Let me start by saying this was my first triathlon experience, so I do not have a comparison to other types of races like this. I will say for a first triathlon, it was quite a leap as the swim was in open water and the bike was 21 miles, which is quite different from other sprint triathlons I had read about.
The race takes place in Delaware State Park and MingoMan Park in a small Ohio town. The parks are beautiful. However, due to recent heavy rains, the swim portion of the triathlon was cancelled the morning of due to flooding; it was not safe to swim and the Army Corps of Engineers closed the beach. While disappointing, we arrived in Delaware ready to tackle our first duathlon! The town is small and quaint; we stayed in a hotel close to the park. The race company (Greenswell) was very kind and professional.
I arrived hoping I was in a sea of newbies, but quickly realized that was not the case. Many training for half IM and IM use this race as a training race! Regardless, everyone was very helpful and encouraging, which reminded me that every triathlete had to start somewhere.
I am not able to rate the swim portion due to the cancellation, but the beach area is beautiful. The bike portion is quite lovely-it is flat by most standards and except for the test bumps on the first few miles, it was smooth sailing! The course takes you out of the park, down a state road and then into country lanes. Be forewarned, this is not a closed course, so you do contend with vehicles on the bike course. Luckily, traffic was not high in the area during this time of the day.
Once you transitioned from the bike to the run, you are directed into a park for the run. Sprint participants do a 3.1 mile out and back while the Olympic participants complete the same 3.1 loop twice. It is fairly shaded and there are 3 water/gatorade stops, which is nice so I didn't worry about carrying water or nutrition. The run is through the small downtown area, so there are lots of residents on their porches/sidewalks to cheer you on.
Overall, this was a great experience for me as a newbie. I plan on going back next year for a redemption race and get the swim portion of this tri under my belt!