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!