After this weekend, I may have to revise the name of this blog to IMFL and LPIM adventure. A bunch of us crazy TGs and Maramarc dudes drove or flew up to Lake Placid for the IM weekend of fun, sun, rain, riding, swimming, running, volunteering, eating, drinking, singing up for next year....you get the picture. Five TGs rode together with our 5 bikes, crammed in Cyndi's car. Fun trip up, we stopped in Saratoga Springs for the night, meanwhile BlakeE and crew (Rick and Susie) drove all night. Crazy people. We had rented a house just outside of Keene, about 10 miles or so from LP. So the house was not what one would call "prinstine", having some cleanliness issues and kind of damp downstairs, but given the weather Sunday, it was much better than camping.
Several people rode one loop of the LPIM course on Friday, I rode about 20 miles since I was supposed to ride 1 hour and run 12 miles. They said the course wasn't as hard as Blue Ridge, and it rained on us all, with some juicy thunder and lightening thrown in. Saturday was MyKaren and DeannaB's turn at volunteering, so we all got up early and did a little wet suit swim in Mirror Lake. Great swimming. The famous white line was ok, but I don't think I'm going to try to swim along it, since everyone else will be there as well.
Our volunteer place was bike checkin, but we really ended up doing bag check and questions. Wow, people are so funny before the race. The older women's bags ended up on the ground and not on racks, and some of them were PISSED off about that. Not that it mattered in the end. Our shift ended and the crew headed back to Keene. A couple of us then went for a trail run for 1 1/2 hours, it was wet, overgrown in some places, and hilly, but fun. Sunday was race day and the remainder of the crew had to work, so we all (again) got up at the crack of dawn and went to LP. Shelley got to be a peeler, BlakeE was men's transition, Cynid was bike catcher, Susie and Rick were bike check-out, Jeff was at a run aide station, and the rest were medical tent. We all watched the swim start, and it is as scary as it looked on TV. Just a sea of white splashes, with black arms, colored swim caps flailing about in the lake. The pros were flying.
The rain started about the time of the start gun....and didn't stop for the rest of the day. The conditions were described as "epic" and I think that holds true. It was like a monsoon, the rain was so heavy they were calling for flash flood warnings. The bike course must have been really scary since it is kind of hilly with some crazy long descents. All I could think was that it didn't matter if the bags were hanging or on ground, everything was soaked once it one walked out of the changing tents. And the athletes kept going.
The rain was dumping down and we were all soaked. We finally found some trash bags for rain coats and went to see the last swimmers get out of the water. The last guy out was a local guy with a head injury and everyone was screaming and cheering for him to make it. It was a teary moment whe he barely made it, but then he looked so bad we were all sure he wasn't going to be able to continue. We checked the results and he did finish. Wow. We got Shelley and walked around all day with a brief stop at a bar for some food and drink. We also went to the bike in location for the bike cut-off. A woman came in about 1 minute after the cut off, just tearing up the chute, but it was too late. She fell over with her bike, and then they told her it was over and took her chip. She sat there and cried. It was the saddest thing I saw all day and I never want to be her. Other people were relieved, because the rain NEVER stopped.
The bike are became a mud pit, people who worked there were covered in mud up to their knees. The whole thing was crazy. We saw the top finshers then went back to the house after being in the rain all day. Monday was sign-up day. We had decided to leave at 6:30 am, so we all packed up and went back to LP. The line was already 1/2 mile long and it got to be much longer than that. I felt sick to my stomach but it turned out ok. The line was a combination of finisher store, volunteers and non-volunteers for 09 sign-up. They seperated us at the gate, and all the volunteers in line got in the 09 race. Not many of the non-volunteers got in, and the race sold out on site. Trip back was uneventful. More fun for sure next year....