We're in Kansas City for USA Triathlon Nationals! A few difficulties along the way, one that included a fiesty confrontation between Chris and a bottle of orange pop. After a few sips, the orange pop gave Chris the hiccups which immediately enfuriated him and prompted him, in a fit of hiccupy rage, to demand that I dump the pop out the car window (because he was driving) and then for some idiot reason I actually followed this command and dumped the pop out the window only to realize that my bike was sticking out from the back of the car. And now, my bike is covered in orange pop and assorted bugs.
Last night, we traveled down to St. Louis to stay at Sam's palatial bachelor suite. After some breakfast and what came to be too much coffee (even for me), we headed out to Kansas City and arrived around 2:30 pm. In true Missouri fashion, it was hot and windy today. Temperatures were probably around 90 and the wind was gusting up to 20 mph. After a quick stop at the host hotel, we made our way to the race site at Smithville Lake.
The race is set up quite different than last September's US Half Iron Championship. Different transition area, different swim course, and a slightly different run. The wonder twins (Sam & Chris) did their little bike thing and I set off for an hour long run. I got out there on the course and immediately questioned how I ran this course TWICE last year in the heat. It was hot and hilly, as I remembered. And the path around the lake still twists and twists along. After running, I had no regrets that I was not doing the race. I'm just tagging along on sherpa-duty and serving my role as professional inspirational specialist. In other words, I'm just cheerleading on the sidelines this weekend and I couldn't be happier.
After the run, I headed off for a quick swim with the ever-adorable and upbeat Leslie Curley. She too is not racing but her husband is officiating so we met up on at the course. I got word that they had drained the lake - I'm guessing because of the Eurasian Milfoil that seems to be floating and tangled everywhere. It's much more shallow and a million times muddier. In fact, I would say there's about 50 - 75 yds are pure muck from the beach start out into the water. Not really a problem if you're swimming, but the water in those 50 - 75 yds is about knee to waist deep on me. The water is 79.5 degrees and comfortably warm. It was a bit choppy today but the wind was blowing.
There were all sorts of big names and amateur tri superstars milling about the course. The competition looks to be very strong this year. Here's a few highlights of what I've seen today:
The beautiful Laura Sopheia riding the run course
Jennifer Garrison, forever smiling and looked fired up to win
Jennifer Meyer looking fast and fit as always
Mary Sundy look oh so sexy in a short skirt :)
Kristin Moore - ready to rock
JJ Bailey's bike in transition
Amy Kloner hanging out in some shade
Mark Livesay worked hard, as always
Jeff Curley checking bikes in
Leslie Curley and myself checking out the guys rolling their bikes in
And many others just waiting for their chance to tear up the course in Kansas City tomorrow. I'm sure as the day heats up tomorrow, the competition will be just as hot! More to come...