Half Ironman

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This is what I might be doing on April 5th… Uhh nervous!

HALF IRON RACE DAY: The transition area opens at 5:30am. Once you’ve parked, make your way to the transition area to get body marked. Volunteers will body mark you with your race number on the upper arm, back of hand, and thigh, and mark your age/category on your calf before you proceed to the transition area. You must be body marked before entering the transition area to rack your bike. Your “ChampionChip” timing chip should be secured around the ankle. You must wear the color-coded swim cap issued at registration and be ready to start with your swim wave. At the swim start on Palm Beach, a short race-day reminders meeting will commence at 8:00am, followed by the National Anthem. Please allow time for the short walk over to Palm Beach for the swim start. The first Swim Wave will start at approximately 8:15am, after all of the Quarter Iron waves have started. All athletes must be out of the transition area by 7:25 AM. There will be lifeguard and boat support provided by Galveston Beach Patrol. The BLUESEVENTYSWIM courseis a counter-clockwise, trapezoidal 1.2 mile saltwater swim in Offats Bayou. The average water temperature for Offats Bayou at this time of year is 72 degrees. There are big orange tetrahedron buoys at the turns. You will finish just on the west side of the Colonel Paddlewheel dock. Look for the large yellow swim finish arch. As you exit the water, be careful – there are oyster beds. We have built an exit ramp that’s carpeted. Once you reach the yellow pennants, it is safe to stand up. Before you reach the SAUCONY TRANSITION, there will be wetsuit strippers to help you… have your wetsuit unzipped and off to your waist… just drop down to the ground, and they’ll pull off the rest. There is also a fresh water shower to remove the salt water, and an aid station with water and Gatorade Endurance Formula before you enter transition.

After completing the swim, you will transition to the 56 mile MAVICBIKE course. The Bike is a modified 1 and half loop out and back course, consisting of one 48 mile loop, and an additional 8 mile loop. The bike course is in a closed, coned lane on 3005 until you reach Galveston State Park. After that there is a 9 foot wide breakdown lane in which to bike. Once reaching the west end of the island, 3005 becomes a divided 4 lane road once again. You’ll ride in the right, coned, closed lane there. You will proceed over the San Luis Pass and turn around ¼ mile after it.

Following the turnaround, you will bike back approximately 8 miles, to where the divided 4 lane road ends. At approximately MILE 28, there will be a line of cones dividing your travel lane. You will be directed to either turn left and do your second, smaller loop of the bike course, or continue straight to head back towards transition. There will be signage and volunteers. Please remember to stay to the left of the coned closed lane as you approach the split to begin your second small lap. You will merge there with athletes on their first lap. After you’ve completed this second lap, you will continue straight back to transition. This is approximately at mile 36.5, where you’ll continue straight to head back to Moody Gardens. Unfortunately, due to the road damage by Hurricane Ike, the road on the other side of San Luis Pass has been washed out. This is the reason for the 2nd loop of the bike. We are planning on having a one loop bike for 2010, while just continuing further down 3005 for a turnaround.

Be careful on your way out of transition as there are a couple of speed bumps, and there will be bikes returning on 83rd street. A word of caution– when approaching 83rd street on the seawall, please watch for parked cars and their doors opening–during this ¼ of a mile, it’s best not to ride to the far right. Please dismount from your bike at the marked location before entering the transition area.

You must buckle your helmet before you take your bike off the rack, and keep it buckled until you re-rack your bike. Triathletes are encouraged to bring at least two water bottles on the course. There will be WATER, GATORADE ENDURANCE FORMULA, POWERBAR GELS, and PORTA POTTIES at 4 aid stations on the course. Only drop water bottles at the aid stations, not in the roadway. There will be lead and sag vehicles provided by Sand Dollar Car Dealerships as well as 5 motorcycle teams for safety and draft monitoring sponsored by Krewe De Vroom. MAVIC and BIKE BARN will be driving the course to aid with any mechanical problems. Please note that you’re required to fix your own bike, per USAT rules. Don’t wait for or expect help, you could be waiting a long time! Mavic and Bike Barn will be on the scene to do everything they can to make sure you finish the race. It is your responsibility to know the race course, to follow the race officials’ instructions, and to observe all USAT rules. ALL TURNS WILL BE CLEARLY MARKED WITH SIGNS AND VOLUNTEERS, AND WILL BE MANNED BY POLICE OFFICERS. PLEASE PAY ATTENTION!! Course maps are available on the website, http://www.lonestartri.com, and will also be placed in your race booklet. There will also be maps posted at the registration tent.

After the bike you will transition to the four-loop 13.1 mile SAUCONYRUN course. Please remember to wear your race number on the front at all times. There will be aid stations more than every mile with GATORADE ENDURANCE FORMULA(1st), WATER (2nd), and de-fizzed COLA (3rd). They will also have POWERBARS, POWERBAR GEL energy gels, pretzels, bananas, salt & vinegar potato chips, jelly beans, sponges, endurolyte tablets, and ice. RUNNERS WILL RUN ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE ROAD/PATH, out and back. Please note that all runners will be recorded at 3 times on each loop. After you complete your first loop, you will bear to the right as you approach the finish chute. You will receive a 1 inch wide red terrycloth wristband, to mark your completion of your first loop. You will receive one of these wristbands for each of your loops. After finishing your 4th loop (you’ll have 3 wristbands), volunteers will direct you to the finish line, which is straight ahead. There will be signs and a row of cones to separate the 2nd,3rd, and 4th loops from the finish line chute. Stay to the right to complete your second, third, and fourth loops. Stay straight to finish the race. These wristbands are OPTIONAL. If you feel comfortable counting your laps, you do not need to wear the wristbands. Please note that the change from a 2 loop to a 4 loop run course for 2009 is due to the devastating effects of Hurricane Ike. The previous run course portions outside of Moody Gardens are under construction, and unsuitable for running. We will return to a 2 loop run course for 2010, if the athletes prefer. As you begin each loop of the run, you will have access to your Special Needs bag. Drop off your Special Needs bag in the morning near the RUN OUT on the retention pond side of transition. Line up bags according to bib #. Put in whatever you will need… extra gels, special drink, inhaler, dry shirt, etc. All “ChampionChip” timing chips will be collected by volunteers at the finish line. There is a $35 fee for any lost or non-returned chip.

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