Escape The Cape Triathlon

Escape the Cape will be a Sonic Endurance Focus Race in 2024.  We have lots of team members and one-on-one athletes signed up to race and would love to see you there as well too!  

Growing up as a Lifeguard at the Jersey Shore beaches, I always have my eye on the events happening in all the shore town each summer. 10 years ago a triathlon caught my eye, one where you jump off the Cape May Ferry Boat and swim to the shore. I participated in it’s inaugural event, as well as year 2, and both times swore I would never do that again, and not because of the big jump! Delmo Sports races are notorious for a soft sand and Escape the Cape does not disappoint when it comes to getting sandy.

Photo: Escape the Cape

Pre Race

Escape the Cape is like no other race, because it takes place at a port, extra security measures are required. There is mandatory bike check-in the day before the race, which can be time consuming because most athletes like myself are staying in other shore towns because Cape May accommodations are much more limited, and it is literally at the very bottom of the state of New Jersey. Plan ahead to get your bike down there, and stay for an athlete briefing because the logistics of the boat can add to the race day nerves and the Delmo Sports team does a great job prepping you.

Race morning will be an earlier alarm than most, due to the parking logistics, security line and early departure of the Ferry, no matter what distance you are racing. The parking lot is closed off for the bike course so have a supporter drop you off to get in line for bag check and let them find street parking. I suggest setting up your transition area, grabbing your pre-race snack, wetsuit and goggles and head to the ferry, you will have plenty of time on the boat to suit up and eat. 

On the Boat

The energy on the boat is INSANE, the nerves and excitement of your fellow athletes combined with the DJ and race announcer pumping you up is my favorite part of the experience. You will sing the national anthem before departure, joined by spectators on the shore and as the boat pulls away, you will receive a big send off from your supporters! The Olympic Distance will go off first to the boat will travel out about a mile from the shore. The communication is very clear from the Race Director on conditions, how the boat will be positioned, where and how to jump and where to swim. The swim course is heavily guarded with many different beach patrols and volunteers, and the current is strong so be ready to swim fast! I recommend a wetsuit as the water is always chilly in June, and it helps soften the landing as you hit the water from your big jump.

Photo: Escape the Cape

T1 is a bit of a run to your bike, up the soft sand and to the parking lot, it’s also a big race so make sure you note where your bike is, bike out, run out before you leave transition.

The Bike

The bike course is flat and loopy, taking you through Cape May’s neighborhoods and looping back along the water. If you are doing the Olympic, you will come back for a second loop and merge with the Sprint athlete’s so be cautious, and read the signs as you come through the Ferry area again. I loved getting into aero on this one and just cruising!

The (Very Sandy) Run

T2 leads you right out onto the sand, again, but be sure to look out onto the water to see the Ferry parked, it’s such a cool photo op! The run in Escape the Cape is what everyone usually talks about, other than the fact you jump off a boat to start the race. The run weaves onto the beach and back onto the road, causing you to tun through soft sand, up and down dunes and on wet, hard sand. This race will not have your fastest run split, but I do think it separates people more than other races. The heat and sand really cause you to rely on a little nutrition even in the shorter distance, and calls for a little extra grit to finish it. I do appreciate the fact the Olympic run is 5 miles, and not a double loop…both distances are an out and back, well supported by the locals.

The Finish Line

The finish line of this race is always so energetic and exciting. I can recall few races in my life where in the moment, I REALLY wanted to be done, and this was one of them. After yo make your final turn up the beach towards the finish line, you realize just how cool this experience is. I highly recommend this race to all levels of athletes, because despite the boat and soft sand, Delmo Sports really does put on an inclusive race experience.

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