Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Ironman California 70.3 Spectator Report

Trish took this photo of me. I love it. I look like I'm back in my 30s. (OK, so I'm only 40 now, but when YOU hit 40 you'll understand.) I just think that I have some kind of cool "I-sold-out-to-the-man-but-I'm-still-a-hippie-slacker-photo-artist" kinda vibe going on.

This weekend a bunch of people from my Tri Team did the Cali Half-Ironman. I was registered for the race, but then realized "hey, this race is gonna be hard" and decided not to do it. Smart decision. No regrets. However, I DID pay for the stupid thing, so I drove down Friday Night and picked up my race packet. I wanted to make sure I had the wristband to get access to the Transition Area. I admit I did feel like a bit of a poser with all of the volunteers wishing me "good luck" while I was hiding my dirty secret, but so be it.

Turns out I didn't need the wristband because Trish, Annie and I scored Media Credentials. Which meant we had full access to the Transition area and the race course. Which is even better than being an actual racer; I could hang out in the Pro Transition area all I wanted and nobody cared. VIP treatment is the way to go.

Friday night I shared a hotel room with Steve. It was mostly uneventful, aside from listening to the people upstairs run laps all night long. I mean, seriously, the room is only 10 feet wide; what were they POSSIBLY doing up there that they had to be tramping back and forth the entire time?

Race morning was cold. Oh, so very cold. The entire time I just kept thinking "I can't even comprehend jumping in the ocean for a race". I can never remember why we do this stupid sport. I did run into Iron Monica while she was waiting for the swim start, so that was pretty cool. I tried convincing her that since the water was warmer than the air everyone will warm up once the race started. Of course thermodynamics is a little more complicated than that, and doesn't take into account that they have to get OUT of the water to ride their bike, dripping wet, in the wind. Details.

The 3 of us on the media crew struggled to keep track of where everyone was along the course - Robert and Michael and Ben and Steve and Dan and Mac and Teresa and Monica - it made my head hurt. The Cali Half isn't particularly spectator-friendly in terms of seeing people in multiple locations along the course, so we mostly just stayed in Transition. Which was still pretty cool because we saw most of our people and got to watch the pros coming in and out of Transition. Note to self: If you want to catch Michael Lovato heading out for the run, you can't decide "hmmm, I think I'll go over and watch his transition." By the time you've seen him, he's already gone.

Our team had a few struggles along the way but had high spirits all around and it was a good day. They all rock.

More to come.


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