The Top Notch Triathlon, one of my favorite weekends of the year. A group of our friends drives up to the beautiful Pearl Lake in New Hampshire to stay for the weekend. The triathlon itself isn’t even the focal point of the weekend, but it is so much fun You’re probably wondering how the hell could a triathlon be fun. It’s a team tri, so only one person has to do each leg of the triathlon, but it’s just enough activity that we all consider ourselves Triathletes. My friends have been doing this for 6 years, and this was only my second.
The triathlon starts in the mountain village of Franconia, NH. You bike along the road and into the mud, rock, and root filled trails for 6.5 miles up to Franconia Notch. Once the handoff has been made, the next guy jumps into the brisk water of Echo Lake, at the base of Cannon Mountain, for a ½ mile swim. After that, the fun begins in the form of a 2.5 mile trek up 2280 ft on a black diamond ski slope. Once you reach the top of Cannon Mountain, you can claim you’ve climbed a picturesque 3320 feet. Luckily for us, they have the gondolas running the entire day so the rest of the team can join you as you summit the peak…and more importantly, give you a ride down the mountain after the race is over.
After the race is over, we all can enjoy the beautiful Pearl Lake view while we play some intense games of bocce ball and go canoeing in the warm water. All the day’s activities are followed by one of the most amazing meals prepared by our gracious hosts.
Don’t Forget to:
-Do not train at all through the entire year. This will test you to see how much athleticism you really have.
-Enjoy the beautiful views that New Hampshire provides throughout the entire race.
-Test your bike before you take it up for the race. There’s one thing to ride on the road, a whole other monster to take on some of those rugged trails through the woods.
-As a 2-time biker, my advice would be to push the pace as much as you can on the road because it is very difficult to make up time once you enter the woods.