Monday, August 8, 2011

Steelman Triathlon: spectating report

I know, I know.  Spectating report!  But Katie, I thought you had finally decided to race?
Saturday morning I did a quick shake-out swim and then packed my bags for PA.  I made Beth go through the checklist with me to make sure we both had everything.  We decided last-minute to pack one more puppy than was on our list and headed north.
By the time we got to PA, it was dark and stormy and we were all exhausted.  We had dinner with my family and were all in bed by 8:30pm.  I woke up several times in the night and noted that it was pouring...
I was not a happy camper when my alarm went off at 4:20am.  We got dressed in our awesome new CAR tri kits and headed out, but it was hot and damp and I remembered that I hadn't yet paid for my registration.  I started to talk myself out of it and then called the poet (at 5am!  hi honey!) and he did the rest.  Essentially, I hadn't really wanted to spend the money on the race and there's no way I wanted to pay that much to be miserable in the rain for 2 hours.  A wet bike course + a sprint = possibility of shaky cyclists crashing.  
When we got to the race site, I headed over to packet pickup with Beth and discovered that no one had received my registration anyway, which sealed the deal.  I would be spectator extraordinaire and do a run of my own in the parking lot while everyone was on the bike.  I snuck into the swim corral and hung out with my friends as their waves started.
Once everyone was in the water, I parked it at the swim exit and got some action shots.


You probably noticed that 3 of them have their eyes closed.  I know, I'm a professional photographer.  I chased Beth down to let her know how many AGers got out of the water ahead of her and then headed back to the car to change into running shorts and have a snack.  I decided I had time to run about 4-5 miles before anyone started getting off the bike.  So that's what I did.  It was only 294 laps of the parking lot to a mile.
I ended up over at the run start, but then decided to run back over to the bottom of the bike hill to try and get some action shots.  I headed over there, but as I started checking out the legs of racers, I realized that I might have crossed paths with my girls in transition.  So I ran back over to the run start and managed to get a very dim and far away back shot of someone.  Then I tried to head to the finish, but I had to run to the other side of the parking lot to cross the street because of the bike course, and by the time I got back I had just missed Beth's finish.  We hung out and waited for the tall girl to finish, then went back to the car so Beth could change her clothes and we could jog an extra half mile around the parking lot back to the finish line to wait for Amy and Liz, who were doing the olympic version of the triathlon.  We didn't have a very long wait.
Once they finished, we checked the unofficial results and discovered that Beth had been rude enough to place in her age group.  After finding out that the awards were starting "in 10 minutes," we packed the car and made brunch plans.  
It was starting to get pretty hot, and the awards ceremony didn't start until an hour and fifteen minutes after the first time we heard it was starting "in 10 minutes."  Instead of starting with real awards, there was some business with hula hoops and singing happy birthday to volunteers.  Beth was not amused.
Beth got her award and we got lost high-tailed it out of the park.  Because of how late it was and how many miles south of brunch we were (11), we decided to just pick up Graham and head back to DC.  I'm really glad that I made the decision that I did as I had a great time spectating.  Make sure you check out all of their race reports because they all had pretty kickass races!

20 comments:

  1. Spectating - good call. It's fun to watch everyone else sometimes!

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  2. Beth and her placing in events...it seems to be her "thing"

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  3. "Everything happens for a reason..." Or so they say. Good job spectator extraordinaire!!!

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  4. such awesome action photos! i enjoyed your spectating report...sometimes watching can be so inspiring, motivating and exciting! love it! congrats to your friend on her place!

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  5. Sometimes I think spectating is way more fun than racing. Is that bad? It definitely makes me motivated to sign up for races! Also, when are you doing a tri relay with Molly & Graham?

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  6. That's some real motivation you have to be running all those loops around a parking lot. It sounds like the rest of the team really loved having you cheer for them. Sorry they didn't have you as registered, but it sounds like you still had an awesome day.

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  7. yay for awesome spectators! heh, tators. hm. i must be hungry.

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  8. I'm sure everyone loved you out there cheering for them :)

    watching a race can sometimes be harder than racing it I think.

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  9. Glad you had fun spectating. But that's a lot of nervous pre-race energy you still used up... :-)

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  10. "We decided last-minute to pack one more puppy than was on our list and headed north." LOVE IT! He looks so happy to be going in the car.

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  11. I loved that you were out there cheering, and picture taking, and tweeting. And I love your garmin run map. That's hilarious. Thanks for being the best support team!

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  12. Your GPS totally cracks me up! Was wondering what Beth was smirking about in that photo. Explains everything! "I am hungry. Get me the F outa here!"

    Thanks for the updates yesterday via twitter!

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  13. Sounds like the stars aligned to spectate! kudos on the run, I would have said "to heck with this!" for sure :)

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  14. Thanks for being an excellent chauffeur, host, sherpa, photographer, spectator, scout, cheerer, and bitch about waiting around for freaking EVER after the race-er. It was a fun weekend :)

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  15. I was about to say exactly what RudiB said about the stars aligning. I love that you worked out while spectating.

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  16. Why stop at 294? Why not hit 295 or round up to 300? Seems like those are better numbers?

    Either way, nice call on pulling out (not entering) and staying safe (CdA is waiting for your awesomeness) and enjoying your time spectating and working your photography skills.

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  17. I spectated this weekend too! so much fun. i can't get enough of it!

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  18. I had so much more spectating than racing - you have a major job of being the paparazzi, updating friends and family. it's tough! Nice to see the other side!

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  19. I'm glad you had such a good time. You are the bomb.com photographer. I am going to spectate/volunteer at some local races since I'm injured. I'm pretty excited for it.

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  20. I'm sorry you didn't get to race, but you were a super excellent spectator. Love the pic of Beth!

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