Thursday, July 8, 2010

The makings of a triathlon

A couple weeks back we held the Lake Pflugerville Triathlon, for which I am on the race committee (swim director). I took some pictures as we worked on the course setup the day before and day of the race; and thought it might be interesting to talk a little bit about what goes into these events.

Long before it gets to the point shown in the pictures below, there are hundreds of things to be done and details to be taken care of (not that I was the one doing all this...). Working with govt officials to secure the site and the date, arranging for registration, setting up the web site, planning the courses, making course maps, working with law enforcement and transportation on the bike course, arranging for lifeguards, lining up food/drink/ice, getting sponsors, acquiring materials for things like flagging and carpeting and buoys, obtaining goodies for the race packets and getting them stuffed, packet-pick up, awards, etc. etc. etc. Whew! Got tired just writing that. And I bet the race director could list a lot more that I'm leaving off :)
All of that comes to a head the day before the race, when set up begins at the race site. Here are some of the highlights of how the weekend unfolded, starting with the day before the race:

Starting construction of the finisher's chute (thanks to High Five Events)

Building the bike racks. Volunteers that help on setup day are so very much appreciated! :)

Sea of bike racks. Just hauling all that piping back and forth is quite a chore!

Transition path carpeted. Details matter...

Swim area and run finish flagged. Lots of stakes to set and pennant flagging to set up.

Swim start buoys set up.
We set up the main course buoys in early May prior to the open water swim clinics, and leave them up all summer (or as long as the vandals leave them alone...).

Finish line finished

Course ready for race day

With everything set up that can be set up prior to race day, most of us go get some rest. The race director sticks around to keep an eye on things until the police come around 10pm. Yes, the glamorous life of a race director :)  After a short night of sleep, the race committee, vendors, and many of the volunteers start showing up at 0 dark thirty the next morning...

Race morning setup begins

Ice cream truck was big hit

Then the race starts... don't really have too many pictures of the race itself; but that's the part most of you are familiar with anyway : )  After the race we had the awards ceremony, which included some nice door prize giveaways (thanks to the sponsors!).

Of course, everything that gets set up, must get taken down... so everyone gets to work with that as soon as they can (e.g. bike racks taken apart and piping loaded back onto trailer after bikes are taken away, pulling the stakes and flagging...). This particular race went very well - everyone stayed safe and seemed to really enjoy themselves; which is what it's all about in the first place!

Thanks once again to everyone that volunteers at this or any other race : )


Help the kids!

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation: to find a cure for childhood cancer for kids like Ishani ... Please help them by donating HERE

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1 comment:

  1. I am in awe of all of this, I always wondered how a triathlon behind the scenes works. I LOVE THE MAT TO T1 IDEA!!! I am passing that along to my race org.
    Feb 5th and 6th in Austin, I am coming down for this race and making it a blogger party, I would love for you to consider doing it.