The triathlon training blog of Phil Barnes

Cedar Point Full-Rev course recon

Look, a corn field
Bad hair day, after nearly 7 hours of wearing a helmet.
We did it. First loop in 26 kph average, second in 27.2 average.
Longest ride ever.
The bike (panhandle and loop) x 2

The run - 2 loops
We rolled into town at 11 am, an hour behind schedule. We had traveled through a hurricaine-esque storm which followed us from Detroit all the way to Sandusky. It may have been the worst storm I have ever been in. Spirits were down, the rain was not showing any hints of ending soon - on top of that, it was freezing cold - the morning/afternoon bike ride would have to wait until the next day.

The rain slowed down enough around 1:30 - enough to scope out the downtown, preview the run course from the van, and even the first section of the bike - from the park to the village of Milan.

We checked into our hotel at 3, the rain had stopped. We had decided to run the run course. The sun finally came out, dried everything up, and it was even quite hot.

The run starts from Cedar Point park, and continues down a causeway to the first main street. The causeway is closed to pedestrians so we started on First Street, which is the first street you run after the causeway. Funnily enough, a local, was just gearing up and heading out before us - and it turned out she was running the Rev course too. We had a guide to help us through some of the tricky parts.

The run, I have to say, looks pretty nice. It is easy to "chunk" up and thus (hopefully for Guylaine) not a long and monotonous ending to the day. You could chunk it up as follows: Causeway, First Street, Park, 3 fingers, back to First Street, back up the Causeway, and repeat. We ran most of a loop, for a total of 15K.

The next day, we tackled the bike course. By pre-driving it the day before, we noticed how terrible the road conditions were for the first part (Park down the Causeway and through to Cleveland Road).  On top of that, there was little room for bike traffic on the busy road. We opted to skip that part, and just concentrate on the main loop and "pan-handle". We drove to the village of Milan, and parked on Park Street (this is mile 22) on the route. The course loops around this village twice, so we would have access to van for extra snacks and water on the second pass-by.

In general, the course was pretty nice. It will be better on race day, when (presumably) there are marshals, or arrows to direct you through the (no kidding) 52 turns you need to make. The road surface is about 75% chip-seal (of varying roughnesses) and the rest is decent ashpalt. We didn't encounter a single section of construction. There are no train-tracks to cross over. There is little to no shoulder for cyclists - however - the roads weren't terribly busy on the Sunday, and without exception, all motorists were very courteous, patient, and passed safely.

There is one major hill, that you hit twice, and it's a funny one because you first go down a pretty steep downhill, but have to make a sharp right hand turn at the bottom, so you can't take any speed with you up the hill at all. The rest of the terrain is rolling with a few other hills, but nothing too difficult. Wind is often cited as an issue on this course, maybe on the causeway (?), but we didn't have any wind at all.

You seem to get used to the chip-seal surface quickly enough, and there were no potholes or cracks at all along the way. There are plenty of "road snakes" - tar crack-fillers - but they weren't greasy or slippery in the sun - it must be a different compound than what is used here.

If you don't have enough water or fuel, there are a few stops along the way in the villages of Birmingham, Axtel, Berlin Heights and Milan. The scenery is mostly fields, cemeteries, and country homes. Surprisingly there aren't a lot of "concealed" places to escape for a quick bathroom break.

We got chased by only one dog, but this guy was a big bugger, and he could run fast, he almost got me, but he finally gave up at the end of 500 meters worth of sprinting at 45kph. (we were ready for him on the second loop, but fortunately he was not out).

To maximize our ride time, we did 2 x [ loop + pan handle (the bit back to Cleveland Road)], this cut out the Causeway bit, but doubled up on the pan-handle and gave us 183km (~114 miles).

All in all, it was a fun training weekend, and very useful to Guylaine