As the registration date draws near, some of you have expressed concerns about the bike course, second thoughts about the river swim, and worries about the distance of the race. Those are legitimate concerns. However, as long as you respect the distance of the race and train for it, you will be fine.
Below are some videos from a website called View the Race. The videos are for the full Vineman course but they will give you a good idea of what to expect at Barb's.
I've always considered swimming to be my weakest leg in triathlon. Even after completing two Olympic distance triathlons (.93 mile swim), I was still certain I was not going to be able to swim 1.2 miles.
However, the Russian River proved to be the perfect place for a nervous swimmer like me. The river is relatively narrow and very shallow in spots. Several times I stood up and ran because I was tired of my fingers dragging in the gravel. I eventually gave up on the running because it was making the bottoms of my feet sore.
If you are worried about swimming against the current, don't! There really isn't a current because dams are installed in June to keep the water level deep enough for swimming.
The month before Barb's Race, Coach James took me and HS to ride the race course. I plan on doing this a couple of times in 2014. The course is beautiful and the 56 miles go by quickly.
I think my biggest mistake in preparing for the 2013 race was not doing enough hill work (biking and running).
In the past, Barb's Race competitors would run a long loop and then a short loop. In 2013, the loops were equal distance. We ran out 3.275 miles and turned around (x2). The Barb's Race turn around is somewhere around 3:40 in the video.
Here is a link to my race report....http://closetathlete.blogspot.com/2013/07/barbs-race-race-report.html