There was no shortage of things to keep folks entertained in the village!
The day before, and the clock won't stop ticking!Here we are on the 'eve' of the event. The dreaded storm seems to have slowed and is just sitting south of us - so all indications are that it will be much of the same for tomorrow. Foggy to start the day with the sun taking its good old time to come out as the day progresses.
It was a busy day down in the village. All the restaurants were doing brisk business as athletes and friends hung out to participate in various 'wheel of fortune' games or just watch reruns of the carbo dinner events from the evening before.
The mandatory pro meeting took place at 1.30pm. It is safe to say that an event run within the bounds of a military installation - things are VERY punctual. Race director Buzz Mills does not like to be even a minute off schedule. Buzz gave the usual run down of events for the morning. Most important was the new scheme to use 2 main entrances to get athletes onto the base and to the start on time. After the huge traffic backups from last year, where athletes were literally running to the start as the gun went off, after being stuck on the freeway off ramps - the Marines put some time and effort into a new plan.
He outlined the necessary info on aid stations, support vehicles and course nuances. Most comforting was that there will be over 200 military police out to control the traffic. Then head referee Grujan, got up and outlined the usual rules for drafting etc. The biggest point of contention and current issue was that of what constituted abandoning equipment. After the penalty incurred by Eric Burgen a couple of weeks ago at Wildflower when his bottle cage broke - he was penalised for not going back to pick it up. We were very clearly told that at this race - we would be allowed to drop clothing and sorts at official aid stations. If we accidently dropped a water bottle we would be allowed to leave it. He explained that since this is not a State Park as is the case up at Wildflower - there are plenty of candidates sitting in the Brig - that will be sent out after to clean up after us. Yet another benefit of having the military organisation.
It was also made clear to us that there will be no SIN BIN at this race. If a penalty is handed down - the three minutes will be served on the spot. A second penalty, naturally will result in a DQ.
Now all that was left was to check in the gear. It is a very relaxed and easy procedure here. We are allowed to rack our own bikes and then go and hang our own transition bags. Best of all is the fact that everyone has access to the bags in the morning as well, for any last minute items.
Just to keep you up to speed - our bike course gurus were out yet again,laying down even more paint on the course. Huddle's first job though was to go and get all the Port-A-Johns transported and out on the course. He did make a very interesting point when I turned my nose up at that job. He told me that they got waved through and saluted everywhere they went on base. The driver shared with him the fact that, even though it seems like the worst job - when there are going to be 30 000 people anywhere - the most important thing is the toilets - so they get priority no matter what! Must say I hadn't ever thought of it that way.
So here we are - the clock is ticking and everything seems set to go. Time to flop down on the coach and have a few slices of pizza. Both Heather and myself know that all we have to do is finish the race tomorrow and we will be atop the coaches challenge leaderboard. Oh yes - it doesn't matter how many toilets they set up or arrows they painted, but Roch and Paul are not toeing the line for the big one - so we are out there to collect our double points. Of course there are double points for an Ironman!!!
Hope you have enjoyed out Multisports run up to the race! Look out for the post race stories/excuses/adventures.
Roll out that ceremonial cannon! Oohrah!