As I mentioned in my last post, I can see why people generally split their race reports into sections. I feel like I could write a short novel on the race last weekend. Be thankful I am breaking it up for you...
Augusta is a short 2 hour drive from Atlanta. My initial plan was to be at the expo when it opened at 11:00 AM which would mean leaving my house at 9:00 AM. Clearer minds prevailed and I decided to sleep in a bit instead. I ended up arriving at the expo around 12:30 which worked out great. The line for registration was out of control. It went down a couple of hallways and around a corner or two. The first stop in the registration process was signing the waivers. You know, in case things didn’t go as planned … It took a minute or two for the volunteers to go through their speech about the waivers which is what contributed to the line.
After the waiver was signed, I basically breezed through the other registration tables. Picked up my packet with numbers in it got my t-shirt and SWAG bag and I was done. The process at the end reminded me so much of Disney in that you have to walk through the merchandise tent to exit and get to the rest of the expo. I ended up going with a t-shirt that had everyone’s name in the logo and a couple of water bottles. I also was planning ahead and purchased a cowbell for CR when we go to Beach2Battleship next month. It will give him something to do while he is waiting, waiting and waiting for all those hours. (Spectators definitely deserve their own medal, BTW…). I took a chance and opted not to attend the pre-race briefing. I will probably attend the one at B2B but I was pressed for time and the friends I was meeting had attended so I figured I could get any pearls of wisdom over dinner. The expo was surprisingly small, there were maybe 4- 5 small vendor tables and not a whole lot of interest so I headed out and went to bike drop off.
As I was pulling up to the transition area to drop my bike, I ran into my friend Jan which really was a miracle given all the people who were there. We unloaded our bikes and made the short walk to transition to drop off our bikes. The temperature reminded me a lot of my Chattanooga race at that point and I was hoping it would not be quite that hot the following day. As we were walking back to our cars, Jan and I ran into another friend of ours who was dropping off her bike.
Jan and I said our goodbyes and I headed to the hotel to check in. I had stayed at this hotel once before when my tennis team went to the state championships. One of my friends on the team had made the reservation and we gave her such crap about the hotel all weekend. The hotel wasn’t horrible, it was just an older hotel. When my friend, Wendy, and I were making reservations we decided to go with this hotel because it was cheap and it was within 1.5 miles of the finish line. I got into my room and opened the door to a wave of smoke. UGH. I know I had reserved a non-smoking room so wasn’t thrilled but knew there were no other rooms and not a lot that could be done. Smoke can give me a headache big time so I bought a can of febreze and hoped for the best. We were meeting friends for dinner at their home at 4:00 so I febreze bombed the room, shut the door and left.
A few of our friends were staying in a home in Augusta. It was built in the 1920s and had been refurbished. It was absolutely beautiful. The home owner along with Jan’s husband, Scott, pulled together a fantastic pre-race dinner for us. We had delicious pasta, salads, bread and red velvet cake. It was so much better than trying to find a place in town.
As we pulled back into the hotel, Wendy mentioned that she and her husband, Todd, were thinking that it might be a good idea to go drop the cars by the finish line that night and take a taxi back to the hotel. That would keep us from having to worry about parking and we could take the hotel shuttle to transition in the morning. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. Going into the race, I can honestly say I was not nervous about the race itself. The things that I was nervous were the logistics such as finding a place to park to drop off the bike, where to park in the morning, getting to transition and those sorts of things. This plan solved a lot of that worry. Cars tucked away in primo spots, our cocktail drinking/texting while driving taxi driver dropped us off at our hotel and we were done for the night.
I spent the next hour or so getting my gear organized while this show “Lockup” was playing in the background. The show was taped at a county jail in Tampa. One of the inmates was talking about her interests. “Some people like baseball or football. I like serial killers. They have this air of confidence that I like.” ….and we can all be thankful that she is in jail. With that, I called it a night.