Sunday, November 9, 2008

GREAT day for a race!!!

A whole week ago, traffic signs for today's Silverman Triathlon were up and beckoning me. With a big, fun race like that going on right in my neighborhood, I visualize myself in several roles: participant; reporter covering the race; volunteer handing out Gatorade; or spectator. With the amount of crazy energy coming off an event like this, even the role of spectator is pretty cool.

Last year, John was just over a month old and as much as I wanted to set up a folding chair on the race route to watch, I couldn't manage it with his feeding schedule (being constantly) and the chilly weather. But THIS year was my year!!! Right after church, we drove around a good portion of the race route hoping to spot some cyclists or runners. I have no idea the time frames for a race like this, so I wasn't sure what to expect and when. But the volunteer stations were all ready and the Henderson police were all over the place ready to direct traffic. We drove around for nearly half an hour, stopped to get gas, and called my friend Monica who lives in a 3-story observation tower right on the route (another exciting new addition since last year - and she is a good enough friend to humor me and walk upstairs to look out the window and report what she could see or not see). Three of the kids were being very whiny during our cruise, so we went home to eat lunch.

After lunch, I cajoled Bethanie into "going to the race" with Mommy. We parked near the bike-run transition point and walked right up. It was - honestly - one of the most exciting things I've ever seen. I got so into it and I don't even KNOW anyone who raced today!!! I talked to the wife of one of the athletes from Chicago. She said this is his second Silverman but he's done lots of triathlons and this one has a well-founded rep for being a killer. It was insanely inspiring to watch those men and women come in on their bikes, hop off, (or stumble off) and jog up to the tent where they would change their shoes and head off for the run. I could have stayed all day just to bask in the energy, really. I admired everyone I saw and I imagined how their morning had already gone. Heck, I imagined how their last WEEK had gone. I wanted to invite all of 'em out to dinner and ask a million questions about training, what drives them, even watch what they'd EAT. I guess to maintain some dignity, I'll just try to find a good book written by a triathlete and settle for that. Oh, and my Runner's World Magazine. You can bet I'll be glued to that for a few days.

We ended our race fan afternoon by parking right across the street from the turnaround point for the run. There was just one lonely volunteer sitting there on the sidewalk with a few road cones nearby. She would direct every runner to turn around and then cheered them on. Next year, I want her job. Or maybe I'd like to be the girl who grabs the bikes and points the way to the tents. Or maybe I'll SIGN UP to race the sucker!

Me and my "race buddy"

Runners at transition

Beff watching the action. Her baby didn't have such a great spot.

Runners just before the turnaround mark.
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