Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Pac Crest Day 1: Craziness and Fun

Bright and early Friday morning, I packed up our camper van, removed all of the assorted cats who were trying to stow away, and we took off for Sunriver. The plan was to go to Wickiup on the way to swim and check out the transition area. To our great relief, we found the water was a balmy 64 degrees (not the frigid 52 of a few weeks before), and the parking lot was paved (it was a muddy dirt mess when we were there in early June).

From there, we headed into town to get our Team in Training athletes' packets and to let the kids participate in the Splash, Pedal, and Dash kids' triathlon. This was my 8 year old's second triathlon, and she had a blast. She especially loved how the "splash" part of the race was done on a giant waterslide and that they did a time trial start so there was no mob of kids.

It was fun to watch but I was completely unprepared for the sheer numbers of kids (and athlete parents) there! Most kids' triathlons that my kids have done have had about 40 or 50 participants, and this had more like 500 or so. I got separated from my friend (and my son) and forgot to take my cell phone with me, so a good deal of confusion ensued. We even ended up losing Asa at the finish line (I took photos and then we couldn't find her coming out of the chute), but luckily she stuck with our emergency backup plan and we met up in the transition area. You can just tell she was having a terrific time from the smile on her face in every race photo!

From there, it was on to the Team in Training pasta party. You can definitely say that these people have spirit. The coaches and mentors were lined up in crazy garb to welcome the athletes in. What followed was a lot of yummy food and some very inspirational speeches. Lest any of us forget why we were really there that day (and it can be easy to do in all of the pre-race jitters and preparation), Bob & Terry Jordan shared their photos and memories of their daughter Emily, who died of leukemia at age 5 1/2. Our team ate together and started to feel that this was all getting very real.

After the pasta party, we took a few group photos out on the lawn, and we were off to our condos to start getting all the gear ready for tomorrow. On Saturday, we planned to cheer on the Half-Iron participants, take another swim and get all the bikes ready to rack up in T1.

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