Triathlon Mania Comes To NYC

As many of you may have heard, Ironman New York is alive and among us.  It's been deemed the US Championships.  Also, as you may have heard, it sold out in less than 15 minutes as soon as registration went live online.  I love this sport.  Love it.  And I'm thrilled that New York City is getting another great triathlon.

This is all good news.  But there's a race here in the New York area that's my complete fave.  It's held up the Hudson Valley in September.  If you haven't heard of it yet, you need to get familiar with it now.  And I mean stat.

The Westchester Toughman

The Toughman is a half ironman distance race held in northern Westchester county.  It starts and finishes in Croton Point Park, in Croton on Hudson, New York, and is really one amazing race.  Why?  I'll tell you why:


Croton Point Park, along the Hudson River, is an amazing setting for the swim start, transition area, and finish line.  It's a beautiful park, with campgrounds, easy access to mass transit for those coming up from the city and is easy to get to from most any major city in the tri-state area.


In addition to the park itself, the course is amazing.  The swim, in the bay that is naturally created at the park, is mostly free of river current and provides a great location for the swim.  More importantly, for those familiar with the Westchester Triathlon, there are no jellyfish!

Once done with the swim, the bike course is fantastic.  Should you be paying attention during the challenging bike leg, it's an amazing course.  Hills, flats, big climbs, quick downhills, and rolling sections make this a course that gives you a bit of everything.  On top of that, it's an incredibly well supported course (more on that later).

The run course is just like the bike course.  Hills, flats, climbs. It has it all.  Plenty of shaded sections (some of it trail) and an amazing view as you climb the Croton Dam 

And more to the point, there are 17 (yes, 17) aid stations on the run course.  Gels, water, electrolytes, Coke, it's all there. 

Volunteers and Support:
I can't say enough about the number of volunteers and course support that's provided.  Wetsuit strippers at T1, bottle exchange on the bike.  Numerous marshals, police, and course patrols on the bike leg ensuring safe passage through every intersection.  The run course has, again, plenty of support and volunteers.  Bagpipe players push you up the climb of Croton Dam and cheerleaders motivate you as you head back home via the brutal climb at mile 9.  (Yes it is brutal, and it hurts, but it's f'ing awesome).  If all goes to current plan (per the race director) this year should see close to 1,500 athletes and almost 1,000 volunteers.

Race Director and Event Staff:
This race is put on by a great group of folks.  Most importantly, it's put on by people that have done numerous Ironman races  and have been to Kona.  They know what a race should be like.  They know what athletes need and what they don't.  They know what effort goes into competing in a half ironman  and want to ensure that you're taken care of before, during, and after. this event is build and driven by dedicated individuals who want nothing more than to put on an amazing event, give back to the community, and ensure that everyone has a great time.

Expo and Post-Race:
The expo is great.  It's held in Croton Point Park, and there are plenty of great vendors setup over the weekend.  Lots of stuff to buy, lots of new products to play with.  And equally as important, a couple tents with bike mechanics to help with any issue that you may have. 

The post-race festivities are amazing.  Full barbeque for all participants.  Yep, that's right.  When you're done, there's a killer BBQ waiting for you.  Along with a huge tent with massage therapists to help keep you loose. 

Oh, and for those of you vegetarian and vegans out there - the BBQ (thanks to my wife) provides salad and veggie burgers.  Yep, something for everyone.

And how can I forget: Toughkids:

Not only does the Toughman crew put on a top-notch Half Iron race, they also now have a Toughkids series.  Multiple races throughout the year, culminating in the the Toughkids race in Croton the weekend of the full Half Iron.  It's a complete riot watching the kids race and have a blast.

What are you waiting for?

Check out The Toughman Triathlon ....seriously.  If you live in the Tri-State area, it's in your backyard.    I've raced this event.  I've worked this event.  Not sure when I had a better time (okay, I had a better time racing it).  It's been growing every year since its inception.  $25,000 in awards for age groups and special divisions alone.  And it's only going to get bigger and better.

Check out the video here.  You'll want to sign up.  Really, you will.  So click here and do it!