racer number 547,
please report to your bike!
Don't make a mistake by being in a hurry!
In one of my past articles, I wrote about
being a race volunteer. I just finished being a volunteer at a race in
which I have not missed racing or being a volunteer in for the last four
years. This year, as always, I had a great experience being a volunteer, but
used the time to educate myself on anything that could allow me to have a
better race or pass something on to the readers at BT.
Well, let me start with packet pickup!
Donít forget to bring a picture I.D. and your
U.S.A.T. membership card. I saw countless people stand in line for a while
then get to the front of the line only to be told that they needed their
picture I.D. and U.S.A.T. card. Needless to say, these are simple things,
but they caused the registration process to be lengthier than it should have
Race day check in!
Usually, as you make your way to set up your
transition area, there will be officials checking to make sure you have your
helmet and that your handle bar ends are plugged correctly. If you donít
have an approved helmet you will not be able to race. This is a rule that is
taken seriously and donít think that you will get any sympathy if you show
up with a helmet that is not approved or is in unsafe condition. Now your
next question is why is it such a bid deal to have your bar ends plugged?
This is just a safety issue and you should make sure that you donít have a
problem with this. Putting tape over bar ends will not suffice in most, if
not all cases. How does this happen? Well, many times it is that we have
swapped out handlebars and we forgot to put the plugs back in or one could
have just worked its way loose. Whatever the case, check on this small item
so it want cause you a new problem.
On to the swim!
Donít assume that the person you are swimming
behind is on course. It happens nearly every race. Someone is drafting off
of another swimmer and that person goes off course followed closely by their
new found drafting buddy. The shortest distance between point A and B is
usually a straight line. If you follow someone off the course, you have just
automatically lengthened the course for yourself. Remember to site about
every ten strokes and this should help keep you from getting to far off
On to the bike!
Chances are, when you come out of the water
you are going to be a little wobbly. This, for some racers, can last up to
several miles into the bike course. When you get to the bike mounting area,
make sure that you take your time getting on the bike. There is nothing more
embarrassing than getting on the bike and just falling over as you clip in -
especially if this is your first tri. Slow down and take your time. Picking
up a new patch of asphalt rash getting on your bike is no way to start the
bike leg. Pay attention on the bike course. Although any defects in the
course are usually marked, stay alert for any changing conditions. Any lapse
in concentration can result in a new patch of road rash.
Last, but not least, the good old run!
I had to stop and laugh as a competitor left
the transition area in an almost an all-out sprint. You have made it to the
final leg of the race by being somewhat smart with your race plan. Donít
lose control of your ability to think by trying sprint the entire run. I
know that sometimes we have less oxygen going to our brain by the time we
get to the run, but try to have enough in reserve to at least not blow your
entire race in the first half mile of the run.
Most of the mistakes that I observed were from people just being in too big
of a hurry or just plain not thinking about what was going on. Have I made
some of these mistakes before? Sure! I walked away thankful that I was
reminded about some of the small things that we donít think about until we
see them at the race. Maybe this article will remind you to take care of -
or rethink your race before race day and you wonít hear ďWill number 547
report to your bike?Ē
We fail to see that we can control our own destiny; make ourselves do
whatever is possible; make ourselves become whatever we long to be. - Orison
"All of us get knocked down, but it's
resiliency that really matters. All of us do well when things are going
well, but the thing that distinguishes athletes is the ability to do well in
times of great stress, urgency and pressure." ---Roger Staubach
When Big Boys Tri 2004