Tag Archive | teamintraining

Racing all Over Bermuda, part deux

So, where did I leave it last week? Everyone did the mile and the 10k, but the best part was around the corner. And the most stressful. Not really stressful, I was stressed about it, which is different. The day before an event, we do what we call the Inspiration Dinner. If you’ve been to one, they can be pretty amazing. We celebrate all their training and fundraising, cancer survivors in the team tell their amazingly inspiring stories, we pump the team full of inspiration for the big event the day before. It’s a massive planning undertaking and I had done them before, but I had never MCd one. There were 8 pages of text I had to say outloud. I had just a few days to memorize it. It was really stressed about some of the words. And I tend to trip over numbers in English sometimes with my accent… Pffff, breathe in…

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—this was my view from the podium. We had decorated the tables and hotel put those super cute Bermuda-style houses as centerpieces. It was all ready to go. 

Luckily, we had a super special speaker… Bart Yasso!! He was going to be the first speaker as he had to go to the official marathon pasta party after! The problem was… the food wasn’t ready yet and we were running out of time before he had to leave… I was in knots!

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So, executive decision had to be made (well, we really had no choice!): we started the dinner speech, sat everyone down. I did my first paragraphs so I could let Bart talk and he could leave right after

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He was fantastic. As you can imagine. I was a bit worried and half the room were first time marathoners and seriously had no idea who he was, but after three seconds I realized I had been an idiot worrying about it, Bart had everyone laughing and it was amazing. Even without food.

As soon as we was gone, we broke for food, they got back seated, continued the program and all went fantastic. Everyone was happy. I was completely spent but happy it went well! By 10 we were done, I had to scarf down some food and make super I was up at 4:30. Half and Full were on Sunday morning!

It rained all morning and I was already feeling a bit sicky… Luckily we had a dandy team tent, were we hid for a bit…

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At some point they were calling my name over the loudspeakers, which I couldn’t hear from the tent, half a block away, so someone came to grab me. I rushed!!!

Bart and Sid were by the Finish and in the announcers tent. They just wanted me to give them some info on the team to announce. I was there for a bit as it was really fun to scream my friends’ names all over the loudspeakers in Bermuda. I am a bit loud to start with… and hyper.

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—Pure love!  PS: he called me his girlfriend for the weekend. (Laura Yasso, you know we’re joking obviously. PS: love you too!!)

A few hours later, the team was done, we all went back to the hotel… and I was feverish!!!! That night we had what we call the Victory Party. We celebrate the team’s spirit, racing and fundraising. Then they eat, and they all went dancing. I was a sweaty, hot, feverish mess.

I had 3.5 vacation days in Bermuda after work was done and I was a hot mess. And, FYI, you can’t buy any ibuprofen or anything (thanks, you know who you are who tried over the phone, from overseas) without a prescription. It was sucky. I still managed to get outside for food and fresh air. I had to, it’s frigging Bermuda!

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Bermuda is truly gorgeous. I am planning on going back soon, May or June. It is just 2 hours from NYC!!!!! I am not gonna hide that I had no idea where Bermuda was… but it’s soooo close and so worth it. People are ridiculously nice. I am not sure it’s the best running: it’s crazy hilly, you have to run on the road with the cars, though they’re super nice and move out of the way, but definitely worth the trip. The pink beaches are just wonderfully amazing. I say yes.

Racing all Over Bermuda, part deux

And then there is race day

(It is kind of funny what race day = work day)
I have never done a triathlon (and quite probably never will but never say never right?), but spectated once at the NYC TRI, and I haveworked at a TNT event as staff once before, but just as support staff. So, I was a bit unprepared to what race day would bring as I hadn’t done that before… I had no idea what a triathlon looked like from the inside (“transition”, what’s that about?) or what I was supposed to do and how. But, as the manager for the tri program, it was about time I figured things out…
But let me back up a little… the day before the event, we usually do what is called the Inspiration Dinner. I have showed you guys the one we had in San Francisco for the Nike Womens Marathon for 4000 people, with Kara Goucher and lots more. The Inspiration dinner servers as a pasta party but also you get to hear about the mission and how your money helps people. In most teams, there is one or more honored team mates, cancer patients in remission, or currently undergoing treatment who are also training for the race. One of them usually speaks at the dinner and tells everyone how they got there and how TNT has helped. Our team mate from NYC talked this time and it was very moving. I don’t have a connection to blood cancer but it’s crazy how cancer is everywhere and always so close. I always end up really moved and inspired (sometimes I even say crazy things like if he did all these triathlons with all he had going on, I HAVE TO do a triathlon too —newsflash: it never lasts… I am so lame!), and I joke that “I cry at this job everyday”, but it is true.
—Every chapter gets their own tables and we get to decorate them with whatever we want…
The dinner starts very loud. We set up what we call the “red carpet”, it’s a long pathway where the teams have to walk thru when they get in and all the staff and coaches line it up dressed up in purple and making lots of noise. It’s insane. Cowbells, bam bams, whistles, drums, whatever. It’s a celebration to their training and commitment and makes them feel like superstarts. It’s pretty amazing and people get super pumped!
—I wish I could show you how loud and insane this is… Impossible!!!
We then eat, hear speeches, including Dave Scott, our National Triathlon head coach (and Chrissie Wellington’s coach), eat pasta and cookies (more cookies than pasta for me), have a little separate group meetup with last minute instructions, do a little arts and crafts decorating singlets/wetsuits, wish everybody a great race day, hug, and they’re off to sleep. The coordinator and I though, had one more thing to do… we created notes for every single one of them, telling how amazing they are and now we had to go through the whole hotel to slip them under their doors. This is a big hotel. 25 acres. 1538 rooms. Ay. But it’s all worth it! They all appreciated it and told us so the next day.
I pass out and ten minutes later it’s race morning!!!!!
Just as a side note, there were around 1200 people in this tri (very unofficial number!!!) and 548 were Team in Training (official number). Can you imagine such a thing? Almost half the racers!!!
Anyway, we had 57 from NYC and they all seemed pumped and ready to go in. It’s kind of funny to me that their corrals are in the water. In the water!!! Of course it’s normal to them, but it’s silly to me (though I’ve been to some races where it was pouring rain so…).
Also funny, seeing them all go crazy to get into their wetsuits, they jump around, the pull and shove each other… And don’t get me started on those swim caps.
We help with stuff, then they are off and we just wait for a few minutes.
As soon as they start coming out of the water we cheer but also have to check each of our NYC participants off a list. We have to make sure everyone is accounted for. Just in case. But they all come out undressing mid run and they are all smiling!
After everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) is out of the water, we regroup with our cheering squad (with other staff from texas and california) and we move to our second location to cheer them on Mile 2 and 4.
It is hot. If this was a run I’d be upset. But tris require warmer weather, or they’d freeze in the water and the bike, or so I heard.
After we had all of our team go through Mile 4, we had to go help at the Finish.
We cheered, moved people along, helped with the check out, and all that fun stuff. By then it was around noon and I had been up since 5, so I was starving, tired, and hot. All I wanted was to jump in the water…
I had to rush though, bike loading (to bring their bikes back to NYC) finished at 3 and I had a lot of co2 cartridges to return (it’s a bullet that contains some gas to pump tired in a second) and they were in my room. So, rush to the hotel, then rush to bike loading. By 3:30 pm, I was free. For a bit. Had to make myself presentable for the Victory Party (yes, so many parties, tough job!!). 
This one is more laid back, there’s no speeches, people just eat, dance, chat, congratulate each other and toast themselves into an early night. We were all exhausted, but we were all still fun.
A party BY the pool, not a pool party, we were reminded…
Just because we’re not ridiculous enough!
Our Brooklyn Head Coach, that makes me look super short!

And then there is race day