This is my first year doing Nation's and I am in swim wave 31... yay. Based on last year's lineups, I estimate that I will start 85 to 113 minutes after the race start (somewhere btwn 8:25 & 8:53 am). Is that a good estimation?
For those that have participated and started late in this race, what did you do during the wait/how did you manage it? Where do we wait? I could not find that information in the Athlete Guide. Will it be shaded? What was it like? Is there anything that the club does together, i.e. a tent, for members that have long wait times? Since there is a gear check-in, what do people bring? I am concerned that this is going to be a major drag and affect my race. Any advice on how to be best prepared would be extremely appreciated. Also, with ~2,800 racers ahead of me, how bad is the passing, especially on the bike leg?
Thanks in advance!!!!!
Sorry you're so far back in the waves. At least maybe you can take a nap? I've been in races like this where I'm X Waves back and I just had to occupy my time with my down devices. It's a good chance to make new friends or for you to just focus. It'll be so early that there won't be a need for shade, so don't worry about that. The club has a tent at the finish line, which won't be accessible for killing time, but you're not going to be wanting to walk all over the place. You could try having a friend/significant other/family member down there with you to help keep you motivated until it's time to get in your wave and begin your day.
Occupying your time shouldn't be too much of a problem. Stay focused, talk with others in your wave time about their story, what your race plan is, ask about their race plan, visualise all of your actions in your head. There will be so many people it will be hard not to stay excited! This will be a fun course, you'll have a great time. Keep a bottle of water with you so you can stay hydrated as you wait - you don't want to sweat out before you even get in the water. It's okay to pee on yourself as you wait - again, it's a way to meet new people.
As for all the folks in front of you, don't worry. You'll pass a lot of them in the swim and early in the bike. There is no question the roads will be fairly full as you come through, but the roads should be wide. This is a new course layout, so it's hard to be sure how dense riders will be - we don't have that historical knowledge yet to accurately tell you.
I offer you a handful of tips to ensure safety as you navigate through the hoards. Be sure to SHOUT when you pass people (clearly - "passing on your left" - or something close), giving them clear warning when you pass - no need to be aggressive, but don't be afraid to announce multiple times in succession that you intend to pass them on their left. Slower riders should be keeping right, however you must maintain high vigilance and watch out for folks who aren't riding safely. When you can, you should also keep right until you need to pass someone. Before you pass, check your 6 over your left shoulder to make sure it's clear (hopefully anyone passing you will also audible to warn you of the pass).
Stay excited, stay safe, and have a great race. Let us know how it goes! If you have any additional questions leave them here or send me a message!
Feeling your pain, thanks for the tips, Trevor!
As a person that's typically in the last wave - I bring some extra food (a banana or peanut butter sandwich or something super simple) and a bottle of water or endurance drink of choice - both things are stuff that I'm willing to chuck. I normally just find a clean spot to sit and alternate stretching and napping. And I have a snack to much on if I get peckish or to take my mind off the wait.
But Trevor is spot on with how to pass people on the bike.
I also have had the wonderful joy of being in the last or 2nd to last wave in many large races. It's not that big of a deal. By the time you get out of transition, the National Anthem is played, and you watch the AG Elite waves start off the race you'll start running into DC Tri people everywhere. I usually stake out a seat on the curb for a bit, have a snack or 2, and occasionally pop up to give a good luck hug. If you don't have anyone with you on race morning to hold onto extra clothes you may want a throw away long sleeve as it's possible it could be slightly chilly race morning. You can also cheer people on going into T1. It's a fun day and apparently for the past 4 years they've decided young women are the most patient athletes (or something like that) remember to have fun, encourage others, and enjoy the moment because there is really nothing else you can do about it.
Hey - I just wanted to thank everyone for your responses, plus share my experience for future members with the same q's.
It really wasn't that bad. I unfortunately didn't get to sleep much the night before the race, so I ended up alternating btwn trying to nap and stretching. I brought my waterfi (aka waterproof ipod), so I could zone out/keep calm beforehand and then slip it under my cap and not worry about it. I also brought some poptarts and gatorade and worked on those during the wait. Soon enough my cap color was lining up, and then I was in the water and officially awake. I did have to find shade ~2/3rds of the way through the wait, as the sun came up and started to cook us.
The bike portion was not the bad passing-wise, even on the first lap which was much more crowded. I actually found the first lap to be more exciting. The course was pretty wide (minus the no-pass zones and the turns - and there's nothing you can do about those), and I did not find passing to be difficult. Swim-wise, unless you're in the first couple waves of this event, you're just dealing with a lot of people who can't swim. Besides a few kicks to various body parts, I ended up a few cap colors in the future by the end of the swim.
Definitely a fun race that I'd like to do again, late wave or not. Thanks again guys! Go DC Tri Club!!!!