Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ready To Go!

It's now just the waiting. I've been to the Expo, picked up my packet, seen the transition and start areas. The only step left is to wait about 16 more hours for the start. In other words, the worst part!

For 1800 registrants and the fact that it is a competitor event, I kind of thought that there might be more exhibitors at this one. I think the Summer Open Sprint, an event only a quarter the size of this one, actually had a bigger expo.
Nevertheless, the point of attending was, first and foremost, to get my packet. The process was orderly and smooth which is a good sign. After checking to make sure I had a properly signed confirmation sheet, I then picked up my packet, t-shirt and swag bag.
The line was never long and always moved easily:

Then it was on to see the meager selection of exhibitors. I think there were only about 10. A couple were impressive including the Blue Competition Cycles where I talked to one of their reps about this aluminum composite triathlon bike:

 As I've read and as he explained to me, they design their bikes with triathletes in mind so it's more of a tri bike than a TT bike. At $1800 it's actually not a bad price. I think if I ever end up going this route, however, I'll spring for the carbon frame.
Another cool thing that Blue is doing or at least attempting to do is designing their geometries toward the triathlete. That means that, in theory, your legs should be more ready for a run than they would be after riding a time-trial bike. I think it will be interesting to see if that proves out over time.
In addition to seeing the exhibitors and picking up my complimentary bottle of Mix1, I also got to see the finish area. This being a Competitor event, there's a stage for the headliner concert that follows the race:

They have also set up a grandstand that over looks the finish arch:

Ought to be a cool way to finish!
Finally it was a trip over to the swim start which will be in the water:

This floating platform is the way into the water but not the actual starting platform. A coral is behind me as a I took this picture and they will be putting waves in the water a few at a time.
Finally, it would not be complete if I did not post a picture of the vast, empty transition area:

Those are wood blocks to slip a bike tire into. I've found I prefer the more upright stands like the ones used at the Creek Streak but that's not the most important thing.

The large grey building you see on the left is the San Diego Convention Center which will also provide free parking for participants and spectators which is a nice touch.

Once I had chowed down on a footlong BMT from Subway, it was time to go through the packet and swag bag.

There is no shot of it here, but I was a little dismayed to see they are requiring a helmet sticker. Not a big deal but I think they are too small to see and a lot of helmets (like mine) don't have a flat surface on which to stick it.

Otherwise, it was pretty standard fair inside:

It all came in a nice draw-string bag backpack thing that's particularly useful for packing shoes. The tech shirt is also cool since I don't believe I currently have any blue ones:

So that's about it. I've checked and rechecked everything so it's just water, rest, sleep and then go. Next post (which I hope will be tomorrow but might not be until after I'm back home) will be the race report which is, of course, the last triathlon race report of my inaugural year in the sport. But fear not, I've been busy writing my 2011/2012 training plan and determining how ambitious I want to be when the season starts up again. I've also got plans for a new feature or two for the site.

In the meantime, I'll talk to you soon.

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