With less than two weeks away, you’ve no-doubt been oscillating between extreme excitement and total freak out. You’re probably already reviewing (or pouring over) the 28 page athlete guide, Facebook groups, Twitter and everything else you can think of to get everything in order for the Tri. This will be Katie’s 2nd NYC Tri and Sirrah’s third. Here’s some tips to get you ready BEFORE race day:
- Make a list. Write an actual list of everything you need for the race. Here is an example. There is a lot of gear involved with a Tri and it’s easier than you might think to show up on race morning and realize you’ve forgotten something important like nutrition or a shoe.
- Visualize your transitions: This will help you with writing the list of everything you need and with figuring out how you’ll want to lay out your gear in your transition area. Like, Sirrah puts her bike gloves inside her helmet so she can’t forget them.
- Athlete briefing: It is mandatory for each athlete to attend a presentation about the race course and all the safety precautions and rules. The race coordinators do a great job of keeping it light, but it’s a serious subject which is why it’s mandatory. Some highlights: The Hudson is saltier than you’d think, so don’t be surprised. Yes, you may touch trash or dead fish, so don’t be surprised. No drafting on the bike (you must be 3 bike lengths behind the person in front of you). You must have your helmet clipped before you exit T1 and your bike must be racked in T2 before taking your helmet off. Read up on this information beforehand and you’ll be fine.
Once you attend the presentation you’ll pick up you packet and be given a wristband that will act as your key to getting into transition. You cannot take it off until you leave transition with all your stuff after the race. Be excited about it though, you’ll look like a VIP all weekend. And you are! It’s also a great way to guilt strangers into giving you a seat on public transit (oh yeah, I have a HUGE race coming up. I really should be saving my legs.).
- Expo: once you grab your packet, you’re free to enjoy the expo! Like all expos there will be overpriced branded merchandise. I (Sirrah) am pretty cheap, but for a big race like this I usually give in to the marketing and buy some memorabilia. For expensive stuff though, I always ask: 1. Do I need this? And 2. Will I use this? (There’s a bike valet there if you need to bring your bike to the expo!)
- Stickers and Tattoos: your race packet will include your bib AND stickers and tattoos that go on your bike, your helmet, and your arms and hands. You must put your sticker on your bike before you check it. See the Athlete Guide for instructions. The stickers come off your bike easily so don’t worry; the tattoos, not so much.
- Racking your bike: You must rack your bike the day before the race. During Katie’s first year, it felt like what she imagined dropping her child off for their first overnight trip from home would feel like. Despite what your taper Tri brain may be telling you, your bike will be fine there overnight. There are people there to help you check your bike and tires if you need it.
The NYC Tri has posted encouraging signs on the bike racks so take some comfort in this as you set your bike up. Take a look around and mentally review your space for your transition layout plan and visualize your exits from the transition area.
- Take a walk: While you’re there, walk up to the swim start. Look at the Hudson and notice that strong current. You’ll be in that soon, and it’ll wrap you in its comforting embrace and bring you swiftly to the swim exit.
- What to do now? Go eat your pre-race meal, hydrate and relax. You have to be at transition between 4 and 5 in the am!