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Hi, I'm Whitney! I am a middle of the pack runner who discovered the fun of triathlons in 2009. Join me in my adventures in life and training. I run with the Rush Running team and enjoy the fun that comes with such a supportive group of friends who understand what running means to me. I'm newly discovering road biking and the fun that it entails.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Redman Half Ironman Pre-Race Activities

This year my goal race was the Redman Half Ironman in Oklahoma City.  This was my second half ironman and a return to Redman for me.  This race is very convenient at just 4 hours from home and is just 40 minutes from my sister's house so I have built in cheerleaders!  Unfortunately this year my family was double-booked so instead of the whole crew at the race I got my brother-in-law Tim.  He served as head race sherpa and cheerleader and did pretty good on both jobs! Up first for my race recap is all the activities on Friday!

Redman is an athletes race...put on by athletes for athletes.  One thing they are really good about is pre-race communication.  There are several scheduled smart mails that each participant receives with detailed information for pre-race and race day schedule as well as a very active Facebook page where participants share tips and information.  Leading up to the race there was an unexpected storm that unfortunately damaged the race site on the day before registration/packet pick up.  The team quickly communicated the situation and delayed the registration schedule slightly.

I drove over to OKC Friday morning and dropped my dog Sidney off in Norman at my sister's house.  I put her crate together and got her situated in the guest room.  My sister's cats of course had to check everything out!
Annie thought that she should pack herself into my transition bag! 

Percy stood guard over Annie playing in my bag and always manages to stress poor Sidney (my dog) out.

I then did some shoe shopping and then made my way to Lake Hefner.  I made really good time and ended up arriving about an hour before the new pickup time.  Here's a tip for participants...the lake access road will be barricaded but there is room for a car to go through.  You can drive through and then park along the access road to head to packet pickup.  It will look like the road is closed but it's okay for racers!

New this year was a new check in process.  Athletes were required to attend a safety briefing in order to go to packet pickup.  This was done in small groups of athletes.  You checked in with your bib number so make sure you take note of that in advance.  Then you listened to the briefing and received a small paper with notes from the various course element directors.  Once the briefing finished, the athletes proceeded to two computers where upon providing your bib number you received a receipt detailing out your entire registration.  That receipt gained you admittance to the packet pickup tent.  After checking your ID and USAT membership card, you proceeded to the appropriate line for your bib number.  This year racers received a sling backpack, cotton event shirt, and a nice coffee mug.  There were vendors and race merchandise on the other side of the tent as you exited.  I bought a new running vest and one of my favorite visors by Headsweats!

Once you receive your packet you are ready for bike checkin.  The race uses personalized stickers for all the events and they are all labeled so it's pretty easy to figure it out.  I loved the bike number because it stayed out of the way.  Bike numbers are always so frustrating but this one was great! Once the numbers were on my bike, I made my way into transition.  My bike passed the inspection and then it was time to find my rack spot.  Now for some reason, as I looked at the bike rack signs I thought that my race number was 888 and the signs showed a gap between 850 and 900.  I was sooooo confused and asked for help.  The first question back was what's your race number...oh yeah that would be 688!  I found my spot and unfortunately my bike didn't fit on the rack by the seat.  It was breezy and the bike was just swaying in the wind so I took it down and switched it so that it was racked by the handlebar.  That solved the problem and after a brief chat with another racer I was done and headed back to Norman.

Lindsey cooked a great pasta dinner and even made a Pinterest find that I had shared with her.  Unfortunately the cooking time for the veggie dish was not right on Pinterest and so we had to eat dinner in two courses! Here's a photo of the dish...super pretty and quite tasty!
After dinner, I went back through my triathlon bag and confirmed that I had everything packed.  I laid out my clothes for the morning and laid out water bottles to fill up.  I set the alarm for 4:40 so that we could leave the house by 5:00AM.  I fell asleep okay and managed to sleep pretty well for a pre-race night.

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