I also was surprised that even 45 minutes after the race started cones and barriers were still being placed to show the race route. Several different athletes almost made wrong turns because the course was not clearly marked.
Spectators, do you not realize where you are? Did your parents not teach you to look both ways before crossing the street? Over and over again I saw spectators ignore the volunteers, not look both ways, and cross a part of the course only to almost get run down by a bike or a runner. Several of the pros had run ins with spectators who were crossing the street. Oblivious to the fact that they were on the race course, which strikes me as funny because the reason the spectators were there was to Watch a Race! It took 20 minutes for the race director himself to show up and start putting in barriers. I wonder if this is something that the pros see all the time? By the time us average age groupers are on the course all the holes have been plugged and the sheer amount of bike or run traffic scares off people wanting to enter the course.
Triathlon is a great sport and I appreciate all the spectators that show up and cheer us on. It is really a hard sport to watch though. People stand in one spot trying to find their husband, dad, brother, wife, etc.. in a sea of people who are flying by at 20 MPH. If they are lucky enough to find that person the contact is only a couple of seconds and then he or she is gone again and may not be back for a long time, depending on the race length that could be hours. In some cases the course is an out and back so people see their loved ones for 1 or 2 minutes in transition and that is about it. Thanks to all and to my family whom have waited in the blazing humid heat and in the freezing cold just to see me in 5 second spurts. It means a lot to see a friendly face.
To sum up, the two most important things I learned are:
- I don't want to be a race director.
- I'd rather be racing.