August 26, 2007

Accenture Chicago Triathlon

Today was supposed to be a rest & stretch day ... but I gotta say we busted our butts at the triathlon today. Obviously, the effort I exerted was nowhere near that of the participants - but I was suprised how much work it takes to manage one of the aid stations. Couple of insights for today:

1. Triathlons are amazing. But I dont think its something I would ever do.
I cant imagine the level of training these athletes go through, and what is expected of them on the day of the event. I have to give so much credit to each and every person who competed today - awesome job!

2. The pro athletes are fast, furious and mean.
I have never seen such lean, muscular women - the men were very fit too ... but these women were amazing. They definitly did not "appreaciate" the volunteers handing out water and Gatorade to them - it was more "expected". In addition, there were several motorcycles on the course, ahead of the pros ... filming them. There were often shouts of "get off the path, runner coming through!". I dont think the other 9,999 people competing today believe that they are not runners - just because they are not professional athletes.

3. Give a little love to the aid station workers.
First, the work is back-breaking (almost literally! my back kills!). Second, many of the station workers are volunteering their days to help out runners/athletes during these events. It was amazing how few "thank you's" we got - but the ones we did were well appreciated and made it all worth while. How great is it to hear someone, who has just swam 1.5K and biked 40K and is now running their 10K, say to the people who hand them water "thank you so much for volunteering!". It made our day - each and every time.

Here are some pics I took today:

Last heat of swim

Cara & Becca with swimmers behind

Cara, Becca & Patti ... manning the beverages :)

Runners coming through the station
Rhonda, our patient honoree, with the hand-off!

(The bike stuff happened a bit away from where we were - I saw it on the way coming in but didnt have the opportunity to snap any pictures.)


Amanda said...

Makes me wish I live somewhere besides old KC...we just don't have the same views.

Midwestern Progressive said...

As one of the "back of the pack" participants from yesterday, please allow me to offer up a heartfelt....


.....for volunteering yesterday!

p.s. Allow me to say this: I've done numerous triathlons (including half-Ironman races) and three marathons.

(Though, until yesterday, all my tri's were more than 10 years ago.)

Marathons are way harder to prepare for than triathlons! WAY harder.

With triathlons, it is all about cross-training, with marathons, it is all running, all the time. Marathon training is, in my experience, much harder.

I'll stick with tri's from here on out.

That being said, best of great luck with your marathon training!

And thanks a bunch, again!

lifestudent said...

Amanda...the course is pretty fantastic, I admit. There is a benefit to doing races/event in Chicago ;)

Midwestern Progressive...I see the benefit of cross-training, and can see why you may say marathon prep is harder - but I cant see at all how the actual even can be even remotely as hard. I give some props to the tri people - boundless physical, mental & emotional strength!