Friday, November 5, 2010

Transition, Special Needs, Morning Clothes bags defined

Good Morning,

First I want to give a special thanks to my buddy and Ironman Veteran Mike Montoya. He talked to me for about an hour last night telling me all that I need to know regarding equipment managment for the race. Keeping in mind I can be out there on the course for as much as 17 hours with no help (other than what the race provides) it take a bit of thought to figure out what you might need race day.

So, aside from nutrion (a totally seperate topic itself) I am going to recap some of the great tips that Mike gave me and share them with you.

First off, the day before the race. There are going to be 2,000 people doing this event so all of the checkin has to be done on Saturday before the race. On Saturday you have to rack you bike and drop of the following:

- What is already on the bike
- Transition 1 (T1) from swim to the bike
- Transition 2 (T2) from the bike to the run
- Morning Clothes bag
- Bike Special Needs Bag
- Run Special Needs Bag

I will describe them in the order that I will use them. The first bag is Morning Clothes. I had no idea such a bag existed until I volunteered last year. In the morning befor ethe swim the temperatures will be in the 40's most probably. It will be dark and it will be cold. We will have to go down to the swim and be in the water probably 15 to 20 minutes til 7:00am. Once I get my wetsuit on (or even before) I will have on a sweatshirt, flipflops, probably a hat etc... and right before I get in the water I have to put this "stuff" somewhere and that is where the morning clothes bags come in. Every bag is marked with a race number. I take my stuff, put in this bag and hand it to a "morning clothes" volunteer and get in the water.

Already on the Bike:
- Bike Computer
- my 40 ounce speedfill with my sports drink
- 2-24 ounce bottles - 1 with sports drink, the other with water
- My bento box (think a little box that I can access while riding) a nutriion bottle filled with salt capsules
- 2- Co2 Cannisters and adapter (in case of a flat)
- 1 - tightly taped and wrapped tubular tire
- Vittoria pit stop fix a flat taped to my bike somewhere (or I will carry it in my bike jersey)

T1: Because there are 2,000 funneling into and out of transition there is no way Transition can be handled like a typical triathlon, there is just not enough room. So, what the smart people at Ironman have done is require us to put everything in a T1 bag. As we exit the water and enter transition area, all of the bags will be sorted and either on racks on on the ground. As swimmers enter transition, volunteers hand you the bag and you run into the transition tent. It is my understanding that if it is not too busy, a volunteer will help you by dumping all of your stuff out of the bag at your feet, you grab what you need, the volunteer (or you) put you swim stuff in the bag along with anything else you do not want to take on the 112 mile bike ride. You leave the tent, jump on your bike and go.

Here is what I am putting in my T1 Bag:
- Bike Helmet
- Socks
- Cycling Shoes
- Cycling Gloves
- Arm sleeves for the bike (for the cold morning)
- Sun Glasses
- Race Belt
- Bike Shorts
- Cycling Jersey
- 5 bottles of liquid nutrition
- 1 bottle of tire sealant
- GPS tracking device (more on that in a future post)
One thing that I read that I am going to do is put hand warmers in my cycling shoes if I can so that when I put my cold feet into the shoes they will be at least a little warm. I have heard horror stories that it takes many many miles before your feet warm up. I would like to avoid that if possible

Bike Special Needs: A special nees bag is just that. It is a contingency bag in case something goes wrong or you can't carry everything that you need. You get one chance to access your special needs bag half way through the bike. There are volunteers at the spot with spotters. As you approach you announce you are stopping, they call out your number. A volunteer grabs your bag with your racer number on it, you get what you need, leave what you don't and head out. Total time at special needs should be less than a minute.

Here is what I am going to pack in mine:
- Skin Lubricant
- Sun Screen
- Extra Tubular Tire
- Extra CO2 cannisters
- Extra bottle of nutrion

T2: Transition between bike and Run: This works just like T1 and this is what I plan on packing:
- Running Shoes
- Fresh Socks
- Run Watch for pacing and time
- Skin Lubricant for my feet
- Sun Screen
- More Salt tabs
- Fuel Belt so I can carry water and nutrition with me

Lastly is my Run Special needs bag. I will be able to access this halfway through the run:
- More nutrition for my fuel belt
- Skin Lube
- Arm warmers (for after dark)

That is about it. I am sure I will add to this as the race approaches. Mike gave me some great advice last night and recommended that I pre-pack all of this up at home prior to travelling to Tempe. The reason being, I will have plenty of time to think about it now vs. Saturday before the race when it will be the most stressful. This was great advice. Then when I check in and get all of the bags above, I just fill them with the predescribed contents and go.

That is the plan, Mike, if you read this what am I missing???

Have a great day



  1. Great job Tracy! The only thing I would add to your T1 and T2 bags is a small towel to dry/wipe your feet of any debris from the water to T1 and to have debris free feet for the run. Oh, in T1 you'll need to have your number belt ready to wear on the bike.

    swim cap
    two sets of goggles
    wax ear plugs
    Body Glide or such
    timing chip and strap
    gel with bottle of water
    optional: if water is too cold, neoprene cap

    Now, you just need to show up and own the day and take everything in, because you think 12-17 hours sounds long but it will be over before you know it. You're going to rock the day and I hope I get to see your face when you cross the line with Mike Riley screaming your name!


  2. oh my goodness!! I am nervous just reading that!!!!! Wow, Tracy! You are definitely in the awesome category for all of this!!!!!!

    I wish there was something I could do for you! Wow! I'll just pray for safety and for lightning quick speed, super man endurance and no need for anything you didn't pack or no running out of anything you need! Wow! Lots of prayers said for your safety and for peace of mind for Rene as she is there with yoU!

    Keep it are awesome!