What fun! I really think I may give up this participating in races and take up tracking/looking for my friends, and cheering full time. It was awesome!
Yes, we did wake up at 3 and were on the road by 3:34. Yes, that was really REALLY early (that would be wake up calls at 5, 6:30, and 3 - GO VACATION!). But, 100% worth it. We had rock star parking and we were in the park and 2 rows from the tent; vs. over at the resort and bussed in. Needless to say, we all promptly put our seats down and took a nap. 5:45 was a much better wake up call. Yes, I realize that is still early and a sad statement.
Everyone got all set up and I set up my area - the tent. I collected keys, flip flops, and an engagement ring. Once the pros were back from the swim and on their bikes, I went to find my spot at the swim finish and start keeping track of the 25-ish DC Tri Club members in the race.
Things started off pretty well and I was getting some great shots. I was standing on a chair, using Sandy's camera, and got almost everyone out of the water. I did miss a few, and even with my bright pink IM support crew hat, not many people saw (or heard) me. Here is one of my favorites. After we almost feel over laughing, Julia did say I could use the pic (yes, she is drinking with her hand still stuck in her wet suit).
I stayed and watched the last swimmers come out of the water. It's always such a great sight to see all the kayakers and volunteers gather around the last few swimmers, hitting their kayaks for support and everyone on the beach cheering them on. Unfortunately, the last guy in did not make the cut off :-(
Once the last swimmer made it out of the water, I ran back to our tent just in time to miss Andy Potts starting his run. That's right, that is how fast the Pros are. It was NUTS! Also, it started raining. Not good as most of our people (and the entire race participants) were still on the bike course.
The next part of the morning was spent trying to find our bikers and runners. Our tent was on the run out part, but we could still see the bike in. AJ's parents and Toby's parents were both in the tent with me and by about the first 5th DC Tri person in, we had a great system. I started keeping track of people's times when they came in the bike, pass us on the run, start the second lap of the run, and overall finish. Most of the time I could get a decent picture of someone coming in on the bike (this is Lindsey - I love how she is clear and in focus and everything else is a bit blurry - that's how fast she was moving!).
The run was a bit harder to track people as they all have very different speeds. Coming in on the bike was actually pretty close to their swim order, but the run was all over the place. That being said, I did manage to get at least one picture of everyone I was following; like this great picture of Karen and Glenn. Some have a few more, but overall, I was really happy. Throw in the pictures the parents took - we have a great set.
Overall, even with the early start of the day and the rain, it was so much fun. There were many PR's set and I think they all had great races. It was a lot of fun to be a part of, and I hoped I made the day a bit easier for everyone.
Now, it's really vacation time!