Reston Area Triathletes RATS.net Logo

Race Result

Racer: Dan Frost
Race: Metrolina AIDS Project Triathlon
Date: Saturday, March 20, 2004
Location: Charlotte, NC
Race Type: Triathlon - Sprint
Age Group: Male 35 - 39
Time: 0:55:39
Overall Place: 14 / 421
Age Group Place: 3 / 45
Comment: When tires go boom...

Race Report:

Prologue: Thanks to Aaron for all the great features that he’s been adding to the club website and thanks to all of you for your support.


MAP Triathlon – Charlotte NC – March 20, 2004
Weather: Half clear and sunny, half overcast, light south winds, 50F

The Metrolina AIDS Project (MAP) Triathlon in Charlotte NC is the first triathlon of the year in the North Carolina Triathlon Series. As such, it proves to be pretty popular and fills up with 500 entries within a couple of weeks after registration opens in January.

Its popularity, however, doesn’t come from any special amenities. Compared to the previous week’s race in Valdese, there’s no tri-store expo, no post-race meal, no water bottle in the goodie bag, no high-value prize raffle and no cash prizes. It is the first race of the year, though, in an urban center on a spectator-friendly (read multi-loop) course that’s both speedy and challenging for a sprint.

It’s definitely a good race for the pre-season. The team from James Madison University came down together and had a great time. They definitely had the right idea. I admit that it would be difficult to convince a group of RATS to drive through the night for six hours and miss a Saturday RATS bike ride…even if there is a Great Harvest Bread Company store in Charlotte near the race site.

The Race: Located in Uptown (downtown) Charlotte - 500 yard swim in a world-class pool, a 10-mile bike course consisting of two out-and-back laps on closed streets (guarded by about half of Charlotte’s police force), and a 5k run with two laps around the major city block across the street from the pool, followed by a final lap around the block that contains the pool. There are significant climbs and descents on the bike…the run has more gradual elevation changes. The whole thing is well organized and quite safe.

Most Unique Hazard: Since we’re riding on urban streets, you have to weave around patched-up potholes and manhole covers, often at outrageous speeds.

The One Thing To Avoid Doing Here: Riding on a flat tire – unless you are only two miles away from T2, are having a great race to that point, have the deflated tire glued very well to your wheel, and don’t mind a little damage to your carbon fiber rims.

Best takeaway: As much Coke as you can drink after the race.

Cost/Benefit Analysis:

Cost: $45 entry fee

(Swag) Short-sleeved, non-white race t-shirt, more Endurolyte tablets and Hammer Gel packets in case you didn’t get enough the week before.
(Prize) One prize fits all – whether you were the overall winner or third in your age group, you got a fleece vest embroidered with the race logo.