Me and my insomnia are up late again together, and I got to reliving Nations...and reliving the special JOY that the DC tri water stop was. That was the best water stop EVER, I was never so happy to see a bunch of friendly faces in my life.
I just wanted to say thank you to all the water stop peeps and to everyone else who volunteered to make nation's such a success for those of us who raced.
i'm all verklempt!
Ditto, all the volunteers were awesome (as were my fellow racers - very supportive field this year!).
Which group was running the hip hop water stop at mile 2 or 3? I don't think I had the energy to show my appreciation but in my head I was thinking, "This. Is. Awesome!"
that's Tri Unify
We used to have some members that also belonged to Tri Unify but Brent moved and Becky got married.
I didn't even know that DC Tri was running a water stop! That's what I get for spending the whole run scanning ankles for the numbers 25, 26, 27, 27, and 29... So apologies for not shouting out when I ran by, but thanks for being there!
This was my first olympic (after two sprints this summer) and I really have to thank all of you for the training tips and encouragement the past couple months. I had no idea what I was doing going into the summer, but with all of your help I managed to realize my only goal - to beat Fenty! This club really is the best.
Lisa - Good to know, thanks! I see them a lot at races so next time I'll be sure to give them a big hug of appreciation.
A brief feature article on the swim leg of the race:
Nice article, Ed. I appreciate your perspective on the swim leg and the volunteer efforts provided. Kudos to those who did volunteer; however, I -- along with several others -- agree with the posted comments by "Tommy Kitty." Curious name for a triathlete, but I think he's right; there just didn't seem to be enough support out there on the water!
Tommy Kitty's comments were spot on regarding number of volunteers. Does DC tri club make gear for kittys? I think he would prefer to wear a onesie.
Sounds like there could have been more kayaks from reports. And we're definitely thankful for the volunteers we do have on the water. Nice article Ed. Maybe improving swimming confidence in the offseason could help Tommy Kitty and let him plan a race that doesn't go from kayak to kayak - although leaping from kayak to kayak does sound cool.
The kayakers did sometimes have to deal with multiple swimmers at once, hard to do. The requirement to be a kayak vol is to have a kayak, which not that many possess. Perhaps the race could contact the kayak group at Meetup.com or other groups to solicit more vols.
Some of the swimmers in distress were just having a bad day. Others however hadn't trained properly or in open water.
Suggestions/comments can be sent to the race:
i have to disagree with tommy kitty's remarks. the course did not need more kayaks in teh water. unless there was a lot of people needing assistance and there was not enough kayaks at that point to be safe, then you dont' need more kayaks.
although i did not see many kayaks in the water, i liked it that the kayakers kept a safe distance away and made it actually feel like "open water" swimming instead of swimming in a pool that some races are doing when they literally have kayaks every 30 feet in the water.
i think that even inexperienced swimmers if they diligently practiced sighting and trained properly would have found the swim easy to find their way as there were very good stationary objects to use as sighting markers . Sure teh swim was a little tough at times and it was tough to sight the bouys at some points, but that is where the challenge of the race comes in.
As long as there are enough kayakers to keep people safe in case there is an emergency then that is enough, do we really want so many kayakers in the water that it literally feels like swimming in a pool with lane lines?
obviously if someone did not train properly and practice sighting in the pool and such then, yes the swim course could be much more difficult.
Great discussion. I did not have any problems on the swim but, judging by the other dozen or so tri's I have done, this one had the fewest kayaks out there. If the goal is to make tri more accessable to all and give people the confidence to go out there, then the race should look at that. If the goal is to make it a "test of the best" - then fewer kayaks make sense. I vote for the former.
Where is this "Tommy Kitty" comment everyone is referring to? I was near the end of the race (wave 25, starting at 8:12) so I saw a lot of the stragglers. At that time there were several kayaks and boats spread fairly evenly throughout the course. Now if someone was looking for a kayak every 100 meters or so to rest, then that is one thing, but as far as the safety of the athletes goes, I think it was adequate.
I just read the article, it did not discuss a lack of kayaks. Sounds like there were plenty. Guess I didn't see some of them, but then again I really wasn't looking- just trying to spot a buoy or two!