Challenge Pocono Mountains
Next Race: 16 August 2015
Both Olympic and Half athletes will swim in the Delaware River. This allows us to have a single transition area. All athletes will start the swim from the boat launch area of Smithfield Beach and swim upriver along the northern shore, shielded from the current by a bend in the riverbank, before crossing the river and swimming the longer back stretch with the current and finishing at the Smithfield Beach canoe launch area. Typical water temperature is 75-degrees.
Once out of the water and onto the bike athletes leave Smithfield Beach with a short climb out to Route 209. The entire Bike Course is within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Say ‘goodbye’ to car traffic as roads will be closed (open to authorized vehicles only) for the duration of the bike. Stunning views of farm fields, mountain sides, and the Delaware River will make your time fly by on this gently rolling out and back ride through the heart of the Poconos. The final 10 miles of this ride features a few technical descents and some twists and turns as you parallel the river’s flat lands and the river valley before returning to transition at Smithfield Beach.
It truly is a privilege to host an event in this National Park. This year more than ever, as this race is part of their 50th Year Anniversary celebration series of events! Currently the DWGNRA preserves 40 miles of the middle Delaware River and almost 70,000 acres of land along the river’s Pennsylvania and New Jersey shores – the largest recreation area in the eastern U.S. At the south end of the park, the river cuts eastward through the Appalachian Mountains at the scenic Delaware Water Gap. According to NPS 2013 visitation figures for America’s national parks, DWGNRA, is the 10th-most visited property in the National Park Service. Come be a part of this celebration!
Leaving T2, the run course for both races takes a short, flat out and back on the Northern part of the scenic McDade Trail before running past transition and re-entering the trail on the South side. The trail passes through forested areas, farm fields and past views of the majestic Delaware River. The terrain of the trail is a wide, packed gravel path. Athletes will exit the trail at the Hialeah Picnic area onto River Rd then will wind around the Wyndham Villas and the historic Shawnee Village neighborhood. Half athletes will have a turnaround at Shawnee Inn Drive and run an out and back on River Road, a rolling course that will challenge even the most seasoned triathletes. The course finishes at the majestic Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort with the finish chute leading towards the beautiful Delaware River to end your epic day!