As an inexperienced triathlete, gearing up for the Olympic Rev3 at Quassy was a pretty big deal for me. I’d only done two sprints before and my open water swimming leaves a lot to be desired…First race of the season AND my longest race to date. As race day approached, I stalked the 10 day forecast and was pleased by the sunshine and race-perfect temps predicted for Saturday June 4th. High of 75? Perfect. At least I have that going for me. For the first time in my life, I got a solid sleep the night before my race and wasn’t waking up every 5 minutes panicking about oversleeping. That’s got to be a good sign, right? At 4:15AM I jumped out of bed (literally) to get my awesome Yale tri uniform on but first I had to apply the temporary tattoos with my race and age numbers. Overly confident in my intelligence, I decided to skip the instructions on the back of the tattoos and instead carefully watched myself in the mirror to make sure the arm number was nice and straight. I then applied a wet washcloth to the back of the tattoo only to find that OOPS…I never peeled the plastic cover from the front of the tattoo. So noooow the numbers were stuck to the plastic and there was no hope of salvaging them for my arm (trust me, I tried). One might think this was no big deal but for me, sheer PANIC set in. Yes, I’m a crazy person. In my completely irrational train of thought here I rushed to get in my car so I could get to the race as early as possible to take care of this number situation. I prayed and prayed and prayed and drove like a lunatic hoping that somehow they would have extra numbers and the race directors would take pity on me. As it turns out, the one tattoo that I had managed to successfully apply to my right arm was now covered in fuzz from my warmup jacket. Awesome. The race hasn’t even started and I already look like a trainwreck. The rest of the pre-race details are unimportant since bodymarking turned out to be available and apparently I’m not the only idiot incapable of applying temporary tattoos. Avik was the only other member of Yale tri team racing Saturday. It was great to see a teammate in matching Yale Tri warm ups although he seemed to be just as insane as I was since he frantically ran up to me and asked if he could have my spare tube and levers to fix a flat tire before the race. SURE. No problem. Now let’s just hope that I don’t get a flat during the race. (Avik, I’m joking. Now that I got through the race without a flat I don’t mind at all. Seriously.) This was the first race I’ve done with friends and teammates and I have to say it was really nice waiting in front of the water with some familiar faces rather than staring at the furthest buoy and freaking out. The air temp was a bit chilly since the race started at 6:50AM but Lake Quassa-whatever-you-call-it was a comfortable 68 degrees and looked perfectly calm. The swim was a huge success for me. The conditions were perfect and I was able to swim faster that I had predicted. The only setback was a dislodged left contact that left me half-blind. I took care of it in T1 though and just want to warn other nerds out there that you should have a back-up set of contacts in your bag, just in case. The bike was hell. Just being frank here. It was hill after brutal hill and by mile 14 I was very seriously considering jumping off my bike and running up the hills because I thought it might be faster. There were some serious downhills in exchange for the uphills but I guess those were just as bad because somewhere along the way my two GU energy gels flew out of my jersey pockets leaving me with only my water bottles for fuel. Lesson learned. In the few moments when I didn’t think I was dying, I did happen to notice the bike course scenery was gorgeous. Some red farmhouses and green pastures. Even the brief smell of cow manure to make us really know we were out of New Haven. The run was, of course, hilly too. By some miracle though, I felt way better on the run than I expected. I was really happy to be on my feet again and doing the sport I’m most comfortable with. The mile 2 aid station was staffed with Yale triathletes who cheered me on and made me run faster (at least while they were looking). Crossing the finish line felt amazing. My first Olympic distance race on a tough course, done and done! Now someone get me Gatorade and a banana.
PROs of Olympic Quassy Rev 3:
•They write your name on your bib number and your transition block
•You get a t-shirt AND a long sleeve tech shirt AND a visor in your race swag bag
•Relatively close to New Haven
•Discount to Yale team members if they volunteer at the Half Rev the next day
CONS of Olympic Quassy Rev 3:
•Post-race food was hot dogs, hamburgers, and salad. Seriously? I’m a vegetarian and I’m sick of salad. No bananas?? What the hell?
•SO many hills
•Quassy Amusement Park doesn’t have big rollercoasters
Lessons learned from this race:
1)Always have a spare pair of contacts in your transition bag
2)Always have a spare tube. Not for a flat…but for a friend.
3)Secure your GU
4)Temporary tattoo application is not self-explanatory