I picked up my triathlon packet earlier today and immediately crapped my pants. I don’t think I’m as worried about the race itself as much as the setup. The biggest problem is that they, the organizers, seem to be taking this thing kind of seriously. When I pick up my packet for a running race – even one as big as the Gate River Run, which is a huge national race – I tell them who I am and they ask what size shirt I want. When I picked up my packet today I had to show a picture ID and my USA Triathlon card. They put a hospital style wristband on my wrist that will get me into the transition area. The race starts in about 17 hours. I have to wear this thing overnight. I have to have my bike number on my bike before I’m allowed into the transition area. I want to know who’s trying that hard to cheat for the BFAST Sprint Triathlon. I think the winning prize is $500. The guy that wins this thing tomorrow will have ridden a $3,000 bike, so it’s not for the money. I think if I polled 1,000 random people fewer than 20 of those people would know what this event was – even after I told them exactly what it was – so it’s not for the noteriety. The only people that do this are in it for the love of the game. No one is trying to cheat. But I am nervous about getting my bike, and all the stuff that comes along with it, into the right spot without getting disqualified before the race starts. Where do I put my keys? I can’t carry them with me into the ocean, but I don’t want to get shot if I try to hand them to MJ at the wrong time or at the wrong place. If I can get situated and down to the water then I’ll be happy.
The lady that handed me my packet was also different from the packet handlers that I’ve dealt with at other races. If I go to 1st Place Sports it’s either a skinny teenager who’s a bit clueless or a skinny twentysomething who’s not quite as clueless. The River Run is a mishmash of regular people volunteering. They’re efficient but not necessarily racing the next day. The chick that handed me my packet and put my wristband on was in her early 50’s at the youngest, and had a face, hairstyle, and manner of a schoolmarm. Everything below the neck was Jillian Michaels. She was straight up yoked. I felt a little guilty because I could tell that she’d rather be doing some pushups than explaining stuff to some fatass n00b.
My goal is to finish, and I don’t care if it’s DAL. I plan on surviving the swim, resting during the bike ride, and jogging during the run. I want to keep my heart rate under 150. The race starts at 7am and if I had a time goal it would be to finish before 9am. It’s not that I want to go fast; I don’t want to give the sun a chance to get too high. It’s been really hot this week and I don’t want to get stuck running in 90 degree weather.
If I post tomorrow it means I survived, and we’ll be calling that a win.