One of the traditions at a World Championship event is to trade jackets with a team member from another country. Mexico has by far the best race kits, IMO.
And not just because the guys get to wear pink.Â The Mexicans clearly know how to make a hot-looking uniform. So I had decided I was going to try to trade jackets with a Mexican. But then we got to hanging out with some Canadians at the opening ceremony.
And one of the Canadian girls said she liked my Team USA jacket. I’m not wearing it in this picture (too hot) but my room-mate Amy is modeling it in the center of the photo. And I got to thinking how it would be cool to have a Team Canada jacket, since Canada is the host country, so I asked her if she wanted to trade, and she said sure! Team Canada has their team picture on Saturday so after that we’ll trade. Canada also has a cool vest (as does Mexico), which they’re wearing over the gray jacket here. They are so coordinated. Team USA needs to get their act together. We were told to wear the white shirt to the ceremony which looks so un-uniform. Amy wore her Team USA jacket because she forgot to bring her white shirt. We should have all worn that as it looks much more like a uniform. Seriously, we looked a little sloppy and mis-matched. Canada even has team pants. So does Mexico, for that matter. Obviously, whoever is coordinating uniforms for Team USA should have a little chat with the Mexican and Canadian uniform coordinator, to learn how it’s done.
Today was a crazy day. I saw the team chiropractor at 8:15 for a quick once-over. Feeling finely tuned now. At 9:00 met up with about 30 other Team USA teammates to ride to transition with the coach. We were a very slow peloton and seemed to take a very convoluted route to get to the park. It was a pretty ride, though, and I wish I could have taken a pic of all of us in formation, but the phone/camera stayed safely in my backpack. It was very cold this morning so almost everyone was wearing a Team USA jacket – we looked better coordinated than at the opening ceremony.
I did use my Bia Sport watch so the route would be automatically uploaded. The ridiculously slow speed is due to the numerous stops to regroup and get some info from the coach.
After arriving at Hawrelak park I was able to rack my bike in transition. ITU changed my age group’sÂ bike racking time from 12 – 2 to 9 – 11; fortunately Team USA sent out an e-mail late last night letting us know of the update. At the entrance to transition our helmet numbers, bike numbers, and uniforms (which I was wearing) were checked – I even had to turn around so they could check I had the right name and country on my butt! Racking was quick and easy, after which I counted to steps from the end of my row to my bike, as markers aren’t allowed. It’s about 30 steps when running. The run out from the swim is actually quite long, and involves running past the finish chute, which seems unduly cruel.
I left transition and headed over to the swim area. Donned wetsuit, which I was glad to do as now it was windy as well as cold, and headed over to the lake. Everyone was practicing diving or running starts, as the start is from the edge of the blue platform. I stood there for a bit spitting in my goggles, then did a slightly lame attempt at a run/dive. Better get that right tomorrow. The water was COLD. But I didn’t have a problem with it. Must be the British blood. I found that the silicone cap kept my head warm, and I only felt cold for the first couple of minutes. Sighting is easy; it is very shallow – you can see the bottom, just weeds and stuff, nothing interesting, and although it’s chlorinated it doesn’t smell or taste of chlorine. I went a little off course a couple of times so I’m glad I got in the practice. I swam the whole 750 and practiced my run-out. It’s sandy which makes things a little challenging.
Some crazies (see pic) went in without wetsuits. Those guys are NUTS. That water was 17.9 degrees celsius. In fahrenheit that’s virtually FREEZING.
After the swim I needed to warm up but the line for the cappuccino truck was kinda long so I found my way to the “Athletes Village” (don’t start thinking this is fancy, it’s a couple of tents for changing and some trailers with showers) where I changed into dry (but not particularly warm) clothes. I figured I needed a little rest time back at the hotel before 3, so took the shuttle bus (packed) to the train station and took the train back to the stop near the hotel. I was glad to find my roommate had also managed to check her bike and practice the swim, as she just arrived super late last night and was a bit worried this morning that she didn’t have time to do everything.
At 2:45 we headed to the team briefing. They went over all the usual triathlon stuff, emphasizing ITU rules (draft zone is 12 meters, which is longer than the USAT draft zone), where they penalty boxes are on the course should you get a penalty, things that will get you penalized, things that will get you disqualified, until we were suitably terrified. Then we had a team photo taken down by the river and forgot all about it.
After team photos it was time for the opening ceremonies. We all had to gather in this area in alphabetical order by country. We realized it would be fun to take pics with other teams, so wandered around looking for different teams to take pictures with. That’s where we took the pics with Canada and Mexico. Here are aÂ couple with Japan and Ireland.
Opening Ceremony was awesome, but I need to get some sleep now, big day tomorrow!
My race starts at 9:30 Mountain Time (GMT minus 7), my wave starts at 10:38, and if you want to see live action visitÂ http://www.triathlon.org/live
Thanks so much for all the well-wishes on Facebook – I really appreciate it!