We left Monument around 1pm on Friday since Tim had to work in the morning. We grabbed lunch at McDonalds - I got a grilled chicken club sandwich and a side salad. Actually remembered to say no mayo! McDonalds chicken sandwiches are really awful. But since Tim was driving, I let him pick the place for lunch. We then took a nice scenic route to get to I-70 and then headed east. And we drove, and drove and drove. We saw a car with 3 triathletes at a gas station in eastern Colorado - they seemed to be enjoying their trip, taking pictures, etc. I can only assume they were also headed to Kansas. One was wearing compression socks in true triathlete style. Tim commented that they seemed to be taking their time with such a long drive ahead. Ah, no matter, they came flying past us on the highway. So Tim stayed a comfortable distance behind them. Then they slowed down and it looked like their windshield seal was coming out. But also up ahead was a cop with someone pulled over and we wondered if they had a radar detector. A few minutes later they came flying past us again, but shortly after that, a state trooper heading in the opposite direction did a U-turn and pulled them over. Maybe no radar detector. Bummer.
Some views from the road:
We wanted to stop in Salina for dinner, but confusion between the GPS and highway signs for restaurants made us miss the exits, so we drove ahead to Abilene. At this point I was pretty hungry! That chicken sandwich and salad didn't go very far. Found a Subway and their orchard chicken sandwich is actually pretty good. It was almost 11pm by the time we got to the hotel in Lawrence. We got out of the car and it was warm...like really warm! At 11pm! Ahhh! Grabbed all the stuff out of the car and got to bed.
This was the night to get as much sleep as I could. I slept until about 8am or so, but I was getting hungry so I couldn’t really sleep much more. Tim went to get a workout in and I snacked on a clif bar and started planning my day. Expo day! But breakfast first - IHOP. Blueberry pancakes with a side of scrambled eggs for some protein. I could eat pancakes all the time. Next back to the hotel so I could get my stuff around, as athletes had to pick up their race numbers and rack their bikes on Saturday. Got dressed so I could also get a short bike ride in. Arrived at Clinton Lake State Park, hopped on my bike and rode about 6 miles - went to the park entrance and back and oh yeah - I remember those hills! It was pretty hot and humid, highs were in the low 90s. Ran into a few PPTC club members, Rich and Christi. Then I took my bike to the expo area. Left my bike on a rack while I went to get my packet. The process was very efficient this year. Last year I had to wait in line for at least an hour. Today I went right through. The race expo directors took a lesson from the theme parks and dumped you into the iron man.com store. All the m-dot merchandise you can think of.
I caved in and bought a Kansas 70.3 sticker for $1.50. I resisted on the $3 ball point pen though. When I got back to my bike to put my race number on it, I noticed another bike. I wonder how long he was planning to be out on the bike course.
But it seemed he was a Team In Training participant so I chatted with him for a minute and wished him luck. The Gateway chapter (I think that’s who they were) had about 13 people racing in prep for Redman full IM.
Next step was to get my race number on my bike and head down to T1. It’s about a half-mile walk down the road and down the hill. Yeah, that hill that’s going to be tough on lap #2 of the run course. Found my spot, which was actually really close to the bike out so I would be able to navigate most of transition without my bike.
I then did a quick recon of where I’d be coming out of the water and how to find my bike. One less thing to worry about on race morning. Was about to hoof it back up the hill when a volunteer (the race directors wife) was driving in a golf cart and was willing to drive a few of us back up.
Next was to examine T2, find my rack location and how I was going to find it coming in off the bike. About 6 racks past the last tree and the number ending in 1125. Got it.
It was almost time for the 2pm race meeting so I headed over to the tent where I ran into Jessica. How hot it was - I was dripping with sweat and all I’d done was ride for about 20ish minutes and walk around.
I took Jessica to meet her mom at the edge of the park and then headed back to the hotel. Got cleaned up and then Tim and I headed to Montana Mike’s for our pre-race and pre-spectating meal. Here are the details: Salad, teriyaki chicken, rice, a sweet potato and a roll. Didn’t eat it all - it was plenty of food, but it was a good meal!
After dinner I packed up my race gear, got as much as I could ready and coordinated with Rich to carpool so our spouses could sleep in a little bit and went to bed by 9:30.