to the goggles I could still see some fish at the bottom. A single simple triangular loop. The in-water start was about 500 yards down the beach from the exit. Buoys to your left all the way round.
Exit the lake into T1 across a few steps of beach. Be sure to have a towel to clean off your feet. I had more problems with dirt on this race than any other, for some reason. I was covered with twigs, leaves and random dirt. Oh, and they have wet suit peelers but I couldn’t locate an incredible good-looking girl to strip me down, so I avoided the male trolls and took off my own suit. Fast transition area, although I didn’t make the best use of it (being my first race of the season I fumbled a little). Bike racks are numbered with enough space for everybody’s bikes (for a change!)
The bike course can best be described as ‘rolling’. It is a single loop around Newfound Lake (yup, the same one you swim in) and there is a steep pitch at about 6 miles in but aside from that this course can be attacked. Smart and frequent gear selection is crucial and will allow you to maintain speed through many of the rolling sections. The final 6 miles of the loop are fast and technical. My personal takeaway – need more bike training before the next race. The road surfaces are pretty good for the most part with some bumpy section. Almost no traffic and very scenic, especially when you have clear views of the lake or when driven past some of that New England scenery. Gatorade and water provided.
Again, fast transition. Did a little better than T1. However, my bike shoes were hard packed with mud when I got home. I had to dive in there with a bucket of water, a tootbrush and one of my girlfriend’s bobby pins to clean the muck out of my speedplay cleats. Can’t do much about it though.
The run is 6 miles out and back along the lake road. There is a pretty decent climb on the way out but the run was easy and fast. Can
definitely be dominated if you go into this race well trained. Problem is that it’s early in the season, but you can really open the throttle on this biatch. Had some twitches in my calves so I lost a little time around mile 4. As a reward for finishing the race, the final 100 yards is pure sand along the beach of the lake, before you head in towards about 50 yards of home stretch and the finish line.
Swim 30:15, Bike 1:27:00, Run 44:44, Total 2:46:34. The race is really very well managed by the same people that do Timberman. The whole moose festival is excellent, the course is nice and the lake has the cleanest water I’ve even swum in (in America). Volunteers are great, all aid stations are well manned and stocked with the usual provisions. There’s tent camping at Camp Wicosuta, or plenty of
accommodation in the surrounding areas. My driving buddy up there will have his day in court in August. New Hampshire…Live Free or Die.