Saturday, August 6, 2011

I attented my New York Nautica triathlon orientation

Never Done: I attended my New York Nautica triathlon orientation

To get your triathlon registration packet, you have to first sit in a 30-minute orientation where they tell you helpful things like "Since we are doing a new time-trial start have no idea what time you will get in the water, so you need to be the extra early." Then you get a hand stamp to prove you were there, and that hand let's you get in a long line to pick up your packet with your numbers (my number is 1091) and get your wrist band. If you are an elite athlete you get to stand in the very short Champions line. If you are a larger than average (but I don't know by whose standards) athlete you go to the Clydesdales or Athena line. You are on your lunch break. Your line moves slowly. You didn't realize there would be a giant expo with sports vendors hawking their wares. You almost skip it but then realize that's where you are going to get your string bag and official t-shirt, and also where you can get body marked - with your race number on your upper arm and hand and your age on your shin. After you get body marked you remember you are getting a massage tomorrow and the Sharpie is gonna smear all over with the warm oil. You go back to work. Some people ask about your numbers but mostly you just work. Your wrist band is too tight. You go to therapy. Therapy happens to be 4 blocks from the triathlon headquarters. You decide to see if they will loosen your band. You expect them to be annoyed but a nice woman says that if she can help with the little things she is happy to. Your new wrist band is way better because in addition to being looser, it's smaller. On your way out, you look at the Expo just a little. A t-shirt catches your eye. It says Nautica New York City Tri on a background of the NYC skyline made out of participants' names. It is beautiful. You almost leave without it, but you see your mentor looking at the same shirt, looking for her name. You almost leave without saying hello. Then you tell yourself - but she's your mentor and she's been great. You go back. You say hi. You find your name. You buy the shirt. You make a plan to go to the triathlon together Sunday morning. You leave the hotel, feeling a little more connected -- both by the graphic on the t-shirt and your relationship with your mentor.

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