Sunday, July 31, 2011

T2, the smell of wetsuit in the morning, plus bike porn

Calgary 70.3 is a point to point race. T1 is at Ghost Lake, T2 is in North Glenmore Park. That means there are mounds of bags to be taken from place to place. White bags had already been placed in T2 when I got there. Shortly after a bus showed up with clear bags for dry gear. We started putting them in neat rows.

Then a bus with red bags showed up. These are the wet bags. More placing in semi neat rows. The smell of damp wetsuit was strong. Funny, in my 9 triathlons I had never noticed, being too busy trying to get off my bike and get the run started in some semblance of order.

There was lots of people humping bags, while others were helping people find the spot to rack their bike. It went pretty well. This is a fast course with a big net downhill on the bike. The winner was just under 4 hours. There might be a few courses that are more scenic, but not many.

The day started off cool, and ended up cloudless and hot. I didn't hear about anyone with heat stroke, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were a few. As I was riding home after my shift I saw the last runner trudging up the hill toward South Glenmore. She did not look good; I hope she made it.

I saw some buddies racing, Sara Gross was a few seconds behind the first place woman. Pity the race wasn't a few metres longer she might have won. Saw several of the Mercury Rising crew, with them having good, and not so good days. They got this huge, colourful finisher medal. It's bigger than any two of my medals On my ride home I saw Kelly R at one of the aid stations.

Now, I know some of you are reading this only for the pics of bikes. So here we go.

The little lull after the first of the pro's, and before the age groupers. The sky was really that colour.


It's really hard to see the make, but it's a Beyond. I'd never seen one of those.

Someone showing excellent taste in bikes

Another person with excellent taste in bikes, and clearly the other bikes like it as well.

I've read about these Speedfill bottles, but this is the first I've seen of them. I talked to 4 racers about them. Three of them love it totally, though one noted that refilling on the fly can't be done while pedaling. The fourth guy liked it a lot, for this distance. He's not so sure it would work out for the full IM distance. He's thinking he'll have a Profile bottle, and the Speedfill.

Hands down the best paint job in T2.

I wish I'd got a pic of one bike. The bento box is solid sided, a bit lower  but longer than most, and very streamlined. There are separate compartments in it. The saddle "bag" is actually a streamlined hard shell container as well. The bike and these add ons looked very sharp.

I chatted with a guy that is a rep for one of the bike companies, he didn't say which. He was counting bike makes. T2 was littered with Cervelo's of various makes. I didn't count, but there was a good number of Specialized, Trek, Felt, a few Quintana Roo, Argon 18, and a scattering of other brands. Including Orbea. I'm just saying.

All in all it was a pretty fun day. I got a bit of sun on my face in spite of a big hat and sunscreen, so I'm feeling hot and head achey tonight. In some ways I find that standing around, and walking is almost as hard on me as running and biking. I got a chance to chat with people I knew so it's all good.

I did this race two years ago, at the first one. That sold out, and I don't think this one did. There seemed to be a lot more spectator support for that one. Maybe it was too early for some people, since the first wave started at 6:10 am. Considering the logistics involved, that must have meant an awfully early start for body marking. I felt sorry for the people waiting for a bus; that was a lot of a gong show. The first bus showed up a couple hours late, and the driver had no idea where he was taking people. It couldn't have been fun trying to get all those people, bags, and bikes loaded into a school bus.

Several people I volunteered with are going out to volunteer at IMC. Not for the early signup, just to volunteer. That would be a dangerous thing. I've been feeling a bit itchy about wanting to race again, but I'm enjoying not being locked into a regimented training plan. Hmmm, now where is my glass of wine?

5 comments:

  1. At a local tri, my favorite bike was one from the city's rent-a-bike program, where you put coins in the machine and it lets you borrow a bike for the day. I noticed that there was no correlation between bike expense and finishing place; there's a lot of people who spend more than I earn on their bikes, who really should try training rather than hoping a bike sheds a few seconds.

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  2. Keith:

    Thanks so much for volunteering. I wish I could have caught up with you yesterday. Had a great race. Indeed it ended up being a bit hot, but happy with my results. Let me know what you are planning to do race-wise. Sounds like, from your blog, you are taking it a bit easy?

    David

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  3. Did you volunteer Keith? That is pretty cool if you did! Some of the best volunteers are athletes. I know Susi was the freaking best when she volunteered AND was my race support. :) :)

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  4. I am thinking about this race for next year as well...

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  5. Looks like it was a great day- nicer than last year for sure! I really enjoyed volunteering- wish I thought about it this year! Love the bike pics!

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