Holy crap that alarm went off early....although truth be told - I didn't sleep much after we got home at midnight. Tri bag prep (prior posts go into my concern over that) and getting the bike ready and rack on my car...hit the rack around 1 AM - woke up pretty much every half hour concerned I slept through the alarm.
Then when it did finally go off at 5:15, I over used the snooze - assessing "what is the latest I can get up and make it to the race to get set up and ready?" Turns out that was 5:45....
Grab some pre-race chow and head for the race. make it to the site at 6:45 - plenty of time before the race starts - and even more before I have to jump in the pool. Get set up in transition, bike racked, clothes set up, all stickers/numbers affixed properly. Go get my numbers written on me at body marking....this is when it hits me - once again - we're so close to the end of the 40 in 40.
In Triathlon (and apparently in the race on Saturday) they do what is "aging up". If your birthday occurs after the race but during the calendar year of the race, they mark the age you will become (in my case 40) on your right calf. The reason for putting ones age on their leg is twofold....
One - to tell everyone just how old the person who just dusted you on the bike or run is Two - to know if you should chase them - if they fall into your age group (5 year groupings - I am now in 40 -44)
Back to transition - and the guy next to me in the racks informs me my bike is racked incorrectly - to those of you who haven't done a tri - this could result in a penalty of 2 minutes - which in any tri - especially a short one - can make a big difference...not that I'm going to win - but still.
So I explain - no its not and why...net-net - he feels he doesn't have enough space for all his transition stuff...waawaawaa. So I double check the rules - and no I am in fact racked properly. So I leave it.
About 15 minutes later - they announce incorrectly racked bikes and other potential penalties over the PA system "#426 your bike is incorrectly racked"...guess who #426 is...ME.
So - I move it - but as I do a USAT official ( the folks who figure out who is potentially in penalty - and record/report it accordingly) is walking by so I ask him....is my bike incorrectly racked this way? He's like nope - you're good....
OK - I'll catch this little bugger, #425 on the course and make up for him tattling (incorrectly) on me...ya big space hog baby.... :-)
I am somewhat sympathetic as for many this is a first time tri - short course, pool swim early in the season - and while it's my first of the season, and I clearly could have made a mistake - however, just like there's no crying in baseball, there's no tattling in triathlon. I did in fact move my bike to accommodate #425 - not wanting to make his first tri (or one of his first tri's) a bad experience.
Today was like a TNT reunion of sorts....ran into and chatted with Jay Reid TNT Coach and husband of the wonderful Cat Reid - who was a Tahoe teammate from last year (his first tri EVER - as prep for the Austin TX Olympic), Abby Miller - TNT Director, John McLean, TNT Alum and Full IronMan finisher (I haven't done that...don't imagine I could) and Cheryl Reid - also a Tahoe teammate who is doing her first (I believe) TNT Tri in June....
Also saw TheodenJanes, Charlotte Observer blogger and running aficionado who just completed his third marathon in 4+ months last weekend....
All of them - with the exception of Jay - were all out volunteering to help make this a great event. John McLean of course was giving me grief on the run...."come on, get up this hill"...but it helped.
Net - net...
Swim - which was short (250M) was harder than it should have been Bike was fast - due in part to the fact that pieces of the course were familiar due to other training rides and previous tris Run was good - especially given the fact that we did the 5K yesterday...and I pushed a little harder than I expected to.
I passed #425 (mr tattle tale) about mile 5 on the bike - and saw him come in from the run...I was already hanging out drinking water and stretching and chatting with Jay....go re-rack YOUR bike pal.... (sorry - just an irritant)
I also met Patrick (didn't catch his last name - maybe he didn't have one - like Fabian....) who was doing his first ever Tri today and Jennifer - a mother of 3 who was doing her first tri too.....I love meeting folks who are just getting into a sport - their enthusiasm, their nervousness, their energy....and questions - help me feel like - no matter what - if I helped them get through this race - or prep for another one - or give them something else to think about - such as the 40 in 40 and the LLS mission - then - it was a great day. And I know - based on seeing them at the end - they'll be out there again and again.
Official times aren't up yet - but based on the clock - looked like about 1:14...not my best time - not my worst - but #34 is in the books and we're getting closer to home.
Also - #33 - yesterday in Raleigh (also - official results aren't posted) Sheila came in under 27 minutes, Mike around 30 and Denise around 35.
It was a great race - but some technical issues with the start time, the actual start - they counted down out loud versus using a horn or gun...and the course....the first half was fine - but as we looped back we literally ran across the stream of outgoing runners to get back on the road heading to the finish....I mean...we're running - "they're headed right for us" and you'd hate to impede them at all or break up their pace. Come on Raleigh and the race organizers...you had several hundred out there for the 5K - possibly close to a thousand including the half marathon - and this is what you offer? I'll be submitting feedback once official results are posted.
Thanks to everyone out there today with kind words, support and cajoling.
Thanks also to Denise and Mike for training for the 5K and letting me come in ahead of them- and more importantly - organizing and planning the fundraising party where we raised nearly $500.
Thanks also to Mary and Al - for hosting the party and helping to organize and make it happen Thanks as well to Sheila for getting us home as early as possible and making sure I got out there and made #34 happen.
You all ROCK!
Congrats to all finishers today. Will be providing heroes and folks I am doing these races in honor of shortly.
Go TEAM!!! We're over $25K - who gets me to $30K?
Let me know how I can help.
Next up - looks like the Elizabeth 8K - April 17, 2010.