My sons both signed up for the Santa Rosa Ironman this year. Chris, who has finished two Ironman triathlons, couldn’t be there because he had to report for a USFS job in Idaho that started the previous week. However, Matt was ready to go. We met up with him at the swim venue the day before. I am always amazed at the infrastructure required to put on an event like this. This part at the lake is only one small part.
The first leg of the Ironman is a 2-1/2 mile swim. This is at Lake Sonoma northwest of Healdsburg, CA. The athletes had checked in the previous day but had to bring their bikes and gear to the swim-bike transition area on Friday. You can see the bags with helmets, shoes, food, etc hanging in the front and the bikes in the back.
Kaleena brought the gear and Matt brought the bike down the hill. Kaleena had personalized Matt’s bag: IronMATT. Both bags and bikes are arranged on racks by number so that athletes can easily find them in the transition period.
We walked under the bridge to where the swim would start at 6:30 the next morning.
The black rubber mats on the right side are so that the barefoot athletes can run up the road to the bike area without hurting their feet on rocks, etc—it was a long way up to the bike area. The green mats are taped down to provide an area where volunteers would help athletes strip their wetsuits.
Some people were going for a trial swim in the lake.
Matt chose not to. I think he’d seen enough from the bridge.
After we finished here we drove part of the bike course and had a late lunch. Dan and I drove back to Santa Rosa on another part of the bike course where we saw these vultures. Were these a warning to weary cyclists to keep on going?
Dan and I (along with DIL, Meryl, who got there later) stayed at a friend’s house in Santa Rosa Friday night. She and I knew each other since we were in fifth grade together in Penngrove (and Dan and her husband knew each other in high school).
We were going through photo albums and came across this. Matt’s early experience in a crowded water venue! Would this help him in tomorrow’s swim? Stay tuned.