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Archive for June 2023

FULL NOTES from Podcast Episode 76: Happy Valley 70.3 Race Preview


  • Here we go…
  • Be sure to go through the Athlete Guide
  • Bike cutoff is 6 hours, not 5.5 hours
  • Run cutoff is 8.5 hours
  • Transition 1 is a large parking lot, close proximity to the beach, anticipated QUICK exit from water to T1
  • Very calm water, anticipated comfortable swim
  • My numbers for reference throughout bike course; 33 years old, average power = 165W, average HR = 139bpm, peak HR = 176bpm, average speed = 15.2mph, total time on bike course = 3:45
  • Smooth exit to T1
  • The turnaround out-and-back from transition is not positioned well. Unclear where it will be and anticipated congestion when slowing down to turn around
  • Lots of speed after the turn around
  • 150 is very flat and smooth, opportunity for a lot of speed directly upon exiting Bald Eagle State Park
  • Some traffic on 150 but this will be controlled on race day – local and event traffic only
  • Very fast first 10 miles
  • Slow down onto Sayers Dam for some odd back road turns
  • Course is fast to start, but athletes still need to be calibrating effort early
  • Be careful by the train tracks between 14-15 miles. Some athletes will slow down big time to get over these train tracks, but they’re very smooth so keep your speed and feel confident doing so
  • Jacksonville road is very smooth and fast, small rolling hills, peaceful back road
  • First rolling hills of any significance occur around mile 20
  • Lots of headwind and crosswind on the entire course, beginning around mile 25 on Jacksonville, nowhere to hide
  • Around mile 26, there are a few MASSIVE potholes on a descent, be careful
  • Stay in aero for this first big descent around mile 26, shortly after potholes
  • First climb at mile 28 is only about 1.1 mile long, 600 feet of climb, up to 15% incline but only for a very short duration. Plan for this climb ahead of time, it’s quick
  • After the climb, HUGE downhill with tons of time to coast into stop sign before turning onto Nittany Valley
  • Halfway point of total elevation occurs at mile 33. Final 23 miles has same amount of elevation as the first 33 miles. Know this ahead of time!
  • A lot of wind on Nittany Valley Drive, very smooth road, big stretch of aero


  • Here comes the big climb…
  • 2.8 miles, about 900 feet of elevation
  • ½ mile into this climb requires a very unsafe left-hand turn while ascending the hill. It appears this turn will be closed to local traffic only, so hopefully will not need to pause your climb
  • The 3 mile climb is hardest during the first 1.5 miles
  • The climb hits 10% for a short duration, but averages about 7%
  • The 4% and 5% sections feel like a break at times!
  • Overall this climb is not terrible. Some people will underestimate this climb, or perhaps over-bike up to this point. Would not be surprised if you see some walkers out there.
  • Prepare for this hill and plan for between 15-22ish minutes of work
  • My average power output was 249 watts over 19 minutes of climbing the big hill at mile 40
  • Big descent following the 3 mile climb is not unreasonable to hold 25mph. You likely need to ride the brakes for the full mile. Very easy to stay under 25mph.
  • The turn at the bottom of the descent is NOT an issue. The turn itself is tight, but you have plenty of time to coast into the turn if you’re staying under 25mph
  • STAY UNDER 25mph – this will be clearly marked on the course
  • Church is windy, but FAST! Make the turn after the big downhill, and take off
  • Slow down turning onto Linden
  • Lots of aero into T2
  • University Drive is a SNEAKY hill! Don’t underestimate it!
  • Anticipated high energy coming into T2
  • T2 is a huge asphalt parking lot, very simple in design!
  • Run course will be great for spectators
  • Small, weird turnarounds for the run course, but it will be condensed and high energy with spectators on campus
  • Minimal elevation on the run course
  • Make sure you PREPARE your transition areas and all THREE bags!
  • Red, White, and Blue bags for preparation


  • Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at hillpursuit@gmail.com with any questions!
  • Have a GREAT race! See you out there!
  • WE ARE!!

EPISODE 76: Happy Valley 70.3 Race Preview

– Check out the latest blog post for FULL notes on this EPISODE!! Blog – Hill Pursuit – hillpursuit.com

– Check out our COACHING, WEBSITE, STORE and YOUTUBE here!! https://linktr.ee/hillpursuit

– Contact us on Facebook and Instagram @hillpursuit, and email at hillpursuit@gmail.com

– Read the Athlete Guide!

– Bike cutoff is 6 hours, not 5.5 hours

– I do NOT know the water temperature!

– The course is fast up to the first climb around mile 28

– First big climb is short, but steep

– The big climb is almost 3 miles long, 900 feet of elevation, and nearly 20 minutes of effort

– Calibrate your effort throughout this course and PREPARE for the big climbs!

– University Drive is a sneaky little hill! Don’t underestimate it

– FULL NOTES on this course are in the latest blog, go check it out! Blog – Hill Pursuit – hillpursuit.com

– Check out our COACHING, WEBSITE, STORE and YOUTUBE here!! https://linktr.ee/hillpursuit

– Contact us on Facebook and Instagram @hillpursuit, and email at hillpursuit@gmail.com

Episode 75: Simmulating Race Experiences in Training

– PSU Happy Valley 70.3 recon episode will be out VERY SOON!!

– Happy 30th birthday Ken!

– Mitch has to slum it with the regulars at his local gym

– Don’t play the comparison game, know your source!

– HELP people when you can

– Ken discusses his Ironman training

– Should we have guest speakers come on the show?

– Mitch discusses long duration hunt programming

– How can we simulate race experiences in training?

– Riding hills…running hills…open water swimming, etc.

– We aint swimming with sharks

– Minor injury setbacks but we’re still ripping

– Contact us on Facebook and Instagram @hillpursuit, and email at hillpursuit@gmail.com

– Check out our STORE, COACHING, WEBSITE, and YOUTUBE here!! https://linktr.ee/hillpursuit