The Nautica New York City Triathlon, an Olympic Distance triathlon event which takes place in August has announced that it's implementing a time trial start for the swim portion of the race. That's good news for those athletes with an initial fear of the swimming discipline, even with a wetsuit on. Each year over 3,000 athletes brave the waters of the mighty Hudson River before biking along Manhattan's West Side highway before finishing with a run through New York's famed Central Park.
The reasons for instituting a time trial start for the Nautica New York City Triathlon from race organizers are:
• Less congestion in the water - no washing machine effect.
• More streamlined swim start.
• More even dispersion of athletes on the bike.
• Everyone starts sooner, which means everyone finishes earlier - key on a hot day.
The event which is now part of the 5150 Series has safety on its mind. Back in 2008, a 32-year-old man competing in the race died after being pulled unconscious from the Hudson. Autopsy results proved to be inconclusive, so it's hard to say what the cause of death was.
For some triathletes mass swim wave starts can be terrifying, they don't want to experience the washing machine effect with arms and legs all over the place. For others the thought of a mass wave of swimmers coming at them from behind can lead to panic attacks in the water. So the news of the swim time trial start is good news for them and everyone else racing that day.
Unlike some other triathlon time trial starts which have one person going every 3 seconds the New York City Triathlon will implement this method: 20 athletes will enter the water every 10 seconds. The time trial start will be faster than the wave start format used in past Nautica New York City Triathlons. All athletes will enter the water continuously until the last Age Group in each transition has crossed the start mat. There are no assigned times, so each athlete must be attentive and responsible for being in place when their Age Group turn arrives.
• All athletes will be grouped with their assigned Age Group or Division.
• Age Groups/Divisions will be filed as a group onto the Start Barge. Athletes will enter the water 20 ATHLETES EVERY 10 SECONDS.
• Due to tide shifts, jump start only. No diving. Diving is grounds for Disqualification.
• Timing mats will be located at the entrance to the Start Barge AND at the starting edge of the Start Barge.
• All athletes will receive a Champion Chip net time from the moment they cross the mats at the edge of the Start Barge until they cross the Finish Line timing mats. The swim time split will start at Start Barge timing mats and will end at the Swim Exit Barge timing mats.
• Transition Yellow athletes enter the water first. There will be a 20 minute gap between Transition Yellow and Transition Red athletes.
• Any athlete missing their assigned Age Group start will be held until the last wave in their corresponding transition (yellow transition/red transition) start group.
• Any athletes missing the last wave in their corresponding transition start group (yellow transition/red transition) will not be permitted to start the race. No refunds. No race. No crying. No exceptions.
Be sure to check the event website (www.nyctri.com) for additional information or updates regarding the new time trial swim start.