[posted in HIP forum, but figured it was good for general discussion, too]
Anyone have experience with this?
The athlete's guide lays it all out, and does its best to make it seem easy to navigate, but all the talk of multiple transitions and bags has be a lil' intimidated. Any tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated!
Not sure how they do it in Williamsburg, but the two IMs that I did in Europe had two different transition areas. You drop off all your bags in the morning in T-1, in a designated area, and your T-2 bag greet you in T-2 on a rack with your number on it. You either grab it from a rack or a volunteer will hand it to you as you run by. Just yell out your number as you run by to help out the volunteers.
The usage of multiple transition bags is the standard for all 140.6 races regardless of whether you have one transition area or two. If you do a WTC 140.6 race in North America, they give you 5 different transition bags to worry about :)
The trick is to make a list of what you want in each transition bags ahead of time. When you pack the bags, key off of that list so that you don't forget anything.
Setting up for multiple transitions takes some planning before you leave, during the expo the day before the race and on race day. I did a multiple bag transition race, IM 70.3 Pocono Mountains last fall and here's a few thoughts from that experience.
- Before the race, pack your normal transition bag with everything you would normally bring to a race, then divide it among the bags they're going to provide. From the web site, it looks like there will be two bags.
"Swim to Bike Bag": plastic bag with gear I'll need to transition from the bike to swim. Everything I bring to T1 must fit in the bag and I'll need to pack it during T1 and close it so volunteers can bring it to me at the end of the race.
"Dry Clothes Bag": plastic bag with gear I'll need for the end of the race. I'll bring it to T1, drop it outside the transition area and volunteers will bring it to T2
T2 Bag: my transition bag with gear I'll need to transition from the bike to the run. It looks like I'll get a chance to setup T2 on race day, so I could probably bring my normal transition bag to T2
- Those are my words above and how I'd think about it in a race plan based on what we know about the race so far. If you do a plan, sketch it out and confirm it when you go to the Expo on Sat.
- Rehearse your transitions before race day. Lay out your gear in separate areas and walk to each one and think about what you normally would do and whether or not you have to make a change because of the multiple transition bags.
- Attend the Expo on Sat when they explain the course and how the transitions work. Ask questions, confirm your transition plans as well as how you're going to retrieve all your gear that's been divided into multiple bags in different places.
- Go to each transition area after the brief and look at the physical layout, think about where your items will be, how they'll be laid out, how you'll enter and exit as well as how you'll approach your individual spot.
- Resist the temptation to over pack. Just because there are multiple bags doesn't mean you need to bring more stuff. You might end up bringing an extra towel because you would have used the same towel twice if T1 = T2. Think about issues like that and try to minimize your load.
- One of the reasons you want to minimize your load Is to make sure that everything you need will fit into the plastic bags they provide. Most triathletes use some form of a transition bag. Transition bags are normally well built with purposeful storage areas and pockets. Plastic bags are just that, one storage area. I know that's self evident, but depending on how the race is set up, it could affect your transition.
- Also, remember that volunteers are moving thousands of plastic bags. Make sure your bag is labeled with the labels they provide and the important things that are in it are also individually labeled. If the outside label falls off or the bag tears, more labels will help them get your gear back to you.
- In most races, you just take off your wetsuit in T1 and drop it. At T1 in this race, you're going to have to take time to put all your gear into a flimsy plastic bag and seal it up. If you're not careful, you'll rip the bag. Plan on the extra time and rehearse it before race day.
- In IM 70.3 Pocono Mountains, we were not able to set up T2 on race day. Instead, at our designated spot in T2 was a tied plastic bag with the items we packed. I would normally run my bike to my spot, rack it, then put on my running shoes and leave. There I had to open the bag, pull out my running shoes then get going. I don't think that's the case in Williamsburg, but it's worth thinking about. Make sure that what you need first is the last thing you put in the bag and that you tie the bag well enough to stay closed while someone else is moving it for you, but not so well that it takes too long to open it.
- Think about a recovery plan - how and where will you get all your gear back. This may sound simple, but it's easy to forget to pick something up.
- Think about where you're going to put your car keys and phone.
- I'm not the fastest in transition, but thinking about the transition plan ahead of time made my race last fall easier. I had what I needed in the transition areas and I got all of my gear back. Most importantly I had a great time.
Hope this helped
HIM Raleigh was a two transition as well. Some tips not already stated.
- When you are packing your bag, just pack the two transition stuff separately. At Raleigh, we were able to drop everything off the day before and the the morning of, actually lay everything out.
- If you need to - buy extra sunblock to keep at both transition areas. And 2 sets of extra water, nutrition, good luck teddy bear, or whatever you tend to like at your transition areas.
- When you pick up your bags, make sure that it's your bags. My sherpa picked up someone else's t1 bag ... thankfully all she and I lost was a bottle of sunblock, my swim cap, and a pair of googles.