And all through the.... HOLY F*#K I'M DOING THE IRONMAN TOMORROW!!
Check in was awesome and awe-inspiring.
I got a very cool Cervelo t-shirt, just for riding their bike. Then, safety check, which gets you another M-dot sticker for the bike. Very thorough, but very much with-clue.
Next is the survey guys - slowtwitch and triathlete mag. Finally, you're corralled to the entrace to the pier. At that point, you get a person who escorts you through the rest of the process. I got a lovely woman named Sharon. In her words, she was pre-filling her karma tanks in an attempt to qualify for 2008. She walked me basically backwards through transition. First, the bike is stored, both wheels down, with a wooden rack holding the rear tire. The helmet goes on the bike. She said that, unless you come in a pack, your helmet is likely to be handed to you, but you'll grab your own bike.
We walked backward through the run to the bike - everyone runs to the far end of the pier and then runs to their bike. I imagine it might get rough for the fast guys, because there's barely room for two people across.
We hung the bike to run bag (you hang it yourself, and the volunteer double-checks you), walked back through the men's changing tent (almost one whole wall of which is a giant urinal - lovely), and then hung the bike bags right at the end of the hose shower I've seen so many times before.
So that's it - I'm checked in. Tomorrow morning everything opens up at 4:45, and I'll be there. I drop off my special needs bags (actually called 'special foods' so I put my spare tubes in a cookie box), pump up the tires (leaving a margin for the sun to expand them), and then put my cap on, my ear plugs in, and my goggles around my forehead.
Then, there are two cannons. Seventeen hours later, the finish line closes.
As my people have been known to say - Oy Vey.
By the way, the pic was from my beautiful wife - your race day correspondent. We were just making sure everything was working.
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