One of my New Year’s Goals was to volunteer more at races that I was not doing. I haven’t been stellar at getting this done but I’ve done it a few times. And hey, I’ve still got 4+ months to still get some volunteering in right?
My husband signed up to do the Tri Indy Olympic Distance Triathlon and since I seem to be “one & done” when it comes to triathlons, this seemed like a good thing to help out with. The one problem, its difficult for me to volunteer ON race day because I want to be there to cheer on my husband. So I signed up to work packet pickup the night before.
On Saturday, (08-03-2013) I headed downtown to the NCAA Hall of Champions to work my 3 hour shift.
The girls that worked the table prior were from a local high school cross country team and sadly, their “instructions” weren’t the best. And then of course seated next to me was a very annoying older man. UGH. I was working the Duathlon and Team Triathlon bib section. Team bib distribution was a little confusing a first but it was all good. Those 3 hours certainly had ebbs & flows; I preferred it when it was busy so that the time passed a little faster. But I did get to see this:
Umm…okay. I mean I am a big time dog lover but I thought this was a little extreme. The only other “eventful” thing that happened was in the parking garage trying to get out. They gave us passes but mine wasn’t working. So I called the number on the stand and was told they’d send someone out. Well after 10 minutes (luckily there were two exit gates and it wasn’t busy) I called back to ask 1) was there more than one entrance/exit because maybe I needed to tell them specifically that I was on the south side and 2) was it going to take awhile? Of course this was just a answering service – but with a LIVE person thankfully – and she said that they just take the message and radio campus security. And that they had been really busy this evening. Wouldn’t you think to tell me that when I called the first time? CUSTOMER SERVICE! Give me the heads up that its busy, maybe I should pull away from the gate just in case; whatever. Luckily, I had my flashers on and some other “form” of security pulled up and swiped his card and I got out. A little frustrating but more from the poor communication standpoint than anything else.
Sunday morning (08-04-2013) the alarm went off at 4:30AM. My husband wanted to leave the house at 5:30 and I wanted to take a shower and the dogs would need a little food before we left so better get up earlier than maybe really needed.
I wore the shirt I had made when he did his Ironman Triathlon down in Louisville in 2008.
Parking was a breeze at the IMAX/State Museum and that took us right out on to the canal. And it was only $5 for the day!
Walked with him to set everything up in his bike rack area and the walked to the JW Marriott to use the bathroom. By the time we got back, the pre-race announcements had already started but he’s done enough of these that it didn’t matter. He just wasn’t really into this event yet but felt like once it started, he get more motivated.
The great thing about swimming in the canal (which is probably the only good thing actually) is that if you aren’t a strong swimmer, you can totally just stand up and take a break. Heck, you could technically WALK the swim if you wanted to! We joked about him waving to me as he swam since I was going to be able to walk the entire route alongside the canal. So obviously we had to take a swimming / waving picture!
Hello! I’m swimming and waving!
See…need a break. Just stand up.
And here was another unusual item…a “construction zone” in the swim route!. That’s definitely a first for me to see.
Also remember, there is NO SWIMMING in the canal!
He got a random cramp just after 1000 meters but was able to work it out. I watched him in the transition and then hustled over to the BIKE OUT area to snap a few pictures. Then I went over to BIKE IN, cheered on the other athletes and waited for him to come in.
When I saw him come back in on the bike (I was just past the DISMOUNT area, he came over and told me that he had almost gotten hit by the tractor portion of a semi trailer. I guess the driver got tired of waiting and pulled out. He said he was literally inches from the truck. A biker passed him and said “Man, I thought you were going down.” We are lucky this had a happy ending and I guess there was a police officer there that saw the whole thing an had a “discussion” with that driver.
As he was in transition, I hustled to the RUN OUT area and got to see him leave for the final leg. I was then going to walk to the car and drop off my jacket & lunch bag. As I was walking out, I happened upon were the course splits and the Olympic Distance participates come back in to make a second loop. Very good to know. I dropped my stuff off and then waited for him to come in before the last loop. After I saw him make the turn, I then went to the finish line area. I was in the perfect spot to see him run east crossing the bridge north of the finish line and then was able to move to a position beyond the finish line to get THAT photo.
Yeah! He heard me yell his name.
This is such a super fan friendly course and our downtown area and the canal are really nice. Here are some shots of the murals that have been painted along the canal.
It was a good day for this event, although my freak husband prefers it when the weather is HOT. We saw a couple of friends there too. SO proud of him and I love being his cheerleader.