Sean and I entering the Opening Ceremonies
(Click on the pictures to see bigger versions)
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Today was a very exciting but exhausting day.
Started out with the delicious team breakfast buffet at the hotel. Sean said I was eating as if I hadn't eaten in weeks. Hee ... and as most of you know how much I eat, that must have meant I was eating quite a bit. But YUMMMM, it was delicious!
The 2008 Olympic Triathlon wall.
The day was a lot of shuttling around. After breakfast, I went up to bike mechanic to get my bike put together. I pretty much got my hand slapped for not being able to do this on my own, even the tiniest bit. They say as an athlete on this level I should be able to. HA ... they don't know me. But I know a few of my friends from DCL are laughing right now! Steve Josh - you will be impressed with all I learned today!
Start of the bike/run area
At 11 a.m. we took the shuttle to packet pick up and bike/swim familiarization. Packet pick up went smooth. Then off to the bike course. The course is a 9 mile loop done 3 times. So I figure I would do once to see what the hills and turns are like. The course is a lot more challenging than I expected. Certainly not hilly in Deep Creek terms but not a fast course and lots of sharp turns, but fun winding kinds of ones. Just have to be careful on them.
The race site ... there might be a camel hiding out there ...
Riding in DCL has always been fun with all the different animals you see - Cows, Deer, Horse, Black Bear, Wild Turkey and so on. But I have to say my ride today topped it as I rode by a Camel ... yes ... a camel! It didn't smell so good!
The course though, beautiful. Mountain ranges, unigue trees and beautiful fall flowers bloomed. Was quite a scene.
Time was limited so I did not get to see or practice with the swim or the run. The run course is pretty similar to the bike, and the swim ... well ... the water temp has gone way up! It is no longer wetsuit legal. UGH! still a couple days for it to go down, so keep your fingers crossed that I will be able to wear my wetsuit.
Look at that transition area!
As for the transition area, it was reallly quite spectacular. I did not have my camera on me so I will try and get pics of this on Saturday when I am there again. Walking down to it made it so real. Very much like an Olympic /professional event. Blue carpet set up all over the place (transition, coming out of and start of bike and run).
The grand stand is crazy cool. Enormous. The whole area was just quite enormous.
The locals were so excited!
Shuttle back to the hotel and 15 minutes to get ready for team pics and open ceremonies. China's culture is very welcoming so let me tell you, they made us feel like Olympic athletes the way they welcomed us. After going through body scans at security, our shuttles took us to the open ceramonies by police escort!
That's our police escort!
As we got there, people were lining the street cheering to us on the bus, taking pics etc. Was quite amusing to all of us as we were saying to ourselves ... we are just age groupers. But like I said, their culture is this way and the fact they had the last Olympics here, I'm sure they were very excited to have a big event here again.
Flags at the Opening Ceremonies
Got off the bus, and as a team walked in the parade of nations to the Changping stadium to the opening ceremonies.
Was quite a day. Got back to hotel and crashed!
More photos to come -- just can't get them all online today.