I'm doing the Escape to Miami Sprint in a month. I'm from Ohio, so saltwater is abit of a new thing. Have to admit, the post about jellyfish got me wondering.... Are jellyfish a problem in Biscayne Bay? Other problems/issues with the swim? Its only a 400m swim, but I've never done a tri in saltwater. Are currents an issue? I'm not expecting waves, but expect some chop. Anyone have better information?
Also, is there anywhere I can swim in Biscayne Bay to get a bit of exposure to it? I get into town on Friday, so have a couple of days to practice a bit.
Any other thoughts/comments about the Escape to Miami Tri. I've read some race reviews, but always appreciate any addtional information.
Escape to Miami is my favorite triathlon! I’ve done the Olympic distance every year since 2006.
Don’t be intimidated by the saltwater – it makes you more buoyant in the water which will make things a little easier on you. Yes, there are jellyfish.. my experience has only been with tiny ones. I’ve always gotten stung on my neck for some reason. They sting a little, but nothing to get upset about or nothing that will interfere with your performance. At least it didn’t interfere with mine.
The current is pretty strong. It’s one of the more challenging things about this swim. Just stay relaxed – there are a ton of lifeguards out there. This race is really well organized since they’ve been doing it for awhile now. Pop your head up often to make sure you’re still going straight and the current isn’t taking you way off to the side.. and even if it does, the lifeguards will get your attention easily. I think the most important thing is just not to over think it and just enjoy the fact that you’re swimming in some nice warm water (it’s always warm) and you got a nice view of Miami coming up in the bike and run. My experience with this bay is that it can be a little choppy, but it’s not something that I felt like I was fighting against – I don’t really even notice the current until I pop my head up and see I’m going way off to the side when I could’ve sworn I was swimming straight!
For the bike, you’ll be riding over the Julia Tuttle Causeway. There are two bridges (pretty good ones, too) that you ride over and then ride over again on the way back. First bridge is steeper than the second. So just as an FYI – for the Sprint distance you’ll be going over the bridges 4 times. Don’t forget to enjoy the view! The main thing I dread on the bike is those dangerous U-turns.. there’s quite a few.
And lastly, you’ve got the MacArthur Causeway about a mile or less into your run... which is another real nice bridge you have to run over and back! I don’t know how you feel about running next to cars, but you’re right up against a line of traffic on this run. One year it was the most brutal run I’ve ever done – there’s no shade and the sun can be so brutal. But another year the weather was perfect. Unfortunately, the weather is so unpredictable in south Florida you can never really be sure what’s coming, so just hope for the best! You’ll feel like a real champ getting through this tri! It’s really challenging. Good luck!