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Triathlete Blog


By July 12, 2008July 6th, 2015No Comments

Greetings from Rhode Island!

You might be wondering what clamcakes are. Good question. Clamcakes is my new favorite cuss word. And I’ve used it a lot today.

We’re in Rhode Island. I know, I know…it’s not even an island but there is water everywhere. If a giant wave came through I’m convinced this whole state would be swallowed. We are here for the inaugural 70.3 race.

The state is quite beautiful. Being from the east coast, it’s always good to be back on the east coast. There is just a different feel. The people look different, talk different, they are just different. Like the two old guys in Panera this morning, they were having one of those heated conversations with “and then he said…..and I said….what did ya do that for…” east coast old men conversations. If you’re from the east coast you know what I mean!

It’s also land of the Dunkin’ Donut. They are everywhere.

Back to the race. We drove the run course early this morning. It winds through the beautiful campus of Brown University. You can just smell the smartness. I mean, there were kids loitering outside some halls last night and you could just see the smartness in their eyes. Aside from smelling smart, the course has a nasty – I MEAN NASTY – hill that you get to do….twice. Think Palani Hill in Kona, plateau it at the top and then climb it again. And that is once through. Other than that the course takes a totally unfair trip past Starbuck’s TWICE.

This morning we headed to the convention center for registration at 10 am. So did about one million other Type A Triathletes. Needless to say Chris stood in line for 1 hour. I actually had to leave the line to attend the pro meeting where we were informed we would have to go back and stand in the line. Until they found a super secret doorway and a black curtain to sneak us in through (no joke).

The regstration was perhaps the strangest thing I have ever seen. They should have taken my blood to make the process complete. Even registering for Kona didn’t take that long. It included stops at 4 tables, a thorough talk through, a medical evaluation and a weigh in. And by the way – I don’t care what you say that scale was not right.

I spent the time talking with Kim Webster, also new pro. She’s a cool cat from Massachussetts. Also on the start list were some other cool cats like Lisa Bentley (she is so small!) and Richie Cunningham and Bryan Rhodes who I am convinced at this point are following me around the world. If they show up at my next race I will call them out for stalking me.

Now, the point to point course means that you have to take yourself and your bike 56 miles to the swim/bike start. We did that and did a little ride on our bikes. Then we did a little swim. And let me tell you I have not been scared by water in awhile but today I was a bit scared! I know it’s a sheltered cove but something about cold water in the ocean is creepy at first. Especially when you can’t see! I had to remind myself that though a shark was sighted at Martha’s Vineyard yesterday it was far away – as in south of Virginia (it’s really not, but that’s what Chris thought and I’m going with the idea that ignorance is bliss). The water was rough going out but coming back into took about half the time.

Afterwards all we had left to do was drive the bike course. Right? Well, not if your husband went swimming with the key for the car. The electronic key that shorted in the water. We replaced the battery (thank you bike shop), we dried it out, we then just pressed the buttons over and over again hoping it would work. When that didn’t work I just kept pulling at the door like it would just give up and open.

Now would be the perfect time to insert my new cuss word: CLAMCAKES! It’s either that or CHUM BUCKET! But since I have seen ‘clamcakes’ advertised around here more than chum buckets I’m going with the cakes. By the way, if anyone has tasted a clamcake I’d really like to hear about it.

Found the park police, asked for help. Apparently they cannot touch anyone’s car. They also cannot touch anyone’s belongings nor anyone’s body. The state police drove by and they offered to shoot out the window for us. Gee thanks. What good is it to have all of these people and services around if they are no use? It’s like bystander apathy but really more like bystander futility. For no good reason other than….than…you got me.

Anyways, little did we know MacGuyver was parked next to us. This guy had packed his car not only for the race but for breaking into cars too. He was a mechanic and knew the way of cars. Unscrewed the antenna, used duct tape and a piece of cord (as in hillbilly laundry line cord), tape the cord around the antenna in a noose shape an then went through the sunroof that was slightly ajar to pull open the lock. All we needed was a paperclip and a rubberband to make this MacGuyver moment completed.

The car alarm then started going off as soon as we opened the door. Another nice man with is cell phone called our rental car company to ask how the heck to turn the alarm off. Finally we got it shut off (for the moment) but…and it gets better….now every time we open the door the car alarm goes off. Chris has it down to going off with only 3 honks before he can get the car started. I’m betting he can get it down to 2 honks with a few more days.

After that hubbub we drove part of the bike course. On the way Chris had a Jennifer Harrison-esque food meltdown so we had to to dinner at 4 pm. Then with grandma back in the car we headed back to the state capitol to drop off our run gear bag.

By now, BY NOW, it was 6 pm. This entire epic ordeal took nearly 8 hours. It will all be worth it tomorrow if the winds stay the same because the way it is right now we’re talking a 56 mile tailwind before I get to run that giant hill. TWICE! (I cannot wait!)

Believe it or not it is 7:10 pm and nearly time for bed. The alarm goes off at 3 am tomorrow. We have to drive to the capital to catch a bus to the bike start. I consider it a miracle if I make it there and another miracle if I actually ride my own bike and have run shoes to wear because all are spread across different points of Rhode Island right now.

You’ve just got to love pre-race day. All of these little obstacles and silly things thrown in front of you to get you distracted or off your game. I’m not falling for it. And if I get anything else I’m pulling out the clamcakes!

Yes! Those are his shorts. Trust me, I checked.

“Trixie” and “Champ” are ready to ride!