Happy Fourth of July weekend everyone!
Whether you’re planning to catch Billy Joel at PNC Park on Friday, cookout with friends, watch the spectacular fireworks the city puts on or just train, train, train, we hope your long weekend is going to be everything you want it to be.
In our last post we told you about the challenges we’re experiencing getting this year’s Pittsburgh Triathlon and Adventure Race course set. We also promised you that no matter what, you’ll be entering a safe, well-organized event this year.
Now, we want to go into a little more detail about what we do know about the course as it stands right now.
First, the swim.
The entry for the Olympic distance swim is going to be near the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. We’re going to build a dock and ramp so that no one has to jump in and it will be a nice, comfortable entry into the water.
The sprint distance swim will enter the water from the North Shore Riverfront Park near the Water Steps. Again, we plan to have a ramp so that sprint swimmers will also have an easy entry into the water.
We will be shuttling everyone to the swim start locations. You will not be responsible for getting yourself either up to the convention center or across the river before the race starts.
Both swims will exit the water at Point State Park. We’re going to do everything possible to make sure that both the water entries and exits are easy, comfortable and get you on your way as quickly as possible.
We also plan to have lots of buoys to help guide you along the way in the water as well as lots of support personnel in the river.
The secure transition area will also be located at Point State Park.
Next, the bike.
We know many of you would rather not bike on the I-279 HOV lane, and if it were up to us we would change that for this year. Unfortunately, the only feasible option from a financial standpoint, at least for now, is to keep the bike course on the HOV lane.
To get there, you’ll go across the Roberto Clemente Bridge, make a left onto W. General Robinson St. and a right onto Mazeroski Way.
Here’s something new: There will be a medical tent and a bike check/repair tent at the turnaround. There will also be roving bicycle mechanics on the course in case you get a flat or have another issue and need assistance. You won’t be alone. There will be help.
Finally, we are working with PennDOT to make sure that the HOV lane gets swept on Friday night and to mark any potholes, grate covers or other potential hazards along the course of which you will want to be aware and possibly avoid.
Finally, the run.
We told you that our plan to have you run along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail on the North Shore won’t work because we just found out there will soon be construction starting on that trail that will still be active at the time of the race.
Our hope is to have the 5K on the city side of the trail and it will be an out-and-back, if all goes according to plan, while the 10K may follow a different format. We do know there will be construction on this trail at some point this summer and are working to determine when that will begin and how it could affect our course.
In all three segments of the race, athletes can expect to have a much greater volunteer and support presence than in years past. We’ll also provide more port-a-potties along the course than there were under previous race management. And, of course, athletes can also expect an awesome shirt and finisher’s medal just as they are accustomed to getting in all P3R races.
So that’s what we can tell you about the course as it stands right now. We will continue to provide you with updates as quickly as we can, so check back often. We hope to soon be able to provide you with an update on water quality and testing, our discussions with ALCOSAN and how we plan to handle the race day format should issues arise. Also soon to come will be information on the adventure race, relays, tips and personal stories from triathletes so stay tuned.
Happy Independence Day Triathletes of Steel!