Meenakshi and I had a full plate this week and this weekend between babysitting my niece and nephew and a whole list of household projects to begin including rebuilding the front porch steps and painting the kitchen.
But when our friend Jeff Rapsis (he of “let’s take an easy bike ride to Harrisville” fame) told us he was participating in his first triathlon on Saturday, we jumped at the chance to be his “pit crew” for the event.
First, we wanted to make sure there was somebody there to identify the body. Second, both of us have entertained thoughts of a triathlon, though Meena can’t swim and I’m more of a floater. So, we wanted to see what this whole triathlon business was all about.
So, off to Surry, N.H. we went. (Yeah, I know, where the hell is that? Just north of Keene it turns out!)
Our job as pit crew was mainly to tease Jeff, point out all the hard bodies in various states of undress and make sure he didn’t accidentally swim over the top of the Surry Dam. We also helped get him through the transition areas. Turns out this was the easiest part since Jeff was so woefully under-geared that he basically just had to hop on and off the bike and get riding or running. None of those fancy-schmancy swim body suits or clip-on bike shoes to weigh him down!
Anyway, Jeff did fine for his first time. Plenty of folks finished behind him. He didn’t drown. And there were no broken bones. Yeah, Jeff!
We urge you to take a moment and go over to Jeff’s blog to read all about the event in his own words: Running the 234
You can find all our photos from the day here: Jeff’s Tri
For our part, we learned a lot about the logistics of running a triathlon, mainly how hard it is to organize. The Give Peace a Tri is in its seventh year, but the organizers have not yet figured out some crucial details. For example, there were no snacks of any kind for racers, not even the standard yogurt and bananas. Also, they ran out of cups. With less than 200 racers on the field, this seemed a bit silly.
The biggest issues was the bike-to-run transition area. There was no clear sign or volunteer helping racers who dropped their bikes figure out where to go to begin running. Since we were waiting for Jeff in the transistion area, Meena and I found ourselves helping racers get to the running start.
Further complicating the transition was the lack of crowd control, often resulting in spectators blocking the way, or even cars driving by in the middle of the park road as runners and riders were racing by.
Many of these problems could be fixed with a few more volunteers. Perhaps we’ll do that next year.
Otherwise, it was fun. The biking and runners sections were very doable for us. Though we only saw one other Schwinn bike in the race. But we’re going to have to get swimming if we want to a) not drown and b) be competitive when the time come for our first triathlon.
Katahdin Update: In other news, training for our Mt. Katahdin hike continues this weekend with a Presidential Range Traverse attempt. We’ll be going on the Mt. Washington Observatory Seek the Peak charity climb day, so with luck, we’ll see plenty of fellow hikers we know up there! I’ve attempted a Presi Traverse for the past three years around the Summer Solstice and have been turned back each time due to storms. But the weather forecast looks good for Saturday, so we’ll see if going a month later helps.