Exhausting but fun
"24 Hours of Triathlon" was one of the options for the Ultra Triathlon in Washington Island, WI. There were also 8, 12 and 36 hour options. Athletes were able to compete either as part of a relay or solo. The goal was to compete as many sprint triathlons (Quarter mile swim, 10.5 mile bike, 2 mile run) as possible within the chosen time frame. It's kind of like doing an indoor tri outside.
The course was excellent and gorgeous. . The swim was counter clockwise triangle in Lake Michigan. The water temp was low 70's, so wetsuits were allowed but not necessary. I wore Lava pants and felt great. The bike loop was very similar to the Peninsula loop in the CVNP. The best part was the last 1 1/2 miles was a slight downhill and you could fly. The run was an out and back and was FLAT.
The race format was loose. If you wished, you could do swim/bike/run/swim/bike/run the entire time, but that would be a lot of transitions. Everyone did the legs in groups, multiple legs bac-to-back, to bank the miles. The swim was limited to daylight hours, 7:00 am - 6:00 pm. Head & tail lights are required for night riding, head lamps for night running. It got really dark at night, there are zero street lights on the island. It was a blast, especially on the bike.
The weather for the 24 hour option was as close to perfect for a race as possible. We started at 10:00 am on Friday. The temp was around 67, overcast and dry. Overnight, the clouds went away and we had a full moon and plenty of stars. The view of moon over the lake along the run course was amazing. The last few hours of the race on Saturday morning was clear and sunny, a great way to finish.
The race was very well organized. The athletes camped out next to transition (think Wildflower). The swim in/out was about 100 feet from transition. It was a great set up. The race provided breakfast, lunch and dinner (very tasty) along with the usual snacks at the aide station throughout the race.
I had a terrific time at this race. The island is beautiful, the race staff was great and the competitors were friendly. I highly recommend this race and will consider doing it again. The cost was only $140, which for a race like this is phenominal. Washington Island is located about 100 miles north of Green Bay. I did stop to tour Lambeau Field on the drive there (worth the time).