Saturday, March 6, 2010

Mooseman HIM Course Preview

The stars totally aligned this weekend up in NH. Yesterday the temp hit 50, even though in the wind coming off of the lake it felt more like 30 at times.

I brought up "Red" the new road bike. "Blue" the time trial bike stayed home. I am glad I did because the frost heaves have beat the ever living shit outa the roads up here this winter and riding the TT bike on some of these roads would be a little scary in the aero position. Besides, I wanted to really test out Red.

So I did one loop of the bike course and did a little extra at the end to round out the ride at a hilly 41.65 miles.

The swim. Its a little frozen right now.

More of the swim....and still frozen

there are ice fishers out there!

is this the transition area?

ready to ride

course elevation

For those of you NOT competing in Mooseman in June, you can stop reading now if you want. I am putting this down on paper so that I remember better but also for those of you who haven't done this race or biked up here, please read. For those of you who have done this race before, hope this reminds you or updates you on the current road conditions.

Start on West Shore road coming out of Wellington State Park. Today the wind was in your face. Who knows what it will be like in June. Its a bit flat for the start but then gets rolly as you head towards Hebron. I am going to take this section easy.

I say take it easy because between miles 5 and 6 you hit the steepest hill of the course. Its a short hill, but just steep enough that its gonna hurt, especially since you will NOT be warmed up yet. Don't hammer this hill or be a hero! You still have 50+ miles to go!!! And you get to go up this hill again! You can take out your revenge 28 miles later. Side note: My coach in high school made us sit our butts down and spin up this hill for "practice." I just remember it hurt like hell!

After another good sized hill, but not as steep as mentioned above, you turn onto route 3A. This is where you can get comfy in the aero position and add some speed. The frost heaves have beat this road up, but you can fly on the flats.

Turning right onto Whittemore Point North road has you climbing slightly. Nothing big, but I'd go conservative on the first lap. One you make the left onto Whittemore Point South road its a net downhill or flat. Give it some speed!

Turning back onto route 3A is then net downhill till the bottom. Unfortunately this is the worst part of the entire course. Its not bombed out, but the frost heaves have made enough cracks that it gets really frustrating riding. I was cursing quite a bit on this section. Nothing worse than wanting to hammer it on a downhill for free but having to hold back due to shitty road conditions.

Once onto route 104, the road conditions become a non issue from here till back to Wellington State Park. Route 104 has some good flats but at mile 17 you start to go up a slow death type of hill. Its not a steep hill at all, but just steep enough that you will need to small ring it and grind it out.

Turning onto Cass Mill Rd brings out the most technical part of the course. This section has a lot of short downs that you will want to maintain your speed to carry you up the next short up. Newton's Law according to Cycling: What goes up, must come back down, BUT! must go back up again.

By the time you turn onto Washburn, your legs should be on autopilot mode and fully loose and warmed up and ready to crank it home for the second lap. When my legs get to this point, my ego takes over and I think I can go 100% from here till the finish. Unfortunately I learned my lesson at Timberman and ate it on the run. This is where it becomes mind over matter and you REALLY have to go conservative on lap # 2 since those hills will come to bite harder the 2nd time around.

Now for the run! (course)

The elevation shows that the first 2 miles are fairly flat. It is. Its quite nice actually as you are running right along the water front. Right at mile 2 things start to get rolly and you hit the biggest hill going out. No worries as it drops back down a bit before it climbs slightly to the right turn onto Beachwood Dr where the road immediately drops down 1/3 of a mile to the water where you turn around and head back home.

These hills aren't bad at all. Quite easy actually for a stand alone running race. However, after 56 miles of on the bike, these hills are gonna feel 3X's steeper than they actually are. I'm planning on swallowing my pride and going super easy and steady up them on the first loop. You can really burn a few important matches on this first loop if you go too hard.

Kinda interesting how similar this run route is to Timberman's, especially the first 2 miles.


  1. Nice writeup. The transition area is not the parking lot. When you enter the park. The first small parking lot, which is a sharp left turn before you get to the large main lot, leads you to the access road towards the beach where the transition area is setup.
    If you've been there during the summer, it's where the horseshoe pits and Volleyball is setup.

  2. You rock!! If I weren't married, I'd kiss you, ha! I so appreciate you posting this. It's very helpful for me moving forward especially on the bike. I just joined a group that will be doing rides to Bear Mt. so hopefully that will help. Thanks also for the advice on how to approach the loops, this will be my first HIM and even though I have a coach, it's good to know that.

    Yes, we had a great weekend here too, low 50's. Had a great ride an Saturday and a nice long rum in Sunday.

    Thanks again! I owe you a beer!

  3. I've heard awesome things about this race. Hard to picture it with the snow and ice! :)

  4. Your swim pics totally made me laugh...ha ha! That's great that you were able to preview the course before your HIM. I did that for my first HIM and I'm so glad I did. I think it really helped me in the race b/c I knew what to expect.


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