I participated in the 2nd Annual Anvil Single last year thinking I would cross it off my checklist and move on, but that didn’t happen. This is a smaller race, so you get to meet everyone and I can vouch that 140.6 miles brings you closer to people, just like I’m sure 281.2 does. Besides the social aspect and amazing support of the Anvil crew, this race is convenient and actually fun.
The water at Hagg Lake is tolerable for an open water wimp like myself and the bike portion is ideal for someone not super comfortable on the road. The bike course includes a whole lot of loops around the lake, which at first I thought I would hate, but I actually appreciated it. Every loop at your transition spot, you could check in and grab water, fuel or just get a quick pep talk. After getting a flat tire, it was nice to be only a few miles away from the support crew versus the alternative with a larger race.
The run portion is another set of loops too, mostly on trails, which, again, I thought I would hate, only to discover it was perfect. Every mile or so, I got to run by and wave, got to say ‘hi’ and grab some watermelon at the aid station. While it wasn’t anywhere near my fastest marathon, it went by relatively fast considering it was a long day of moving forward.
The location is convenient, the course is challenging, but the major advantage of the Anvil event is the price. The Single Anvil costs $350 and the Double Anvil costs $685. Both are USAT (United States Triathlon Association) sanctioned and the Double Anvil is sanctioned by the IUTA (International Ultra Triathlon Association) as well. All participants receive a race bag at check-in with goodies, a pre-race pasta dinner and long sleeve race shirt. I’m proof that this event is addictive. I honestly just wanted to check a 140.6 off my bucket list, but instead discovered an amazing family of triathletes and even more impressive race directors. If a long course triathlon wasn’t on your list to try this year, consider adding it and checking out the Anvil Race Series. I’m pretty sure you’ll be hooked too.