Follow this advice the night before and morning of for your first triathlon
1) Arrive early and get ready to have a lot of fun! Plan to be in transition one hour before race start. Mental stress can make the morning of your first triathlon seem hectic. Take a minute to take it all in and realize that you are winning just by showing up!
2) Set up a mock transition area the night before at home. Put everything out as you plan for race morning. Practice putting on your shoes and helmet. Then switching to running shoes and running hat.
3) Attach all the numbers to proper equipment including bike, helmet, and race belt. The number must be worn for the entirety of the run and you must finish the race with the number on the front of your body.
4) Leave your house in the morning wearing what you are going to race in, INCLUDING your timing chip on your ankle. Didn’t have a timing chip in your packet or realized you left it at home – don’t worry, you can pick up a replacement one on race morning.
5) Make sure that all your numbers are matching: timing chip, bike, helmet, race belt, and body marking. This is for your safety. Your USAT race age goes on the back of your right calf and is based on the year you were born, not the exact date.
6) After body marking, head straight into transition and claim a nice spot since you are there extra early. Be kind to other athletes and keep your transition area small and directly underneath your bike.
7) There should be enough room for at least 6 bikes per rack. You can “rack” your bike by either hooking the seat over the railing or by hooking the handlebars over the railing. If you have not inflated your tires already take your bike to the mechanic’s tent or use your own pump.
Now that you know where and how your bike is going to be – set up your area. It is nice to have a small towel to put down. Since you practiced the night before this should be a piece of cake!
1) Make sure your bike and/or running shoes are open with loose laces for easy on/off. Put your sunglasses in your helmet so that you grab them before putting on the helmet and don’t accidentally try and leave transition without either. If you want water on the bike course make sure and have a water bottle filled in your bike.
2) As you leave transition count how many bike racks away from the entrance you are. When transition is filled with bikes it can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
3) Before you leave transition make sure to take your goggles and your swim cap with you. You will not be able to re-enter once transtion closes at 7:30.
3) Use the bathroom early if you can. The lines will get longer the closer we get to race start.
4) Familiarize yourself with the flow of the race site. Visit swim start and finish and make sure you understand how to get from swim exit to transition. Do a warm-up walk/ run of the run finish. Get an idea of a landmark that lets you know you are near the finish line. This will be a great boost and make you more comfortable when you are in the home stretch.
5) After the swim you will enter transition at one end and leave at the other. This process is reversed for the second transition when you return from the bike. That is, the bike starts and finishes on the same side and the run goes out where the swim came in.
6) If you do nothing else to familiarize with the race set up, get to the swim start early!! There will be an announcement of when the water is open for a possible warm-up swim. Take advantage of this opportunity to get a feel for the water. If this is your first open water race take an extra moment to get comfortable with not being able to see the bottom; don’t worry no one else can either.
7) If you don’t like swimming in the group or are not a strong swimmer place yourself on the outside edge and towards the back of the swim group. Placing yourself ahead of faster swimmers will only mean that they will have to swim around you, which can be stressful when you are trying to focus on other things like sighting. Not sure? Talk to others with the same swim cap color and ask, you will meet new friends and have an idea of where to be in the pack.
8) What should you do if you have a moment of panic in the water? Try switching the style of swimming. Maybe doggy paddle or breast stroke until you have your bearings again. If you feel that you cannot continue the race there are lifeguards in kayaks that can pull you from the water. You do not need a wetsuit to race. We will take the water temperature on race morning and announce if wetsuits are legal.