So, we have arrived...And there's the good, bad and indifferent of destination racing.
I thought I'd share some thoughts so far on our experience.
- Over planning on cold weather gear paid off.
- When the sun breaks, it's GREAT weather here. When the sun is rising and you come out of 60ish degree water... your hands are ice, your feet are ice and the last thing you want to do it take off your wetsuit being cold and wet. I brought layers of gear and will use pretty much every bit I brought to keep warm until the sun breaks and the temps are high enough to keep me warm. Shedding layers was the best move.
- Flying to Reno and driving to Lake Tahoe worked great.
- It was less expensive, and we strategically shopped in Reno away from the tri crowds and away from the resort type of price increases. Eating good never felt so right. ;)
- Condo within walking distance to T1 and Start.
- Planned and it worked great. All I need to do is roll out and walk 10 minutes to T1. I'll be in wetsuit from door to start and staying warm. Em can walk over, watch the start, and head back and get prepped to catch me later on the bike ride. It also worked out that bags are dropped the day before, so I have no reason to go to T2 and the finish area the day of the race. Over on hour shaved off my morning race routine. MORE SLEEP!
- Rental car gets like 50 mpg.
- VW Jetta... awesome.
- Condo - great location / rate / space / not cramped hotel room with parking issues.
- We rented a condo since this is a resort area, and there are plenty of them. We had planned on maybe bringing the kiddos, but opted not to with the first IM. It's more than the best hotel we have had and it was just as costly as staying in a hotel here.
- TBT - no problem.
- Got to athlete check-in, checked in, got bike and gear bag, everything fit into rental car, and we were out! Perfect.
- Great venue location - awesome roads and views.
- At first, I was thinking of why it really was a big deal that the race was at Lake Tahoe. Now that we have been here two days, this place is awesome. Great weather, great views, nature... it a pretty sweet location to host a major event like this.
- Perfect weather for running.
- 60's, need I say more?
- Squaw Valley - footprints of Olympians.
- T2 and the finish is at Squaw Valley, if you have never been here, it was home to the 1960 Olympics (according to google). It's pretty inspiring to be suffering at the location where the best of the best competed at the time. Plus, entering the valley is the best view EVER.
- Locals seem welcoming.
- For the most part, everyone has been super nice. No real snobs not wanting the athletes here.
- Tourism slow at this time of year, not competing for attention.
- This is the time between lake season and ski season. Perfect timing to infuse 2500 athletes and their support crews to inject some cash in the economy between tourism seasons. That being said, everything is affordable and available. We are not fighting the tourists that usually inhabit the area. It's nice being a part of a small crowd in a great area.