Mastering Rev3 South Carolina USAT Long Course Nats
Rev3 South Carolina is an excellent pick for USAT LC Nationals. If the swim starts are spread out like they are for SC nationals it will be the strongest that conquers.
The swim is a counter clockwise swim in Lake Hartwell around a peninsula so it is very spectator friendly. The lake is actually a reservoir and the water flows, minisculely, against you the final 1k of the 2k swim. If you are a swimmer this is where you make your move, a non swimmer better find some feet!
Transition is ideal length at about 1 or 2% grade. No steep boat ramps here! There is enough time from swim exit to transition to pull down your wetsuit/speedsuit and get ready for transition but definitely not so long that it is even a thought to pull the wetsuit off at water exit. I would advise not running too hard in transition…because the start of the bike.
Straight out of transition the bike course starts to climb. The first 1/2 mile or so is just a false flat and then you hit one of the toughest hills on the course. Both years I have hammered this hill and broken the hearts of many of my competitors early, out of sight out of mind. The course is very rolling but not very technical at all, so an experienced cyclist who knows the course can carry their speed from hill to hill. Mind you there is a few corners that are very deceptive so I highly encourage driving the course and maybe biking a few of the corners. Knowing and understanding the course is largely why I was so much faster in 2012 than 2011, I knew when to really drop the hammer. When is that? The first 30 miles and last 6 miles are the key to a great ride at this course. Carrying your speed through the rollers the first 30 miles is key. The final 6 miles…are all uphill to Anderson. If you are beat at mile 50 those final 6 miles are torture.
T2 is downhill so you can really stride out through transition and get a good idea of how your legs are feeling. Find your shoes and start your run!
The first mile of the course parallels the end of the bike course so you can “monitor” the situation, learning how far up and back are your friends and foes. The run course takes place on a series of paths and streets around a park and hot air balloon fields. Again the nice thing about these roads around the balloon fields is you can see about a 0.3 to 0.5 miles ahead and behind you about half the race. So there is no hiding. No hiding from your competitors or the sun! The thing that I have neglected to say about the run course and probably is the most important fact is that it is choppy. It pops up, ducks, dives, a little right, little left, up down…you get the idea. Like the bike course, by the end you are ready for it to be over.
The finish line at Rev3 is like few others in the sport, it is alive under the command of Sean English. It will make this national championship feel more like a world championship!