Lost in all the recent negative press about Atlantic City
was the tremendous success of a much needed, non-gambling related event. Last Sunday over 1,500 athletes participated
in the Annual Atlantic City Triathlon at Bader Field which brilliantly coincided
with the Atlantic City Seafood Festival.
A gathering of 1,500 endurance sport enthusiasts and 50 culinary experts
- while it may seem like an odd association, I’m now convinced that more
athletic events need to be paired with seafood.
Parking at Bader Field opened at 4:45 AM on Sunday. An important fact that I will not overlook
next year is that it can be rather cold at this hour. The 50 degrees temperature combined with 15
MPH winds forced most of us to put on our wetsuits to stay warm hours before
the race started just to try and keep warm.
As with all DelmoSports events, the transition area was very organized
and there were dozens of volunteers to lend a hand, answer questions and help
find the occasional lost bike (it’s dark at 5:00AM!).
* Photo Credit Delmo Sports
Preparing to jump into the back bay, it struck me that I
might be swimming with creatures that will be on the menu later today at the Seafood
Festival but the thought of warming up in water 20 degrees warmer than the air
left me undeterred. As with all
Triathlons the swim portion can be somewhat unnerving. Arms and legs flailing all around you as you
navigate the quarter mile (Sprint) or mile (Olympic) course add to the normal stress
of competition but thanks to paced starting there were few close encounters. More importantly, there were zero close encounters
with sea life.
After the swim we jumped on our bikes and headed down Albany
Ave. to the Black Horse Pike and the Atlantic City Expressway. Setting up the bike route must have been a
logistical nightmare but riding on the Expressway was definitely a thrill and
further added to this event's unique experience.
Fortunately, the race fee included all tolls.
I’m pretty sure there is no better place to run than the
Atlantic City Boardwalk. I’ve always
heard that running on boards is better for your knees and ankles but I run
there just to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Boardwalk and the Ocean. The route from Bader Field transition area to
the Boardwalk was safely managed by Atlantic City’s finest. I did heard some colorful stories of impatient
motorists who had to wait at intersections for the runners to pass but I’m
pretty sure most of the car horns were a sign of support and encouragement for
One of the DelmoSports Triathlon perks is the amazing
breakfast spread waiting for athletes at the finish but with some of New Jersey’s
finest chef’s preparing their seafood specialties only yards away tough choices
had to be made. I settled on a small
breakfast leaving enough room to sample a few crab cakes, some clam chowder and
one or two local brews.
All in all, the day was another fine example of the great things Atlantic City has to offer. Swim, Bike, Run and Seafood… Brilliant!