I did Tyler last year. I live close so it was a no brainer. I did a race review if you want to check it out.
The swim is the swim. The water was perfect I thought . The real good thing about the swim is that it is from the damn and if you have family or friends watching they can watch the whole thing.
It has a lot of hills about 3k gain over the 56 miles. I train on about that same gain so it was not that bad for me. If you are coming from flat ground it might be pretty tough. (I have never road around Denton to know) There are two big boys. The worst one to me is the first one locals call it "thrill hill" some call it "hell hill" all I can tell you is it was not a "thrill" to me. On the flip side you have a nice slow down hill for about 2-2.5 miles to recover. Then comes "water tower hill" not as long of a hill but more aggressive. Then its rollers the rest of the way. It was run nice I thought to be a small venue( I don't remember maybe about 100-120 racers). Good water hand ups and plenty of them.
The run had some pretty good hills to. Somewhere around mile 3 out the EMS guy was waiting on his bike there on a big hill (down going out up coming back). I thanked him for coming out and made a joke about this being where all the action was going to be. THAT WAS NOT FUNNY ON MY WAY BACK. It was all I had to make it to the top of that hill. It was the last big one of the run. I was a runner for years before I began triathlon and this run is no joke even without the added swim and bike. It is shaded most of the way and not much traffic. The aid stations where good and a few spectators to push you along. Nice long straight away at the end to help with that last half mile or so and if you are a competitive person you can see who you need to catch.
I liked the race and probably will do it again this year. They did change the time of the race witch is one of my hold offs. It was in Oct last year they moved it to may. It will most likely be hotter and not sure what water temp will be but could be non wet suit swim. That changes this race a lot if it is hot.
Thats all I can think of right know if I think of something else I will post it.
I've never done Tyler. I did the Olympic in Corpus last year. The half distance is new this year. High Five Events ALWAYS puts on a great race. I did all but one of their races last season.
Corpus was windy, windy, windy and pretty darn flat, especially compared to Austin. Swim was cancelled both days due to high winds. I'm pretty sure they changed the swim area this year to a more protected area. Bike course was shortened due to a big traffic light pole blowing down and blocking the last couple miles of the course before the turn around. I did a race report.