Penticton Update #3
Posted August 28, 2004 09:51 PM
The clock is ticking down to race day! Only a few short hours left now. All the preparation, physical and mental, has taken place. Now it's time to get to work and put it all together.
Last night was spent at the carbo loading party which was held at the Penticton Convention Centre. It's a massive facility which was able to accomodate the 2000+ athletes and guests. After the dinner there's always an amusing video shown outlining what "to do" and "not to do" leading up to race day. This year Paul Huddle (married to Paula Newby-Fraser) and Roch Frey (married to Heather Fuhr) starred in the video. It was very silly and produced many groans and laughs from the audience.
One highlight of the evening was when Steve King, the announcer and "voice of Ironman" asks anyone in the audience who has done at least one Ironman anywhere in the world to stand up. Usually about 1/2 of the audience stands up. Then he continues asking everyone to remain standing if you've done at least two Ironman races (I remained standing for that round!), three, four, etc. The number of people standing gradually dwindles. There were three men left standing when Steve reached #21! They are three Pentictonite men who are affectionately known as the Three Dickheads! Then Steve asks all the Ironvirgins (doing their first IM race) to stand up - the number of those individuals was really impressive. Easily 1/4 of the audience.
After the carbo loading party we came home and organized our gear into the various bags provided. Swim to bike gear, bike to run gear, special needs for the bike, special needs for the run, dry clothes for after the race. We had lots and lots of piles around the place - looked like a bomb had gone off!
Today (Saturday) was the mandatory athletes briefing at 11:30. We were treated (or subjected, depending on your point of view) to another humorous video from Paul and Roch on what to expect on race day. They outlined the various changes to the swim, bike and run courses.
Then it was home for a brief nap to recharge the batteries and then back downtown for the athletes parade down the main street of Penticton. Apparently this year's race has people from 48 of the 50 states in the US competing, plus people from 26 other countries around the world. There are 592 athletes from BC in the race. In total there are approximately 2100 athletes expected to start the race.
We're now home and well fed. Jan and Ken, who are staying with us, prepared a wonderful pasta dinner for us. They will be our "IronSherpas" tomorrow. Driving us to and from the race site and looking after any and all of our needs. It will be a very long day for them as well as we'll all be up at about 4am and won't return to the house until sometime after 1am on Monday morning!
So it's time for bed now. Hopefully to get a few hours of sleep before the alarm goes off. I'll post my post race report within a couple of days. Wish us luck!!