An Ocean View

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Swim, Bike, Run, Crab Cakes!

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.

The Start
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

The Swim
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.

The Bike
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.

The Run
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 the athletes…

The Seafood
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!
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