Daybreak- Why you need to sign up and tips for race day.
Daybreak is merely days away!
If you are still on the fence, I am here to pull you off of it, (gently) and then shove you over to race registration because this is one you will not want to miss, and definitely not this year.
I made a fool of myself on this course 7 years ago, at my debut triathlon and first ever endurance event (for that whole distaste, click here). 4 years I talked my brother into doing the same thing, and speckled throughout those years I have watched many athletes come to Daybreak to test the waters of the multi-sport lifestyle for the first time. As such this course has a special place in my heart and I am pumped for another year here.
What makes Daybreak kick so much ass as a race venue?
Lets break this down into a nice evenly numbered list.
1. Crazy spectator friendly
I mean, crazy spectator friendly. Legitimately. I'd argue the most spectator friendly course in Utah for the swim and run, so if you are trying to impress someone (or comfort a mother on the verge of a heart attack that is sure you're going to die) this is the place. An ambitious cheerleader could go as far as to walk along the swim course and over bridges keeping an ever watchful (and possibly creepy) eye on you, or your coach could judge your stroke in a race environment along the way (could be good, or bad...)
2. Beginners Luck
This race venue brought me and many others into the world of triathlon for the first time, so I might be biased, however this course has a few things going for it that make it great for beginners. The water isn't frighteningly cold, you can stand up in many spots if you get tired in the swim, the rolling start reduces race start stress, and the bike and run course are straight forward and simple. If you are debating on signing up and this is your first tri, I can't recommend it enough, not just from a course standpoint, but from a fun race atmosphere as well.
3. Bringing the Heat
Don't get me wrong, this course isn't purpose built or marketed solely to beginners, It also draws plenty of competition every year and that leads to a stacked field This year is no different. With the local tri clubs all planning on a strong showing here you can bet on athletes brining their A game. The spectator friendly nature of the course aids to benefit those on course as well. It is easy to keep track of where you are amongst your competition. With an out and back bike ride and a wide open view the entire run course, keeping track of where you lie in regards to your competition is relatively easy here at daybreak.
4. On point Swag
Or whatever current vernacular is for the "free" items you obtain for paying the race entry fee. Daybreak race shirts are part of a very elite few event tee's that I will routinely wear outside of training or outside of sitting on my couch in my pajamas eating coconut ice cream. The same can be said for the medals. They aren't overbearing or overdone. Clean, simple designs and a size that says you can be proud for finishing but not so large you could use it as a frying pan.
If you are ready to get off the fence and sign up, do so here. Online race registration ends tomorrow night, but they do offer registration at packet pickup.
Tomorrow at 6pm the Salt lake Tri Club is hosting a course preview. The best way to prepare for any race is to do some course recon and familiarize yourself with it. If you are still on the fence about signing up, go join the SLTC as they check out the course and see for yourself how great of a venue it is.
Alright lets get down to course tips:
Swim. This swim is point to point rather than a loop like most races. The water is generally great racing temperature. The race has a rolling start, so make sure to seed yourself appropriately. You are allowed to start in an unofficial elite wave if you choose to do so. Since it is a rolling start you will want to be strategic of where you seed yourself if you are looking to draft. Visibility is pretty good for most of the course until the last 200 yards or so when you turn towards the last buoy. The sun sits directly above this marker and it can make it tricky to sight. Sight for the rocks to your right and keep them parallel to you until you are close enough to see the buoy. The race has had volunteer operated post swim showers in past years, definitely take advantage of that.
Bike. Shorter than a typical course at least for the Olympic, this ride starts and ends flat, with a long false flat climb before making a left hand turn followed by a short downhill then solid climb as the course climbs to the Kennecott copper mine entrance. Olympic athletes will face a few small hills while rolling primarily downhill into Herriman, and tackle one gnarly climb back to the sprint turnaround point. For the sprint athletes and Olympic athletes alike, this is a course where you can lay down some effort climbing knowing the last 5 miles are fast and downhill leading back into T2 giving your legs ample time to get ready to run.
Run: Wide open and fast. If seeing your competition sparks you to run faster, expect to be lit on fire because you can pretty much have eyes on them the whole time. The run course is straight forward albeit a touch long. The loop is 3.25 miles so times show slow as its not a true 5k or 10k. There is an aid station once one the loop, around a mile and a half, so you will have one chance for water for sprint athletes and twice for Olympic. The finish chute is onto a grass field and is lined with enthusiastic spectators.
Post race shenanigans and general race vibes are above par for a local race. Hang around for a bit after the race, meet fellow athletes and have a good time!