Rev3 will bring its brand of racing to Venice, FL, November 10, 2013 and will offer two distances: HalfRev (70.3 miles) and OlympicRev (32 miles). FN Editor Anne Reed recently spectated Rev140.6 at Cedar Point in Ohio. Thinking of doing a Rev, wondering how it differs from HITS and Ironman? Check out her review to see if Rev might be right for you. 

Athlete:  Michael Reed
Report done by FN Online Content Manager, Anne Reed

I’m almost a professional spectator at this point in my life.  My husband is an age group triathlete, meaning he has a full time job and a family and no chance of ever being a pro.  He dreams of winning a lottery slot for Kona and I dream of sleeping in past 4:30 a.m., which is normally the time he is up and on the bike trainer in our bedroom.  On September 8th, 2013, he completed his third full distance triathlon, meaning he swam 2.4 miles, rode 112 miles, then ran 26.2 miles, for a total of 140.6 miles.

FN: How is this race different for you? 

AR: First of all, we did not bring our three kids to this race. I was spectating for 5 different friends that day, including my husband.  This is also the very first time we have flown to a race, which meant we had to figure out how to ship my husband’s bike to the race site. It was pretty pricey to send it on the airplane, so my husband had it packed up at a local bike shop, then mailed to a bike shop in Ohio that was providing bike support for the race. He had to trust that his bike would be there, assembled, and in one piece. And since he loves his bike almost more than he loves me, that was a huge deal.

FN: What was your pre-race routine, or how did you start your day?

AR: I started my day at 4:30 a.m. I threw on my clothes and made sure my best friend Kathleen was up. Then I ate a quick breakfast and drove my husband and friend to the transition area so they could finish setting up for the race. We stayed on Cedar Point property which meant our drive was short. Once at transition, I took pictures while they set up their areas and turned in their belongings and special needs bags. A strong wind was blowing, and we quickly found out it was from the Northeast, which is dangerous on the Great Lakes. We had rip current warnings and three to six foot waves, so the race company moved the swim to the somewhat-protected marina, which meant a much longer run from the swim exit to transition. Most athletes were fine with this decision when they saw the huge waves on Lake Erie. After Mike and Kathleen were set up, I drove them back to the hotel so they could grab their wet-suits and caps and goggles and use the bathroom one last time, then we drove to the swim start and they wiggled into their wet-suits while I found our friends who were showing up to spectate.

FN: Thoughts before the start?

AR: I was nervous for Mike and Kathleen, because I know how rough the water in the Great Lakes can be with a Northeast wind. The race director gave a very brief course description. I was impressed with Rev3 because they have had this contingency plan in place every year, just in case the water was rough. They did a great job reassuring the athletes.

Event Breakdown

AR: Swim- It was pretty hard to see much of the swim, but luckily the athletes did a self-seeded time trial start and went in by twos, every three seconds apart. It was two loop course and I had an idea of when I would see Mike. Once he was out of the water and running to transition, I watched for my other friends to come through. Our group had signs and one guy dressed in a speedo with a pitchfork and cape to chase our friends down the road to transition. We cheered loudly as our friends passed, then once everyone was out on the bike course, we headed back to the hotel for some breakfast and coffee and, honestly, to warm up. I was freezing.

AR: Bike- The bike was on fairly rural roads, and several of our friends had just raced a 70.3 triathlon the day before and they were wiped. They headed off to nap, and I took two members of our group out on the bike route to cheer. We chose a spot on the bike course that would allow us to see our friends as they started their second loop, or as they ended their second loop. This meant we saw everyone at least once, and made the decision to stay out there until all of our friends were heading in from their second loop- so we were standing at mile 95 of the bike course for a very long time. I think we were on the only part of the course where the wind was not gusting over 16mph. We joked with fellow spectators, used cornfields as potties, waved and cheered, and even did some roadside yoga to stretch our aching backs. I started to get texts that my husband was out on the run course just as our last friend passed us on the bike course, so we headed back to Cedar Point and the hotel.

AR: Run- For the run portion of the event, everyone in our group dressed up as Triathlon Fairies and we had a lot of funny signs to hold up as we cheered on the runners.  The run was a 2 loop course- the worst part being that runners get all the way back to transition and turn around for their second loop and are able to see and hear the finish line. The course in downtown Sandusky is a switchback course, up and down streets that are parallel to each other. It’s not a particularly fun course for sightseeing, but at that point in your day the run is just about survival. We saw our friends, I threw glitter all over the road and told runners that if they ran through the sparkles, they would be faster. We made a lot of people laugh, and then my husband ran up and told me he was not doing so well. I reminded him that he just had to finish, it was a tough day with the wind, and then I may have said a few choice words to motivate him (something along the lines of suck it up, buttercup). We chased him up and down the roads, popping up and making him smile. Once I knew he was heading in to the finish line, my friend and I drove back to watch him finish. As he ran the last mile, and into the finish chute, he yelled, “Where is my fairy?” Rev3 is very family friendly, and one thing they allow and encourage at their races is that you can run across the finish line with your kids, or spouse, or mom, or anyone who is there to cheer you on. Even if that person is wearing glitter, wings, and a tutu. After Mike finished I got his body calmed down, he ate a little food, then showered and we headed out on the run course to find my friend Kathleen. By then it was dark, and the streets were pretty empty, so I ran alongside her for a bit. This is also a big no and a rule breaker, but everyone out there was doing it. Some people even had bikers with lights on beside them. I think race officials just wanted people to feel good, as good as you can feel on the last half of a marathon, and they wanted people to finish. As my friend past mile 23, I headed back to the finish line to cheer her in. She finished, I cried, and then I helped get all of her gear, including her bike, back to the hotel room.

FN: What is one awkward/interesting/humbling moment from this event?

AR: There were not a lot of participants in the full- maybe 300. We are used to a lot more participants and a lot more spectators at Ironman events. But I did like how friendly the Rev3 staff was, I liked how family friendly the race was, and I loved that I got to cross the finish line with Mike- because the reality of racing long distance endurance events is that it takes more than just the competitor to make it to the start line. It was a nice way to validate all of the people that support the athlete so they can train and make it to race day. I would recommend Rev3 as a great way to test out the half distance (70.3) or the full distance (140.6) without the hefty price and packed crowds of an Ironman brand event.

More from Fit Nation:
Upcoming Fitness Events in SWFL
Event Report: Ironman 70.3 Augusta 2012
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Published by Anne Reed

A triathlete, wife to an Ironman athlete, and freelance writer.