The 3rd annual Kerrville Triathlon Festival begins this Friday, September 27th, 2013. Packet pick-up, the first event, lasts from 2:00pm-7:00pm at Inn of the Hills Hotel in Kerrville. Nestled in the Texas Hill Country, Kerrville offers triathlon participants scenic, fast routes for the swim, bike, and run courses.
As the name implies, the Kerrville Triathlon Festival is not solely a triathlon, but rather a multifarious event for all ages and ability levels. Over the full weekend, athletes can compete in the half, quarter, or sprint distance, and participants under 16 years can compete in the kids’ run. The sprint distance race commences on Saturday, September 28th, at 7:30am. The quarter and half distance races commence on Sunday, September 29th; the half distance begins at 7:30am, and the quarter distance begins at 8:20am.
This customizable approach to triathlon is one of the reasons why participation for this event remains so steady. Over 1300 athletes plan to compete this weekend, which is similar to last year. Furthermore, Jamie Cleveland, last year’s reigning male champion, plans to return this year to vye for another first place finish.
Review the following course breakdown for more tips and information about each leg.
Course Tips and Information
Sprint, quarter, and half distance athletes start in waves, separated according to race division, and finish at the same location on Kerrville Ponding Lake. The swim leg features an open water start, which means you can expect an abundance of elbows, feet, and chaos. The athletes competing in each of the three race distances traverse a similar rectangular shaped loop, the size of which depends on the race distance. Sprint distance athletes complete a 500 meter loop, quarter distance athletes complete a 1000 meter loop, and half distance athletes complete a 1.2 mile loop.
Prepare for probable low visibility in the lake. Also, keep in mind that water temperatures this time of year can range from 72-80 degrees. Therefore, the course may or may not be wetsuit legal, depending on where the water temperature settles this weekend. Prepare for both scenarios.
Note: After completing the swim leg, athletes must run up a steep, grassy, and potentially slippery hill to reach the bike transition.
Other than a few rolling hills, the bike course is reasonably even. Quarter and half distance athletes complete identical loop(s); quarter distance athletes complete one loop, and half distance athletes complete two loops.
Sprint distance athletes complete a smaller loop that falls within the half and quarter distance loop. Also, similar to the swim loop, the bike legs for all race distances start and finish at the same location.
Keep in mind that the bike loops for the half and quarter distances contain a few sharp turns. Try not to let the sharp turns catch you off guard.
This year, the triathlon festival includes an altered run course that differs substantially from the run course of the previous two years. Previously, part of the run course covered grass and mulch trails in Louise Hays Park. However, the City of Kerrville recently closed the park to renovate, develop, and beautify it. Part of this effort includes the construction of a new river trail that will offer new and improved running routes to Kerrville citizens, so we can’t exactly begrudge closure.
As a result of the construction, the entire run course takes place on a fairly flat road, which makes this year’s run course potentially faster than the run course of previous years.
Good luck to all participants, spectators, volunteers, and race officials. May you race well, work well, and cheer well.
For more information about the swim, bike, or run courses, refer to the website for Kerrville Triathlon Festival.