The plan this weekend was to go home to CT for a busy Saturday of a dentist appointment, Alumni Softball Game, 7 mile run & Graduation BBQ for a friend. Then Sunday, head up to Middlebury, CT to watch my friend Matt and the Pros race in the Rev3 Quassy 70.3.
Just a nice Sunday of spectating until…
I received this email Friday morning from TargetTraining, asking for volunteers to be “Lead Bikers”. I immediately flipped out, and it took me approximately 47 seconds to send an email back saying “Yes Please!!!!!!!!!!”.
I will talk about what ”Lead Biking” later.
While I was super excited to see Matt race (see Matt in picture below getting ready for the swim), I was maybe even more excited to see some of the Pros racing (more specifically Jesse Thomas). Reasons Why: I read his blog on the regular (it’s hysterical), I am part of the Picky Club (he is the CEO), he uses one of my favorite sayings – “Boom Shaka Laka” in blog posts, he is married to a Track Superstar (Well Done Jesse), and is an awesome professional triathlete (cough, Wildflower, cough).
Before I knew I was going to be a Lead Biker, I knew I wanted to make Jesse a “Boom Shaka Laka” sign for the race. I made a sign for Matt too, but I ran out of Sharpie ink from Jesse’s poster. So Matt’s sign kind of sucked. Sorry Matt…
Here I am holding Jesse’s sign waiting for the Pros to come out of the water.
I even used Picky Bar yellow. I’m a poster genius.
Okay so, What’s a “Lead Biker”? Basically after the Top 3 Pros transitions from the bike to the run, a “lead biker” bikes in front of the Pro runner on their run. A Lead Biker’s job includes making sure that no cars get in the Pros way on the roads, letting them know if their is a turn coming up or/and an aide station ahead, and leading them around the course. Basically you are their
best friend personal guide on the run.
Here I am getting ready for the Top 3 Males to transition off the bike to the run.
Since I was “allowed” in the Pro section (while I was waiting for my Pro to transition from the bike to the run), I snapped a picture of Jesse’s poster.
Secretly (or not so secretly on twitter), I was hoping that Jesse Thomas was going to be in the Top 3 Pros so I could ride along with him. I was hoping we could chat about life, Business School, Lauren, the race, life, (you know, the basics)….I mean don’t all pro-athletes like to talk while they race right?
FALSE. Pro-athletes to do not like to chat on the run portion of a triathlon. True Story.
Anyway, here I am in a photo from TRIATHLETE.COM (What? I’m famous!) as the “Lead Bike” for the 2nd Pro, Sir Richie Cunningham. Richie eventually passed the 1st Pro around Mile 11, and won the race! So freaking cool that I got to ride with the winner through out the race!
See me on the bike!! The motorcyclist are taking video of the athletes. And yes, I need to work on my tan.
While I was biking, Jesse was in 4th place so I could see him at some of the turn-around points on the course. I just kept on screaming ‘GO JESSE!” whenever I saw him. Richie probably wasn’t my biggest fan when I was cheering for another Pro, but I think Richie and I had a good bond by the end of the ride. And by bond, I mean I didn’t talk to him at all. He was all “Eyes on the $125K Prize”, so I don’t really blame him. He was definitely fun to watch and ride with though.
Surprising fact about Pro Triathletes, they sound like they are about to die on the run. They spit (a lot), cough up phlegm (a lot), and breathe like they are have no air in their lungs….but they still are running so incredible fast.
In the end, Jesse ended up placing 4th, which totally deserves a “Boom Shaka Laka”!
After the race, I went over to Jesse to get a picture with him. I felt like such dork, and I was completely star-stuck when I met him. But Jesse was incredible nice, and even chatted with me about the race. He thanked me for cheering for him (he said he heard me on my bike cheering!!). Oh, and he is sooo tall! I’m 5’6″, so I’m not sure how tall he is….
In other news, Matt ended up PR-ing this Half Ironman with a time of 6:33. He is now getting ready for the NYC Ironman in August, which will also be an exciting race to watch!
Next week, I have a Sprint Triathlon (the first of my Tri season), and watching the Pros today has made me so excited to race this weekend. Although I haven’t really done much work on my bike and swim, I’m hoping that marathon training over the past 6 months will have gotten me in shape enough to do well.
If you could meet any professional athlete, who would you want to meet?