This past weekend I was planning on racing the Rev 3 Olympic on Saturday and then volunteering at the Rev 3 Half on Sunday. When I woke up at 4 a.m. on Saturday it was cold, windy and pouring. I decided that I would much rather sleep than try to ride a technical bike course in the rain, so I went back to bad. I did feel some regret at not racing, but I felt much better Saturday afternoon after getting in a really solid brick workout. It may not have been a race but I was able to go a lot faster than I thought.
While Saturday was a miserable day for racing, Sunday was absolutely perfect. Shaun I were up at 4 a.m. and got to Quassy around 5 a.m. to work transition. Shaun got to work helping people and I socialized. While Rudy was showing me his fantastic pink and purple bike setup including a neon pink Project Rudy Wingspan TT helmet, Anglea Naeth came over asking if she could borrow the sticker in Rudy's helmet. Rudy did her one better and offered her a spare Project Rudy Wingspan that he had in his car. Pretty cool. While Shaun carried on being useful in transition, I found Charlie Abrahams and helped him spot QT2ers, as he was trying to get some good pre-race pictures.
Once the race began, Shaun took a spot as a flag man waving in swimmers and I set up near the swim out to try to get some good pictures (the volunteer shirt works wonders in getting access to prime photo taking locations). I love spectating at events and I was super excited to be able to get some
really nice pictures.
As everyone cleared out of T1 Shaun got ready to act as a bike lead for the third place male (it ended up being Joe Gambles for the entire race) and I found a nice spot to try to get some good shots of the bikers coming back into T2. Shaun thought he would be taking a leisurely 13 mile bike ride. Little did he know that the leaders would hold mid- 5 min/mile pace over a super hilly run course. Shaun actually got dropped twice as the tight lead pack of runners charged up some of the steeper sections of the course.
While Shaun was leading Joe Gambles around the run course, I took my position as a run course marshal for the final turn before the finish line. I was amazed at how disorganized everything was at the turn. Rev 3 had allocated one volunteer to control a section that involved a turn, two way traffic and lots of spectators trying to cross the course. I recruited several spectators to help me control the out going traffic and the pedestrian crossing while I directed finishers into the chute.
I came to realize that all the cattle fencing that the WTC uses at its race actually serves a really important purpose -- keeping people on the course who should be on the course and keeping people who shouldn't be on the course off of the course. While run marshaling I spent the better part of 4 hours yelling, "left hand turn into the chute" and trying to prevent clueless pedestrians from getting run down by triathletes charging downhill into the finish.
In addition to getting some fantastic photographs, hanging out at Rev 3 all day helped to remind me how much I love this sport. As aside I have no idea why more people don't watch long course triathlons -- you had both the top three men and top three women finish within a minute of each other -- yet millions of people are obessessed with soccer (to quote a little Dan Rydell "We'll bring you the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat, and because we've got soccer highlights, the sheer pointlessness of a zero-zero tie. You're watching Sports Night on CSC, so stick around.").
I get really excited when I watch races and it makes me want to get out there and compete. There is such a sense of accomplishment in the air, its almost contageous. For the first time in a long time, I'm looking forward to racing and to seeing how fast I can make myself go.