Sunday, July 10, 2011
Chattanooga Olympic Triathlon part one...
Done and done! Chattanooga is only a 2-hour drive from Atlanta so my friend, Wendy, and I headed up Saturday afternoon to pick up our race packets and check out the course. If you have never been to Chattanooga, they have really revitalized the downtown area over the past several years. This would be a nice race to go to if you had kids as there is an aquarium, IMX theater and plenty to do in the general area. We picked up our numbers and looked around a bit before heading out for a drive.
The swim exit is at the bottom of those stairs by that truck. Wendy is recreating the run up the stairs. You can't tell from the picture but there was concrete stadium type seating there which made it great for spectators.
It was sooooo hot. I am pretty sure even this little pup was sweating.
Just in case we didn't get a good finish photo, we thought we would take care of that a day early.
Imagine these filled with 1400 or so bikes.
The bike start was right in from the Tennessee Aquarium (the building in the background)
After we checked into our hotel (which was less than a block from the start - SCORE!), we drove the bike course then headed out to seek out the swim start. Reviews of bike courses are always tough because it kind of depends on where you are from as to whether or not you would describe something as hilly. Almost everything I train on around here has hills so ... To me this had some significant long slow climbs but nothing overly difficult. The bonus is that with those long slow climbs were some nice fast downhills! I would highly recommend driving the course if you can before any race. (Riding it would be even better but not always possible). The course I had visualized in my head was so much scarier than the reality. It really helped to see that the day before the race so I could stop worrying about that leg. A quick stop at the swim and run courses and we were ready to eat!
We went to a cool little restaurant called Genghis Grill. It reminded me a lot of a Mongolian BBQ restaurant I used to go to as a kid. My Dad would have loved this place. Imagine a salad bar that has an assortment of raw meat on it (chicken, beef, sausage, shrimp, scallops, fish). Basically you fill up a stainless steel bowl with whatever meat you want, top it with veggies (think stir fry) and sauce of your choice. You take the bowl over to the grill and they stir fry it for you and serve it along with your choice of rice, noodles or a couple of of other things. Hit the spot.
The night ended up with race tattoo applications and numbering up the bikes, caps and other assorted items. Being my first olympic triathlon, maybe this is the norm. In our race packets, we were issued race tattoos and a sheet of personalized stickers. The race tattoos were to be applied the night before the race and take the place of body marking.
Wendy has a bright future in the application of race tattoos...
Not that is entirely goof-proof. We screwed one up and had to make our own. Wendy also has a bright future in body marking.
Once the tattoos were in place, we tackled the stickers. There were quite the assortment of stickers to apply: two for the bike, one for the bike helmet, one wristband, one "in case of emergency contact" (not sure where that was supposed to go), two stickers to be applied either to your running shirt or race belt, one with your age on it to be applied to your left shoulderblade, two for the swim cap and finally one that you would give to your specatator in case they wanted help remembering your number. WOW. I thought the stickers and tattoos were very cool but were a little intimidating since there were so many.
Stickers are applied, race day must-haves are gathered up and I think we are ready to go to sleep! Part 2 to come... :)