I wanted to get up early and get to the check in then spend the rest of the day in the hotel sleeping. I had not been feeling well for the last couple of days, I couldn’t work out if it was real or in my head but either way a lot of sleep seemed the best remedy.
It’s a 3 hour drive and the first briefing was at 11am. The main things that kept playing on my mind was – how do the bags work? Do I put all my stuff in them, what if I need something back, and do I put my nutrition in. I knew how to swim, bike and run but I didn’t know about the bags. We don’t have them in the smaller events.
As you walk through from the car park into water centre through the small wood you can already hear the music and the excitement starts -the music seemed to be mainly soft rock motivational played loud – I am sure eye of the tiger was one of them. It was great. Normally the hot sunny weather would be considered great as well but with the thoughts that the next day I’d be biking 112 miles and running 26 in potentially the same heat I was looking up for the encouraging signs of some cloud.
As you come through the trees you get the first sight of the lake. It’s flipping huge!! The rectangular shape makes it seem even bigger. From the car park you approach it somewhere in the middle and you can’t really see either far end clearly. I always like the swim and I think I liked the shape of this one. On the swims where you double back and zig zag you don’t get a clear picture of the scale of your achievement – it’s all about the distance. With this one there’s no doubting the scale. I also shouldn’t get lost.
Registration was easy. Although I only had photo id as we had been test driving some cars that week. I never normally have this one me. I was sure I had read the instructions – I would have thought that was point number 1. I didn’t ask what would have happened if I didn’t have it. They could have done with a few signs point you to registration/briefing etc. as it was very easy to wonder round without knowing where you were going. But this did mean I got to see the famous “good Luck” sign on a day when I would still find it funny. There were helpers around but most were quite rightly focused on tasks for tomorrow.
After that the main thing was to hide from the sun until the briefing. Just as you get to the briefing there is an Erdinger stand and free, cold pints of alcholfrei. It was great to see loads of fitness types, the day before a big race, sitting round drinking pints at 11am in a marquee.
The briefing was about an hour and was quite funny with a good atmosphere. The TV was too low though so I had no idea what was being shown. Once the questions around the bags had been answered – fill it up as it suggests i.e. a swim/bike bag you start with your bike kit in it , you run in from the swim – take your bike kit from it and put it off and put your now discarded swim stuff back in. You can get to all of your bags all the time that transition is open, so I will add nutrition tomorrow. Both swim/bike and bike/run bags are on your numbered hook. In the morning you come in your day time gear bring your swimming stuff along – wear your swimming stuff put the clothes you are wearing in your kit bag and put that in a different tent. See, I wasn’t obsessing over nothing the bags are confusing for a first timer.
After that I probably stopped listening to a lot of the briefing which is not out of character but a bit of a shame as the next day there were two bits of info that would have been good to know.
Oh, if you’re sitting in a briefing next year please ask about the water temperature!
I filled my bags, racked the bike, looked for a large reference point so I would know where it was (behind a giant floating Erdinger arch) thought about buying a new wetsuit as I really need a better one and it looked good in the expo, bought a new number belt as I had forgotten both the ones I had, and went to the hotel.