The transition bags can be a bit overwhelming. In 2006 I put way more than I needed in them in anticipation of any worst case scenario I could imagine. I did pretty much the same this year, but not quite as bad. Here is this year’s breakdown:
Swim to bike transition bag: Helmet, bike shoes, sunglasses, socks, skullcap, electrolytes, gel flask with a mix of Apple Cinnamon and Banana Hammer gel, CO2 cartridge, Hammer Bar and arm warmers.
Bike special needs bag: This bag is available after the 1st 56 mile loop. This contained a 2 spare tubes, CO2 cartridge, Hammer Bar, 24oz bottle with 3 scoops of Hammer Sustained Energy, spare socks.
Bike to run transition bag: Running shoes, dry socks, canister of electrolytes, visor, gel flask with the same mix of Hammer Gel, Hammer Bar.
Run special needs bag: This bag is available after the 1st 13 mile loop. This contained a flask of Hammer Gel, canister of electrolytes, 20 oz bottle with 2 scoops of Hammer HEED, dry socks.
After getting the bags packed and putting the numbers on my bike and helmet I made my way down to the transition area to drop everything off at around 11am. Because of my participation in the Janus Charity Challenge I got a great number, 72, which meant I was pretty well placed in the transition area making my bag a little easier to find. This may seem like a little thing but I had a goal of beating my transition times from 2006 so being able to find my bags out of the other 2,400 wasn’t a simple process.
After racking my bike and hanging my transition bags I made my way down to Mirror Lake with the family so my Son could get a swim in. He had a blast and I was able to get off my feet for a while and sit in the shade. My awesome wife had packed sandwiches so we were able to enjoy a picnic lunch next to the lake.
After the swimming and picnic it was back to the hotel for some downtime before having to get back for the 2pm gathering of Janus Charity Challenge racers. If anyone reading ever decides to do an Ironman, I strongly urge you to get involved with this program. Besides raising money for the charity of your choice the people involved are fantastic and I’ve made some great friends. It was nice to catch up with them before heading back to the room for more downtime.
At about 5:30 I had my traditional pre-race meal of pasta with my wife’s homemade pasta sauce. Then, before turning in I layed out my GSTC race uniform & timing chip so I’d be ready to roll the next morning.
I felt ready to go. I did experience a few episodes of panic over the size task I was about to undertake, but I kept trying to turn my thoughts to the gratitude I felt for the opportunity I had to be able to participate. The only left to do was wake up and race….more on race day soon.