weather was beautiful - perfect for an IM; sunny, high 60's to low 70's, light wind. The water was super calm for the swim. It's amazing spectating an IM swim up close. The age groupers spread out excessively in terms of width. I realize first hand the fears and phobias many have in a mass swim start because I have worked with many athletes who deal with this. It's never comfortable getting swum over, kicked, pushed, slapped, ... However, watch the swim of an IM race and you will see how much quicker and easier the pack moves as compared to the lone swimmer, battling the currents and still water on their own on the outside.
Just before the swimmers began to exit the drink, we positioned ourselves at the bike mounting area as you leave t1. The swimmers under an hour came out dispersed well. And then, the 1 hr to 1:15 swimmers! Man, there are so many IM swimmers in this 15 min range and it is certainly crowded leaving on the bike. I saw a lot of athletes with their shoes attached to their bikes, with no clue how to mount their bike with their shoes attached to their bikes, including some female pros! If you want to blend in at an IM, wear red. Cervelos were definitely the most popular bike by far.
We got out on the bike course and also on the run. To sum it up easily, it's a great venue. The city inhabitants including the college kids seem to really actually enjoy hosting this IM. I think this race has a lot of character. Not as much charisma as IMLP, but it really is a solid venue. Would I race there? Yes, I would, although I probably will never get the chance. Besides Hawaii, the next IM I'd like to race is Canada. Then Roth, then Switzerland.
We had entertaining travels home including a full sprint through just about the whole Detroit airport to make our connection. I had an aisle seat next to some freaky deaky couple - the guy in the middle sleeping and breathing with his laser breath right at me and his bizarre wife who stared at me the whole time - maybe I'm the freak.
I had jury duty yesterday. That deserves it's own blog!