A new multi-sport race being added to the local race calendar is always good news!
When the race incorporates some favorite bike & run routes... even better news!
The new Thunder In The Forest Triathlon/ Duathlon is set for Sunday, April 17, 2016 at 9 am.
The event will be held at Poplar Tree Lake in Meeman Shelby Forest.
The race is a partnership between Start2Finish Event Management, Memphis Thunder Triathlon Team & the Millington High School NJROTC.
There will be two race formats to choose from:
Duathlon: 1 mile run, 15 mile bike, 3 mile run
Triathlon: 500 yard swim, 15 mile bike, 3 mile run
Both races will be run simultaneously with one transition area. This means that swimmers from the triathlon and runners from the duathlon will hit the same transition area and then race the bike and second run together. The Shelby Forest area is home to several very popular running events and is also a regular training ground for area cyclists. Shelby Forest is known for one thing: hills! Expect some challenging hills in the first 3 miles of the bike and in the first 1.5 miles of the second run. *Bonus: the course avoids the hilliest "Three Pigs" section of very steep hills!
Swim: The 500 yard swim will be a triangle shape in Poplar Tree Lake. The lake is very typical of small fishing lakes in this area. The swim will start in waves based on age groups and quantity of athletes per age group. We will determine closer to race day how that breakdown will look. Expect wetsuits to be legal and very necessary in the cold water!
Run #1: A simple out-and-back around the lake. There is a slight incline on the way back into the transition area but nothing to worry about. It is considered a "fast" mile.
Swimmers and runners will be entering the transition area at the same time and then compete on the same bike/ run course for the duration of race.
Bike Course - 15 Miles
The bike starts with a rollercoaster ride of hills for the first 1.5 miles. Make sure your bike is in the proper gear as you leave the transition area. Don't overdo the first few minutes of the bike course. As soon as you leave the park, near the two mile mark, the road flattens out for the most part until you reach Watkins at mile 4. Watkins is a wide four lane road with a median. It will be a fast stretch with some long gentle rolling hills for three miles until a right turn on Robertson, then another right on Benjestown. The next three miles on Benjestown are winding with a few small rollers but this should be a fast stretch. After a left turn back into Shelby Forest cyclists get a flat stretch followed by a long downhill all the way back into transition!
Caution: There is a sharp left turn at the bottom of the hill into the parking lot at the end of the bike course.
|Bike Course Map (updated 4/13/16)|
Run #2 - 3 Miles
This loop run course will be two distinct parts! Survive the rollercoaster hilly first mile (that you experienced on the bike) and then get rewarded with the long downhill final mile to the finish (that you also experienced on the bike). The run follows a counter-clockwise loop out Grassy Lake Rd. Runners will turn left near the halfway point and cut through the old Shelby Forest swimming pool parking lot and make their downhill return to the finish.
The Thunder in the Forest races will provide a great early season tune up in a beautiful rural setting.
Coach Kevin is a 35+ year runner & triathlete, an RRCA-certified running coach & the National Coach for the St Jude Heroes & Team McGraw