General Discussion Triathlon Talk » When race organizers lie Rss Feed  
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2015-08-30 2:08 PM

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Subject: When race organizers lie
Just did the Farmington Women's Sprint Triathlon. It advertised itself as consisting of a wide, flat running trail. It was rocky, and very hilly. I live in the hills and it was worse than anything I've run before.


2015-08-30 4:27 PM
in reply to: MuscleMomma

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Portland, Oregon
Subject: RE: When race organizers lie
Bummer that it was rocky when you expected smooth, but I would not call 175ft of climbing in a 5k (or 400ft over the whole sprint) very hilly. Of course, this is objective.
ref: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/882313904/5
2015-08-30 7:41 PM
in reply to: MuscleMomma

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Subject: RE: When race organizers lie
Did they lie or did circumstances make for the course to be changed last minute?
2015-08-30 7:43 PM
in reply to: bcagle25

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Subject: RE: When race organizers lie

Or are there just different perspectives on what constitutes a term like "flat"? Happens all the time between people on the boards.

2015-08-30 9:20 PM
in reply to: brigby1

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Subject: RE: When race organizers lie
Yup, extremely relative term based on where you lived, what you have been exposed to, experience.

2015-08-31 9:13 AM
in reply to: dfroelich

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Subject: RE: When race organizers lie

Originally posted by dfroelich Bummer that it was rocky when you expected smooth, but I would not call 175ft of climbing in a 5k (or 400ft over the whole sprint) very hilly. Of course, this is objective. ref: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/882313904/5

Honestly, that does look more like what I'd call flat-to-rolling.  Like both Bens said, flat is a very relative term.  Generally speaking, 100 ft elevation change per mile is viewed by most people at hilly.  That file indicates half that rate for this run.

Your post raises an excellent point for others, though.  Don't rely on the race's marketing materials regarding course descriptions.  Instead, learn to read profile maps, and if possible, preview the course during training so you don't get an unexpected surprise.

You'll kill it next time!

 



2015-08-31 12:15 PM
in reply to: TriMyBest

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Subject: RE: When race organizers lie
Alright all you young in-shape athletes, it was billed as a women's tri focused on being the first sprint for many. You are right it is subjective. When I heard flat I visualized more like track field flat. I didn't walk but didn't go as fast as I would have liked (of course more consistent training would have helped with that too).

How did you all find the elevation? I'd love to know what grade the hills around me are. MapMyRun gps is not working on my new phone for some reason. Has a ballpark of where I am but then shows me running across the highway etc.

Mitzi
2015-08-31 12:43 PM
in reply to: MuscleMomma

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Subject: RE: When race organizers lie

I'll see what the race has posted first. If it's MapMyRide, I'll figure the hills are a bit harder than what it says. Their totals have come closer to what I see elsewhere, but the hill descriptions always seem easier. My preference is to map on something like Ridewithgps.com. Sometimes I'll use Strava too and get an idea of potential segments. Not so much to beat them, but to get an idea of what people are doing them. From the info there I can get an idea of speed. Sometimes the courses will be in Strava from previous years of the race. The entire course could be made into a segment or could search activities for when people did it in prior years. Do have to double check that the course is still the same.

Do know that your perspective on flat is not really uncommon for a number of people coming into the sport, so you have company there. A friend of mine lived in downtown Chicago and thought the area out here was a little hilly at first. He was a virtual twin to me athletically in about everything we did. After getting out and around more this perspective changed. The downtown area previously thought of as flat became pancake flat, which is what you were thinking with the track. That amount of flat doesn't happen that often out on road courses even when they say flat.

2015-08-31 12:52 PM
in reply to: 0

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Simsbury, Connecticut
Subject: RE: When race organizers lie
The bigger issue with this race is every year they say in the final race instructions the water temp is in the 80s and not wet suit legal and then miraculously 10 minutes before the start the water temp has dropped enough to be legal.

I swim there all summer long and that water gets very warm because the lake is so shallow.

I feel your pain on the hills - they are what I call "trail rolling" so they are short steep ups followed by a few short steep downs. But it's more flat than it is rolling so overall it's not that hilly. HMF could certainly be a little more descriptive. 63'/mile certainly isn't flat - but definitely rolling.

Here is my GPS data from 2013
https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/372546969


Good job on your race. We were at the corner of West Avon Road and Country Club road cheering with the cowbell.



Edited by mtnbikerchk 2015-08-31 12:55 PM
2015-08-31 1:32 PM
in reply to: MuscleMomma

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Subject: RE: When race organizers lie

The course map is posted, but doesn't provide elevation. http://www.hartfordmarathon.com/Assets/Foundation+Events/Maps+-+Events/Map_WT_RunCourse012412.pdf

In the future, you can map the course yourself (using http://gmap-pedometer.com or something simliar) and check out the elevation.

I do agree with those that think 200ft of climbing over 3 miles is fairly flat or maybe "gently rolling" but certainly not "very Hilly". The "wide dirt trails" to me would imply a potentially not smooth surface. 

2015-08-31 1:50 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: When race organizers lie

I don't agree that the term "flat" is relative.  Flat is flat. If I heard "flat and wide" I'd imagine a rail trail with zero elevavation changes except maybe at intersections or places it goes over a street.

I DO think descriptions such gentle rollers, some small rises, etc, those are relative.  Or, "mostly flat", would be acceptable.  But flat should be flat.

I race a lot and find there's always something a bit off between the description of a race, and the reality.  Often it's really terrible, like entire lack of water stops at promised intervals.    It's frustrating when you make your plans based on one thing and it turns out to be another.



Edited by BikerGrrrl 2015-08-31 1:52 PM


2015-08-31 2:09 PM
in reply to: MuscleMomma

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Subject: RE: When race organizers lie

Originally posted by MuscleMomma Alright all you young in-shape athletes, it was billed as a women's tri focused on being the first sprint for many. You are right it is subjective. When I heard flat I visualized more like track field flat. I didn't walk but didn't go as fast as I would have liked (of course more consistent training would have helped with that too). How did you all find the elevation? I'd love to know what grade the hills around me are. MapMyRun gps is not working on my new phone for some reason. Has a ballpark of where I am but then shows me running across the highway etc. Mitzi

Uh, I'm assuming that was directed at me, since it was a reply to my post...Now, I really question your judgement, calling me young and in-shape. Thank you!  lol!    (BTW, I'm middle-aged and arthritic)

Honestly, I'm sorry you had a frustrating race. 

Looking at the course map and reading their website description, it doesn't sound like they intentionally lied, but it does sound like they could have described it better by saying "flat to rolling", or something similar.  From their website:

The Women’s Triathlon is a sprint distance tri, conducted in a friendly non-intimidating environment, and caters to women of all abilities and ages. Participants will swim 1/2 mile in Dunning Lake at Winding Trails, then cycle 12 miles through the quiet roads of Farmington and Avon and finish with a flat 5K run on the shaded, wide dirt trails in Winding Trails.

If you’ve never participated in a triathlon, this Women’s Triathlon is for you. Come along and experience a supportive and friendly environment for beginners and competition for the experienced triathletes.

2015-08-31 2:12 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: When race organizers lie

Should have read Elaine's post above before making my comment.  Pretty much what she said about mapping the course yourself through an online app or better yet scouting the course yourself in person if possible.



Edited by Jason N 2015-08-31 2:14 PM
2015-08-31 5:08 PM
in reply to: Jason N

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Subject: RE: When race organizers lie

Ha, I can't tell you how many times I've said "if they think this is FLAT, I'd hate to see hilly!!!" on the run of a tri.  LOL....

2015-08-31 5:15 PM
in reply to: Jason N

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Subject: RE: When race organizers lie
Originally posted by Jason N

or better yet scouting the course yourself in person if possible.




to me this is key and I have pre-ridden any important race that I have done. At the very least it allows you to know whats coming up and pace yourself accordingly,
2015-08-31 10:16 PM
in reply to: #5137652


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Subject: RE: When race organizers lie
I agree that flat means flat, hilly means hilly, and anything in between is subjective. I found IM Copenhagen to be bizarrely untruthful about the course - it was not flat and fast. It was hilly and terrible roads so you had to stop pedaling a lot to absorb all the bumps and holes. Then again, this is the same race where immediately before the swim the announcer went on and on about how choppy the water was going to be and it was going to be very difficult to site - they emphasized and repeated this so many times I began to think I must have studied an old map of the swim course and somehow didn't look correctly at the course markings the day before. It was incredibly smooth water with zero citing problems. they also claimed morning of there's 200,000 spectators lining the entirety od the bike and run – more than any race in Europe. This was so not true. they had the least number of spectators compared to four other races I have done in Europe (netherlands, austria, frankfurt and switzerland). but this is the same country that claims on their tours of the worlds fourth largest food exporter – I look it up and they're not even in the top 10. my conclusion – it comes down to the race directors propensity to exaggerate or downplay. reminds me of the story of North Carolina and Maryland coaches at the time of Michael Jordan's college days. The Maryland coach would always claim his incoming freshmen are the greatest players he's ever seen. North Carolina on the other hand, downplayed Jordans talent. Different personalities overplay or downplay. race directors - I prefer they all give honest assessment. Flat and wide is flat and wide.


2015-09-01 5:33 AM
in reply to: Dutchcrush

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Subject: RE: When race organizers lie
Not very relevant, but I keep thinking of the glossary I worked out with another trekker when trekking in Nepal:

Sherpa "flat"= any grade of hill/mountain below 4,000m elevation, slopes above that where you won't get blisters walking up in boots because the grade is so steep that your heels constantly slam against the back of the boots (i.e. they can run up it with a backpack that is 50-75% of their body weight).

Sherpa "rolling": Trails that go straight up the side of a mountain (reference above), above 4000m elevation for over an hour at a time

Sherpa "hilly": Summit assault on Everest. (Described as, "Not such difficult climb; just has a lot of bad weather," by my guide, a top climbing sherpa.)

Sherpa "steep": K2.

Then there's Lao biking:

Lao "flat"= granny gear not required
Lao "rolling"= no ascents longer than 25 km/6000 feet, possible use of granny gear or 4-letter words
Lao "hilly"= "It's not hilly here. Not like the Himalayas."



2015-09-01 9:46 PM
in reply to: Hot Runner

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Subject: RE: When race organizers lie

I did a bunch of the weekly tri series here. Think you ran the red trail. (Red = Run, Blue = Bike - from the weekly races w/ mountain bikes).

If you haven't run the trail, it is hilly, especially for the distance. Yes subjective...  There are a lot of ups / downs, some of which are pretty steep.

The storms we had this summer were not nice to the trails. They have added a lot of sand and "fill" (rocks) in many of the hilly spots where it was washed out.

Even the weekly series bills this as an easy / beginner triathlon location.

Cannot run the course in advance as Winding Trails is private and requires a membership.

Mitzi - you got it done!  

 

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