Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Little Splash And A Little Dash

Upon moving to Austin, I made the goal to get involved in the community, triathlon and otherwise, and meet as many people as possible.  I would consider it a waste of moving and a great city to look around - or emerge from my bunker if my standard operating procedure from DC doesn't change - a year from now and realize I have no one with whom to train, let alone go to dinner.

I fell into the DC triathlon scene sideways and accidentally and although that scene helped propel me to and prepare me for bigger and faster things, I was never really a part of it.  I was more a sometimes member of a fundamentalist sect of the DC tri scene and unless I was willing to up the ante - go to happy hours, bend my training schedule, and frankly, buy a car - I was never going to get a taste of the super-concentrated Kool-Aid.

A comparison: I have completed more training sessions with someone/people since arriving in Austin than I did during my entire last six months in DC.  In DC, I was an island, partly of my own creation.  Solo training has its rightful place in making strong athletes; too much solo training gets strong athletes carted off to the loony bin.

No loony bin for me!  Yet!

Austin is a hot-bed for racing - big, small, single sport, multi-sport, set up a start and finish line, pass around a hat, and the event is likely to sell out.  So I figured the best way to get involved and meet people was to volunteer.  As a veteran of several Marine Corps Marathon water stops, I feel confident in my water-cup-filling-and-passing-out ability, and as a former professional Ironman sherpa, I bring many marketable skills to the table for cheering on race participants.

Austin's Chamber of Triathlon Commerce, Jack and Adam's, organizes a summer Splash (750 m swim) and Dash (3k run) series.  Lots of well-intentioned age-group athletes and one aid station: I have this stone cold.

Scene of the Splash: the quarry behind Pure Austin North

Pure Austin North...a gym with its own open-water swim venue...have I mentioned how awesome Austin is?

Not a bad turn-out for a Tuesday night event that the winners will complete in 20-23 min

A better view

Cindy watching the first racer, pro Richie Cunningham, come past her post

The Dash is held on the 1k crush stone trail that rings the quarry...notice how organized our aid station is!

The look on Pete's face says he is contemplating crushing some more stone for the trail surface

Jamie working hard to keep Pete honest

And George...well, George didn't really Splash and Dash so much as make grilled food for everyone, an equally admirable pursuit if I do say so myself (on my stomach's behalf)

Add in a complimentary ART/chiro tent, NUUN test drinks, K-Swiss merchandise/test equipment tent, and a keg of a beer, and I get the feeling this is pretty much a normal Tuesday night in the multi-sport world of South Central Texas.

Only 2,319 more people for me to meet!

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