My plane pulled into the Hartford airport and it was raining cats and dogs. My bike and luggage made it safe and sound and before I knew it I was in my rental car headed to the Hyatt in Hartford for one night. The Hartford airport Enterprise is the friendliest rental car place I have ever been to. They treated me so great. After checking into my hotel I went for a run around Hartford and quickly realized that there was a rap concert right next to my hotel. Great run around the capital.
My evening was spent building up my bike, eating room service, relaxing in the swanky hotel bed and just relaxing. At about midnight the ghetto rap concert let out and there was about 10 minutes of screaming and yelling in the streets, but the cops had things pretty under control.
Saturday morning I was up bright and early and off to the Rev3 race site to meet team Trakkers for the first time. At 8:45 most of the team was there and we went through some introductions and then got the low down on the Trakkers devise. The devises that they had at the race were the first ever run of the product, 80 prototypes. This is an electronic product and it's really still in development so we had no clue if they would truly work at all. After some product info Carol dished out all of our team Trakkers goodies: shirt, hats, race kits. We were feeling pretty lucky! And then up rolled Bree Wee, Lisa Mensink, and Chris Thomas. Bree and Lisa are pros and Chris is an amateur, but he's like the most kick butt amateur out there. He was the top amateur at California 70.3 this year.
So after a few pictures the pros took us out for a nice little race prep run. Just a simple jog through a portion of the course. It was awesome to see how approachable they all were, they had genuine interest in us as athletes and in team Trakkers. So nice!
After our run I worked in the Trakkers tent for some time. We needed to power on all 80 of the units and put them through an initialization phase, then test them to decide if they were lemons. Some of the units performed pretty good, but most of the units had some trouble finding cell coverage as it was pretty dim at the race site. The units are pretty cute, about the size of a pager, but lighter. Almost everyone just stuck them in their jersey pocket.
Athletes were also coming by the tent to check out units. We explained to them that all the units were beta tests, they may work, they may not. The response was overwhelming. People didn't care. They just wanted to help beta test and to try one out. We had a huge waiting list after we handed out all the beta units. So, I am pleased with the attention Trakkers is getting. As with any brand new electronic, it's going to take a little time to gets things going 100%.
This Saturday was an interesting time for me. It was the first time I traveled to a race alone. Team Trakkers quickly became my family away from my family. Since I was staying over an hour away with my friends Vahid and Shallah, and because we were having a team dinner at 5pm, I hung out at the race site the entire day. I usually get in and out quickly, but this time I worked the booth, picked up my packet, worked a little more, checked my bike into transition, worked a little more, listened to the pro panel, worked a little more, picked up lunch, bought a new pair of K-Swiss running flats...the K-ONA, worked a little more...etc etc. The last thing I did that day was stage all of my race stuff in the back of my car. I was completely ready for the next day, all I had to do was attend our team Trakkers dinner, drive to my friends house, and sleep. It was nice having my own agenda!
The team dinner was awesome. It was at this great fancy Italian place, and it was fun to get to know Carole, she runs team Trakkers, and my cheeks hurt from laughing at all her antics that evening. Michael Lovato also came to dinner and I think all of us were a little star struck from that point forward.
After dinner I hopped in the car and drove to Vahid and Shallahs house in Gullford, CT. They were such great hosts, when I walked in the house they said "Are you hungry"? After I said no they said "We know you must have many pre race rituals, please feel free to attend to them and we will catch up tomorrow night with a nice meal". AWESOME. It was a triathletes dream. I collapsed into a comfy bed with a zillion pillows and slept blissfully until my 3am wake-up call from Troy.