Hi Austin HIPsters!
Your first week's training plan is now up on the member's Half page!!
Your week 2 is posted.
Things that I've found out:
Rooms are expensive. I'm registered at the Omni Hotel on 700 San Jacinto Blvd (2 blocks from 6th st). I was able to reserve with a AAA discount for $180 a night. Parking is an additional $25 a night.
Jack and Adams bike shop (http://www.jackandadams.com) will have a package for shipping/receiving bikes. They are still working out the details as to whether the bikes will be assembled at the bike shop or the transition area. (This will determine the size of the rent-a-car you need) Package details will be on their website in June.
Does anyone want to share a room?
Don’t lose focus now!! Your weeks 20 and 21 are posted and I should have 22-24 done by the end of the day!
Stay strong and focused.
I wrote this awhile ago for you folks. I know that the course is a little bit different this year with two transitions but below is what I remembered from last year. Please make the checks payable to Tuan and please ensure that there are sufficient funds behind them :)
Longhorn 70.3 Reconnaissance
The city itself is easy to get around. No traffic congestion at all when I was there. It's a beautiful city with a nice little river that runs through it.
10 ITEMS TO KNOW
1. There is a free pancake breakfast that the race gives out to the athletes and their family members. It's sponsored by a local bike shop. It takes place in front of their store. It's nowhere near the packet pickup area and the race site. Imagine if Conte decides to throw a bunch of tables in front of their shops and give out free pancakes for folks doing the Nations Triathlon. That's what it's like. It has a company picnic feel to it. Since I've never done Longhorn prior, it was cool to be able to talk to folks there who have done it and get some perspective on things.
2. The bike drop off/transition area is the day before. You can come to the site and swim, bike, run the course if you'd like. I saw a lot of folks doing that. I talked to a few folks who did it 2-3 days prior.
3. You might want to check out "Quadzilla." It's not as bad as advertised on the web site. It's a short and a little bit steep climb. During the race, you'll think it's nothing on the first loop but will be cursing on the second loop. I personally think that there are 2-3 other hills there that were way way worse. Quadzilla just happens to be at the end of the race and it's steep and short. I guessed that's why the race made a big thing out of it. During the race, at the base of Quadzilla will be a guy will a microphone. Once you step on a timing mat, he will yell out your name and the city/state that you are from. I thought that that was a neat touch.
4. The lake is a nice clean lake to practice on the day before. I went directly from the expo to the race to check in my bike and then went for a swim. You can do all of that plus a little bike ride or run if you'd like.
5. They have male only and female only port-a-johns at the race. The pink ones are for the ladies and the green/blue ones are for the males. They are clearly marked.
6. On race day you will not be allowed to park at the race site. The designated parking lot is at place that looks like a farmer's market or flee market. It's about a mile from the race site. You can walk to the race site or take the shuttle buses. The bus and the parking lot will be packed with racers and fans in the morning so get there early. Last year the race had to be delayed for about 30 minutes because there were athlete who were still stuck at the parking lot. The race promised to do a better job this year. To be safe, you need to get there early to set up your transition area and maybe get in a warm up swim.
7. After the race, you will not be able to take your bike on the shuttle bus back to the parking lot. You will have to bike back and carry all of your gear with you. Make sure that you have a good transition bag or family members who will help you carry things. The bike ride back to the parking lot is not an easy ride. On one side of the roads are a lot of athletes and their family members walking towards the parking lot. You have to bike around these people. On the other side of the street is the actual race course. There will still be people on the course racing as you are leaving. It's a bit congested.
8. There will free food for all athletes after the race but you will be sharing tables with the families of racers. Finding a spot with a lot of empty chairs can be difficult. You will be tired. If there are no spots available, just ask any non-athletes if they would give up a chair for you. They would gladly do so.
9. There is no such thing as an athlete only area at the race. Once you cross the finish line and leave that area you will be sharing space with fans. It's not that bad but be aware that you will be sharing space.
10. The transition area is in a grassy field. Unfortunately, grass does not do too well in the Texas heat. Compound that with 2,000 triathletes trampling the area and all that you have left are loose dirt. I looked like I just finished an adventure trail run at the end of the race. I had dirt on everything that I owned. This is especially true after you get out of the swim and your body is wet. Be aware of this.
The lake is beautiful. It's a flawless swim with no boogie man or pollution. I don't recall seeing any weeds or underwater vegetation. There may be some as you get closer to the finish line but I don't remember seeing any. The lake is used by a utility company to cool their reactors. Warm water is discharged into the lake by the utility company. This means that the lake is warmer than nature intended it to be. Last year the temp at the start of the race was 77.5 degrees. It was in the upper 80's the week prior. It might be cooler this year since the race is 3 weeks later.
Austin is the home of Lance Armstrong. It will have hills. Big ones to climb as well as rolling ones. There is a very nice stretch somewhere between miles 45-55 that you can really go fast. It's either flat or slightly downhill. There are two hills at the end very near to one another. It's around miles 55-56. You would climb one and think that you are done because the bike odometer says 55-56 ish then the second one will greet you. It's like a 1-2 punch. Ride McArthur Blvd in both directions and you should be fine.
Texas is hot. It was low 90's, calm, and sunny the day before the race. On race day it was upper 80's and partly cloudy with winds that you can really feel on the bike ride. I don't recall sun or heat being that big a problem for me. They have flat cokes, electrolyte pills, sponges among other things throughout the run. It's better supported than any stand alone 1/2 marathon that you will run.
You've got some big hills on the run. They're not killers but you won't like them the second time that you see them. It's a two loop run so you will be seeing them twice. We are not talking about baby rollers or the stuff that you see on Custis. Think more along some of the bigger hills that you see at the Baltimore, Frederick, or NYC marathons.
No need to thank me for this report, your non-bounced ckecks are enough :)
Yeah, this year we have the two transition areas and our finish is inside the Luedecke Arena. I wonder if we get to do a victory lap with our national flag inside the arena? :)
The arena even has a "Complete livestock staging and handling area". Oh Texas, how I have missed thee...
And by "National Flag" you mean:
Isn't having a race recon from Tuan almost the same as doping in terms of how it gives you guys an unfair leg up?
Just kidding. Good luck to all the Austin peeps, from an Augusta peep.
But of course Ryan, but of course. :)
I am late joining the discussion, but I will be racing (read: participating) in Austin wearing my DC Tri race jersey. I'm curious about who else might be going and whether I can buy a round in downtown Austin.
Cheers to all - Mark
It's that time. Too late to turn back now!
uh oh... Athlete Guides are out... that means it's getting close...
Good luck in Austin this weekend! I'm sure that you'll all do great during the race and enjoy some great barbeque afterwards.
Good luck to all doing Austin, especially if it's your first 70.3! Have safe travels & great races. I'll be thinking about you all!
Good Luck to you all. Wish you all the best.
Good luck everyone! Remember - pre-race carb load on blueberry pancakes at Kerby Lane Cafe. Post-race refuel on tex mex, creamy jalenpeno and ritas at Chuys!
Ooooh... Chuys! Get the Mexican Martini. Actually go to Trudy's for the Mexican Martini. Heck, get both and compare. Just don't plan on walking later.
In all seriousness, good luck everyone! Have a great race!
Congrats to ya'll that were out there Sunday!
I was down there cheering as well, and saw tons of DCTri folks out there.
I posted a bunch of pictures of DC Tri folks off of a link in this post:
WTF ? They have wetsuit strippers this year? Back in the days (last year) we had to take off our own wetsuit. Oh sure, bubba was there but he was only there to watch.
You get to finish indoor this year? WTF? Back in the days we had to do it outdoor. What next, will it be pool swim and a treadmill run ? They've gone soft :)
Picture 21 of 22 in the album ... Casey drafting off of Lindsey.
Picture 22: Lindsey telling to Casey to "Draft This!"
Sounds like you got screwed in the year you did it. So in that tradition, I will email IMFL and let them know that you don't want to have your wetsuit stripped, and that you will only utilize every other water stop during the run, and only getting water at said water stops. Anything I can do to help his Royalish One to maintain his hardcore status.