On race day, August 29, 2010, I woke upat 3 o’clock AM. The reason I got up so early was too afford myself the time to follow my usual, daily routine. I know it may seem silly to some, but for me having the time to wake up, eat breakfast, shower and basically just give myself the time to get in gear is imperative.Also, since the transition area opened at 5:30 AM, I wanted plenty of time to get there, park and get to my bike.
As it turned out, we were allowed into transition a few minutes early. I headed straight to my bike to fill my Speedfil (filled with 3 hours worth of my custom blend from Infinit Nutrition ) and to top off my tires. I had done pretty much everything I needed to the day before, so I was all prepared and headed with the a boat-load of other people on the 3/4 mile walk to the swim start. As I walked, there were people literally hauling ass by me to get a decent place in the line to start. The reason for this (and a HUGE complaint for me) is that the line for the swim start had ABSOLUTELY NO RHYME OR REASON. It was entirely first come, first serve. I will go into this more in my review of the parts of the race that I experienced later, but as you can guess, I think the way it starts is crap.
I, like many others, had someone holding a place in line for me. While I imagine that had I not been fortunate enough to have this, I would have been furious at those who did. However there was/is no rule against it and that opportunity presented itself, so I took it. I was placed very close to the front of the line and knew I’d be in the water quickly once the cannon sounded.
As time drew nearer, volunteers were gathering morning clothes bags about 45 minutes before the actual start. This was a problem for many (including me) because it left us standing there, with no water, clothes or anything else we may want for 45 minutes (again, I’ll go into this more in my review later). I did run to the bathroom at one point, which meant going quite a way from where I was standing (many thanks to my line buddy for holding my spot). This was sort of easy, though the bathrooms were situated right beside the line for going in the water so it looked like some sort of spandex-clad M.C. Escher drawing.
I picked my way back to my spot in line, past a throng of not-so-pleased athletes, and waited. The professional start was right at 6:50 AM and we were to go off ten minutes later. In that ten minutes, a very talented trumpeter played the Star-Spangled Banner as well as . Then things began to get energized.
When the cannon went off, the lines we were in moved super fast. I put on my cap and goggles and watched my fellow competitors jumping off two separate docks. Swimmers were going in two at a time off each dock basically one on top of the other. It was actually quite dangerous looking and you really had to be careful not to jump on the swimmer in front of you.