Pacific Grove is probably one of the nicest course I raced this year. Both running and biking courses are long the beach with a lot of spectators watching from the hotels. A lot of people might find it cold but I think it was perfect. The sun didn’t come out until noon-ish. My only complain about the course is that it can be boring. Imagine biking the same loop 4 times and run 3 times, it can be a bit tedious. The swimming here is definitely tough due to thick kelp. Kelp were everywhere and it was really hard to avoid them and that was the reason why each wave is 15 minutes apart. The swimming is two loops. After the first loop I got the hang of swimming in kelp and it got much easier. Basically I stopped doing the normal full stroke but more of crawling and avoid my elbows to dig below the kelp.
Given the difficulty of swimming and boring courses, my overall timing was not all that bad. Only +1m and +1.5m on the swimming and cycling, respectively, compare to Folsom. Running, however, has improved quite a bit -7m – best running time ever for me. It definitely has to do with putting more mileage during the week, especially running with my friends twice a week at Rancho San Antonio.
Hospitality with Ti-California wasn’t all that great. Post race foods selection were not all that great – simply pasta and bland tomatoe sauce with plain salad. I couldn’t find other goodies like fresh fruits, recovery drinks…etc. Would I do it again with Tri-California? Maybe maybe not. Definitely not for the full price, the most I would pay is $70.
Swimming: 2 loops, run in start, run out and back in for the second loop, thick kelp, each wave is 15 minutes apart, water temperature is about 58-60F. Definitely wear wet suit and neoprene hood.
Cycling: a tad hilly but not too bad, a little big of cross wind from the ocean. Each complete loop is 6 miles, do 4 loops. There’s water station at the 3rd mile turn around.
Running: 3 loops, each loop is approximately 2.1 miles or so. No hill, pretty flat. There is water station at the 1 mile turn around.
For future reference: my bib #282, links to photos Pac Grove tri photos.