First time heading up to this race at Versailles State Park in Southern Indiana. The crew at DINO (Do INdiana Offroad) do a great job making this an easy race to attend for the first time. With experience directing trail runs, mountain bike races, and triathlons, they had great course markings and delivered a good vibe. I learned during the awards presentation that this particular race had a chance of being cancelled due to low attendance a couple of years back, but this year set an attendance record, and I hope it’s here to stay.
With both a relay option and a kayak option instead of the swim, the door is open to new participants.
The lake was a bit muddier than others and was surprisingly shallow in many spots. About 300m from shore my hands hit the bottom during the stroke! Visibility in the water was low, and after the first buoy there is a long straight-away directly into the rising sun making sighting difficult. The swim course is a single loop with 3 buoys – simple to follow which I appreciate. Water temp was 78 degrees.
For the bike, I’d heard about the trails at Versailles but never ridden them. In talking with athletes prior to the race, comments ranged from “a good course”, “fun trails”, to “very rocky and hard to carry speed”. So I really didn’t know what to expect. Weather was great and the trails were in good shape with only a couple of wet spots. I found the trails to be fantastic. The last half was fairly rocky, and there weren’t easy locations to pass as it’s almost all single track. I’d definitely ride the trails again and hope to have time to stop and enjoy some of the scenery over the lake.
The run is described as “a very challenging course” on the race website. I would agree. With some steep, short climbs early and generally uphill for the first mile or more, it wasn’t until about mile 4 that I started loosening up and began to feel better with a smooth stride. The trails are definitely hiking trails with some difficult foot placement and areas where the trail is about 12″ wide. Luckily the weather was good this year, and with many wide creek crossings in the last couple of miles, it could be sloshy with rain. Looking back, I really enjoyed the run course – tough first half, but very cool trails that I could spend more time on in the future.
July 15th, 2017
1000m swim, 13m bike, 5.2m run