|Driving to Charleston - (green shirt and jeans -day 1)|
After packet pickup Susan and I headed to our hotel. We were staying at a Hamtpon Inn in Mount Pleasant. The hotel was about 8.5 miles from the race start at the KOA campground. We arrived at our hotel at around 6pm and checked in. That's when the $hit hit the fan! It was 6:15pm and I realized I didn't have a suitcase in the car. Susan had packed it up nicely but it was laying on the bed at home in Atlanta and we were not in Atlanta. I had all my bike stuff, shoes, helmet, bike, pump, and water bottles. What I didn't have were clothes. I was wearing jeans, a green Tri The Parks race shirt, and dress shoes. I had no tri shorts, tri jersey, socks, or running shoes. It was late on a Friday afternoon and I needed clothes fast. We cancelled any dinner plans we might have been thinking about and with the help of our friends Isabel and Trey we were able to find a local tri shop nearby. We got there just before they closed at 7pm. Trey had warned the two sales people that I was on my way and needed everything. We walked in the door and made our intentions known. "I have a race tomorrow and I need everything" I said. I was able to get shorts, a cycling jersey, and socks. I still needed running shoes. All the tri shop had were "D" width shoes. Danged Hobbit feet! The salesman recommended a nearby Shoe Carnival store. They were open until 9pm so we still had time. On the drive over Susan called the Trek shop to see if they might have my shoe size. Nope, they don't sell shoes. So, Shoe Carnival it was. Of the thousands of pairs of shoes in the store they had one pair that fit me, a pair of 8 1/2 wide Asics Cumulus 14 shoes. I had a pair of older Cumulus' back home so I knew they'd fit. In fact, they're the most comfortable running shoes I have albeit heavy. We took a brief stop at the Walmart for some boat shoes, a Duck Dynasty t-shirt, and a 3-pack of Faded Glory striped underwear. I could breathe again.
|Susan and I finally get into our room|
|My new tri kit for the day - Happy, Happy, Happy!|
|The cable is out|
|The morning check of the weather - more rain|
|The rain slowed as the sun came up|
|The swim start|
|Carlos heading to T-1 after the swim|
|Me headed to T-1|
|Zipping up Susan's bike jacket|
|The bike start|
I didn't get passed on the bike until about 8 miles from the finish. Two guys passed me. It was more like one guy and a wheel sucker wearing an FCA kit. Shame on you! I dropped back the required distance after they passed. About a mile later I mustered up the gumption to pass them both, which I did. At about 2 miles before the finish the wheel sucker passed me. I let him dangle just beyond reach. As we enter the parking lot to T-2 the other guy I'd passed yelled out "on your left" not 40 feet from the dis-mount line. He promptly fell over on top of his bike. What an idiot! He's not an idiot for falling over, he's an idiot for passing in the dismount area and then falling over.
My bike time was pretty good averaging just under 22-mph. I think I could have topped 22-mph had it not been so cold that I wore Susan's slightly less than form fitting jacket. Stylish yes, aero no! I was glad I had it though.
|Arrival at T-2|
|The run course is half done|
|Finished in 5:10:06|
|I placed 5th in my Age-Group|
|My muddy shoes and socks after the race|
|An after race dinner at Just South of Broad (green shirt and jeans - day 2)|
|Hudson's Smokehouse in Lexington, SC (green shirt and jeans - day 3)|
|There's that suitcase|
Things that went right: the lake was clear and clean (no mud and no algae), my goggles didn't fog up, the water temperature was perfect, the 56 mile bike course was marked and had a good bit of police presence, Mount Pleasant is a beautiful part of the country, there are restaurants everywhere (good ones), volunteer in the T-2 pointed to my rack, and friendly (accommodating) S.C. drivers. I decided to not wear my Garmin. I love it for training but, for me, it's a hindrance on race day.
Things that went wrong: I received no finishers medal, no cloth "Try Charleston" bag at packet pickup and no proper transition bags or proper labels, the bike and helmet labels should be plastic with full adhesive backing and not paper-ish with only strips of adhesive, a friend described T-1 as "chaos" before the race (she was right), the rain caused a muddy, wet mess in T-1, two transition areas is a big downer, no water before the swim, no defined mount line coming out of T-1, I only saw one referee on the bike course (a review of the results shows that they did their job though), I saw several participants drafting, the run course was not well marked coming out of T-2, no volunteer prior to the dismount line into T-2, and not enough timing mats on the run (add one more at the turn-around). Frankly, the run course should be completely redone to eliminate 2-way traffic on a five foot wide cart path.
I didn't mention my suitcase because that had nothing to do with the race organization. The weather was also a factor and I'm sure it played a part in the number of volunteers and wreaked havoc on their overall enthusiasm for the event.
Thanks for reading.
Update (5/8/13): Kudos to the Try Charleston folks for mailing me a finisher's medal and a t-shirt.
|"Enjoy - Thanks 4 racing w/us :-) D"|
|My 2013 Try Charleston medal and t-shirt|