Day 124… Thus Begins the Double
Day two along tent city. I can honestly say the toughest hours of the day are between 3:30am – 5:30am when you are crewing for an epically long race like this one. These are the dull drum hours, everyone is tired, the sun is still in hiding and the moon has decided to go away for the day. As I sat in my car watching Andy go around and around, for the bike loop was 5 miles and the running loop was 2 miles. I sat on the car with my legs up in my sleeping bag praying for the morning to come.
Around 5:45am Jason came over to the tent after a good nights sleep to do his last minute preps for his own race. I headed down to the water with him to help him with his wet suit and watch the start of the double. The fog was thicker this morning and everyone hoped it would dissipate as quickly as it had the day before. It wasn’t looking good, it had to happen, the race was on fog delay. I settled into this thought as well with my ski racing background things like this happen all the time. Some triathletes are not use to thing. Jason took it all in stride and we kept him warm until the start of the race. After about an hour and a half delay his race was underway. For the next couple hours I ran between the course at this point Andy I think was running, it was all a blur and Jason was swimming getting him gels and hydration. About 2:54 later Jason emerged from the water and we made the transition up to the bike together.
This is where the fun got started, Jason is not a swimmer, but he is a biker and knew he could make up ground on the bike, so what this meant for me was he was not getting off the bike unless he truly had too! I on the other hand ran each lap he took past our tent, exchanging water bottle, giving him food to eat on the bike, or anything else he wanted to keep him happy along the way. Andy was slowly plugging along miles at this point.
|Wearing My Jacket|
Most of the day was spent, filling water bottles with a mixture of powders, Heed, water or anything else, making food and passing it along, each time on the run. We also had a few more join our tent the day earlier, a few of Andy’s boys from Norwich University came down to cheer on their friend attempting to not only do his first Double but also his first triathlon of any length. These guys definitely supplied some comic effect to the weekend. We even saw the shortie shorts as one of the guys decided to run with Andy for a few laps.
|Swim is over!|
As the people of our tent city or tent row became accustomed to me running up and down the row every time Jason passed, I realized we had all fallen into our rolls at this race. I was the running crew member, others played a more subdued role. I enjoyed the movement as it kept me going. It also added a few miles of sprint workouts into my day. About half way through the ride Jason switched from his time trial bike onto his road bike to be more comfortable. I can tell you after watching these guys ride, nothing was comfortable in the end, the amount of butt cream they put on was astonishing.
I watched all the athletes just plug away lap after lap, mile after mile. They looked at the same stretches of pavement for hours and hours. I watched people in all states of being, the one thing they all had in common, they kept moving forward!
|Andy Plugging Along|
As night fell the first triple finisher clocked in at under 40 hours finishing. It was an amazing site and as is the tradition of this race, each racer runs the last 100+ meters with his or her countries flag as their anthem plays. Everyone in tent city stands up and claps them in and cheers them on as they shuffle across the last few meters. Many times, crew are with these racers for even though it is the racers race, the crew was quietly by their side the whole time.
|Jason on the bike|
As Jason transitioned from the bike to the run, I started off with him for about ten or so miles. I was so conscious of getting food and fluids into him that I forgot to feed myself. At around 3:30am, I felt it, my first bonk. I had now been awake for almost 48 hours. I remember someone saying to me when I hit 45 hours, well you would have made the Death Race this year. I got back to out tent along the row crawled into my sleeping back on the ground and proceeded to lay in a state of half consciousness for about 45 minutes, randomly yelling out to the Norwich boys exactly what drinks Jason needed when. Not one of my best moments of the weekend. This was short lived as sleep wasn’t really going to happen so I was back up and helping out again, feeding myself this time.