Wednesday, June 7, 2017

East Canyon Preview!

With East Canyon taking place this Saturday, we reached out to TriUtah's Dan Aamodt and a few savvy local athletes to get a little insight on the course & race in general.

Only 2 days left to claim one of the remaining ~20 spots, so go grab one if it sounds like a good time!

Dan Aamodt

So, this is my favorite event, albeit it requires more attention as an athlete because of the two transitions. The swim is absolutely beautiful at East Canyon Reservoir. The sprint bike course is all downhill, with the exception of a couple of rollers. The first half of the Olympic course has one steep short incline and decline. Then all downhill. The main thing on the bike is to watch the turns before you hit the dam.

"take all the dam pictures you want"

Tight, steep turns. The descent into Morgan is fun and the scenery is amazing. This year we are giving away a little extra gift at the finish as our 5th anniversary thank you. Deadline is Thursday... as of today we have about 20 spots left (capping at 250). We are giving away a NordicTrack treadmill and Altra shoes. Arrive early and come the night before to set up if possible, then ride the shuttle from T2 to the start in the morning.

Courtney Duckworth
Salt Lake Tri Club, USAT Certified Coach

East Canyon Triathlon. What you can expect:

Brisk water temps: Wetsuits are definitely recommended for this swim. Water temps are expected to be at or below 60. I personally find the colder temps refreshing so this is my kind of swim!

Fast Bike Split: This race is known for it's downhill bike course! Sprint athletes will ride out of East Canyon lake and descend down the canyon into Morgan city. The Olympic course does feature two short yet steep hills before winding down past the reservoir. Watch for some technical corners at the beginning of the decent! I think almost every year an athlete goes down, so keep it slow on those first few turns! One infamous turn is even nicknamed "Botts Bend" after SLTC member and friend @Brian Botts crashed hard the first year, breaking bones in the process. So while this is a FUN fast course, things can go south pretty quickly if you're not careful!

Flat run: After making your way down the bike course, you'll be pleased to hop off your bike and run along the partly shaded and flat run course. There is very little elevation gain overall for both Sprint and Olympic routes, making for a possible PR run split!

Two transitions: Plan for the logistics.. Since you swim at East Canyon and end up in Morgan City, there are two transition areas, T1 at East Canyon, and T2 down at Riverside Park in Morgan. You will need to drop off your bike Friday evening or early Saturday before the race. Friday evening is recommended to avoid race day chaos and stress! There is very limited parking up at the lake race morning so park down at the High School and catch a shuttle up to the lake! Have your spectators do the same! After the swim portion of the race, you will place all your swim gear into a bag that will be taken down to the finish area. I saw an athlete last year ride with his run shoes in his Tri jersey because he didn't know there were two transitions and didn't set up his run gear at T2 prior to the race! It sounds more complicated than it actually is.... two transitions is easily managed if you plan ahead!

This is what I did last year: dropped off my bike EARLY race morning, went down to T2 and check-in, set up my run gear at T2, then rode a shuttle back up to the Lake, finished setting up by T1, and I was ready to go!

Post race party: TriUtah always puts on a great post race celebration with good food and fun awards for those top athletes in each age category. Stay and get your picture taken on the Medal Podium! Then you can decide which race to do NEXT!

Good luck racers!

Heath Thurston
Former local pro triathlete

East Canyon is one of my all time favorite venues for triathlon. It's an amazing little hidden reservoir. You can camp right there at race start or stay down in town at the finish. It's also drivable for most people that very morning so it's a great little gem of a place to host a race. What makes it also so amazing are the bike courses. The sprint features one of the fastest bike courses in Utah because much of it is down this beautiful gradual canyon, then turns into some good rolling hills into town and T2. The Olympic, which is the distance I usually raced, gave you a bit of both because the start of the Olympic bike course sends you the other direction down the backside of the canyon and lake to a turnaround, then you get to climb back up to the dam and continue on the same sprint bike course. So after lots of work in the beginning you get the descent the second half into T2. Then the run down in town is pretty straightforward and quiet and a great run. The Olympic run has a gradual climb towards the turn around that gives your legs a little wake up call if they haven't woken up on the bike. And the finish is in a beautiful park with lots of shade and great festivities. TriUtah just knows how to put on amazing races at spectacular venues that most Utahns don't know about.

Brian Botts
He of Botts Bend fame

Unfortunately, I'm laying here sick in bed only 5 days from Eagleman 70.3. If it weren't for Eagleman 70.3, and possibly a chance to qualify for the 70.3 World Championship, I would be racing East Canyon for the 3rd year in a row. East Canyon is a great race for a PR or as a 1st time course and it usually brings some great local talent. It's fast, has a downhill bike, and is in a beautiful scenic location. All riders should be cautious of "Botts Bend" though, named after my epic 48.8 mph crash in 2015 that resulted in a season ending broken clavicle. Make the commitment and sign up for the fastest triathlon in the area!

TriUtah: Main Site

Beware Botts Bend, Brother!

Related Posts

TriUtah lineup

Next several on the calendar to consider!

Jun 10: East Canyon (S & O) - Morgan
Jun 17: RockCliff (S & O) - Francis
Jun 24: Daybreak (S & O) - South Jordan
             DinoTri (S & O) - Vernal

Jul 8:   Echo (S & O) - Coalville
Jul 15: Topaz (S & O) - Delta
Jul 15: Toughman Utah Half

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