- Road Race
Overall this is a race to not miss! It's not one of the top 5 triathlons in the nation without reason.
Expo: The race expo was on the smaller side but still had a good amount of vendors. I found the packet pickup aspect to be a bit confusing. The Sprint and Olympic had different places to pick up the packets but they were right next to each other. You had to get your sprint pack at one end of the table and olympic at the other. It would have been nice to have a special area for the double down runners to streamline the process.
Swag: The standard finisher shirt was SO soft! I love to wear it. The double down shirt is more cotton based which makes it heavier. The finisher shirt and medals were the same for both the sprint and olympic, it would have been nice for something different to recognize the difference in distance and accomplishment. However the medals are still awesome!
Aid Stations: One aid station was available during the race in the run portion of the race. It was stocked with Nuun Hydration, water, Honey Stingers, and iced wash cloths. Best aid stations ever!
Course Scenery: Mercer Park is gorgeous! The lake where we swam was very clean and well maintained. Life guard were stationed around the swimmers which was comforting.The bike route was along the outside of the park which gave a great perspective of the area. The neighboring areas were mostly farm fields and suburbs which made me feel right at home. The run was along a path through the woods, but not a trail. Most of the run had shade cover which was also nice.
Elevation: Overall the elevation change was very minor which lead for a flat race. It's funny how small differences in the gradient of the roads made the biggest difference. There were a few minor hills during the run but nothing crazy.
Parking: I had no issues with parking at all. They had most of the areas clearly labeled for traffic pattern adjustments. The only thing that could have been a problem was making sure that people could get out of the park after the race since they would have to cross the race course at some point.
Race Management: I really have to give my props to the race director, he did an outstanding job of keeping the race happening amongst the severe heat advisory that NJ had. The distance of the run for the sprint was reduced by a mile and for the olympic the swim was reduced to 750 meters, 13.5 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run. This was tough with the heat but we still managed to race, unlike other places in the northeast. The transition area was so organized that even for a first time triathlete it was easy to navigate.
To sum everything up I would definitely recommend this race to any level of triathlete. Its a solid course and very well organized.