Review: 2012 Hillsboro July 4 Biathlon

Hot enough for you?


Wednesday, July 4, 2012, 8:00 AM


70 Courthouse Square Hillsboro, IL 62049

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Official: 5 mile run / 20 mile bike
Measured (my GPS): 5.00 run / 19.88 mile bike

There was also a 5 mile road race (run concurrently with the biathlon run leg).

Transition area

Transition area

Put on by

RaceMaker Productions (Disclaimer: RaceMaker Productions is a sponsor of the St. Louis Triathlon Club, of which I am a member).


$45 individual, $60 team

USAT Sanctioned



Cotton/poly commemorative t-shirt.

It’s all on the event website, dude

Race Day Weather

Race time was 8 AM

Race time was 8 AM



Tip: Just to state the obvious, if you are looking at predicted temperatures, don’t just look at  the start time. A sprint event takes up to a couple of hours for us newbies. So by the time I finished the heat index was approaching 92.


Several parking lots in the vicinity of the courthouse.

About the Race

This is the 24th year for this local race. There were 60 individuals and 18 teams.

The Run

The road run was a straight north and start out and back route. The route was very flat with the exception of a “saddle” at the start/finish, which descended about 70 feet over half a mile and then climbed back up 70 feet in the next half mile. The first block is cobblestone but the footing was not troublesome.

There were aid stations at the 2 and 4 mile marks. The water was in the Heed cups and the Heed was in the water cups. Which was interesting since I was pouring the contents on my head. Heed appears to adequately provide the functionality of being wet in this case.

This was a very hot day and there wasn’t a great deal of shade away from town, but one of the advantages of a north/south route is that any trees on the east side of the road provide shade both on the inbound and outbound legs.


The finish to the run is through the chute (after passing over the cobblestones again). The entry intro into the transition area is actually 3/4 of the way around the courthouse. There was a very welcome cooling hose partway around the circle.

Beach towel with alien on it.

Stitch sorta failed me this time.

Yes that is a tiny little loop I did in the transition area. I was there early so I was set up on the end of the rack. I had laid out two extra water bottles just in case, and wondered who the rude person was who had taken them, at which point I realized I was one rack to the left of where I needed to be. You’d think I would be getting better at finding my rack by this point, I mean, I have a white with blue and green bike and a transition towel with “Stitch” on it; how hard can this be?

The Cycling

The cycling leg was an extension of the running leg, and so other than the saddle at the beginning, it was flat throughout. I found myself about 1 mph slower than I was expecting under these conditions, and I think this may be due to how beastly hot it was (at least, relative to my recent experience).

One again, I was wearing arm coolers. For the run, I decided to wear them rolled up around my wrists and they didn’t bother me at all.

Newbie Lessons Learned

  • I signed up for this race specifically because of the forecast for hot weather; I wanted to experiment with a hot weather race. This was the first time I ran a race or race segment carrying hydration, I used the FuelBelt 2 Bottle Custom Fit Revenge. This worked out very well. I liked not being reliant on the aid stations, and I used the water at the water stations to pour on my hat and neck. On the bike I carried two large electrolyte bottles, which is what I seem to be doing normally in the summer, anyway.
  • I was happy that I maintained a good pace for the first three miles of the run as three miles is really about what I had been training for. One phenomenon I have noticed is that, for these races in Illinois, I need to get up at about 4:30, and I was literally sleepy during the run. I either need to come over the night before, or get to bed much earlier the night before.
  • Overall I was pleased with how the hot weather race experiment turned out. Historically I have preferred hot weather to cold, and I have been acclimating myself during training, but it was nice to get out there and have the confidence builder that I could do a race in warmer weather and not do anything to endanger myself. From that point I can build.

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