Maggie Rusch

Professional Triathlete

rev3 half full preview

yesterday's bike called for a shortish ride (about 2-hours) with a few punchy rollers thrown in to get the legs ready for next weekend's race without overdoing it. i wasn't feeling my regular route: lots of flats followed by hill after hill after hill and then more flats, except here the hills are less rolling and more grinding. instead, i thought i'd mix it up and opted to test out....

the Rev3/Half Full bike course that I'll be racing in a few weeks!!

drove the 45-min to maryland, scribbled some cue notes on my leg and got to riding!

i know, so ghetto, right?

so the half full bike course starts out like the columbia triathlon but then takes a few key detours, which—i think—led to my favorite stretch, which takes you through some pretty nice, scenic and (most importantly!) quiet neighborhoods.

i say "i think" because about two-minutes in the writing on the leg had sweated off; it was 87% humidity out there, no joke. as a result, i ended up taking a wrong turn or two and having to backtrack my steps.

but once you take the left onto mount alban (one of the "punchier" climbs out there - have to admit, i stood up and worked it some), you start passing really nice neighborhoods with wide, friendly roads and almost ZERO cars. i almost felt like i wandered onto the set of pleasantville... or maybe the stepford wives. maybe i'm just a city girl but i was in awe of the giant houses and yards and perfectly meticulous landscaping.

from what i could tell, this course offers a huge advantage to those who have ridden it before. there are a few rollers where you can't see whether it's okay to bomb the descent or hold back. the one give-away i will tell you is that after taking that left turn and climbing up mount alban the very first descent leads to a sharp lefthand turn that could be a little dicey if you weren't used to cornering quickly.

the rest takes you through nice rolling hills where if you're brave enough, you can really push the descents and ride the momentum up and over most of the main climbs without feeling like you're starting to roll backward.

in all, it's a fun course: i would put it on par with rev3 wisconsin but maybe easier than knoxville... only because there are no long grueling hills. you can get up and over most of them pretty quickly, which gives you enough time to catch your breath and gain a little downhill momentum to surge up the next one. there are also a few traffic circle "round abouts" as opposed to 90-degree turns, which were fun to zoom around while still making quick/safe turns.

but don't just take my word for it, here's a quick look: map and elevation, courtesy of rev3 tri:

i'll be doing the olympic but for folks doing the half, you roll on through the olympic course before heading out for part two.

i am SO excited for the race for so many reasons: rev3 production, the ulman cancer foundation,  team fight out in full force (total sea of yellow, i bet), for a great cause AND right in my DC backyard! :)

in sum:

  • half-empty: "ugh so much climbing - HILLFEST."
  • half-full: "woo hoo so fast bomb the descents - HILLFEST!!!"

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