Penultimate

This is it: the last day before the Rocketman Triathlon. I am about to head to sleep before my very early (4:00AM) alarm to leave for the race. However, I wanted to get down some thoughts about the day before I lost them to the fog that will surely encompass my brain once I begin to swim in the murky water tomorrow at 8:00AM EDT.

Check-in for the race began at Spaceview Park in Titusville at 11:00AM. We figured that since 1600 people had to check-in and get ready that there would be a lessening of the line when we arrived at 1:00PM – not quite so. Apparently it takes a very long time to get through 1600 people and the line was probably 150 deep when I arrived. Luckily, I found one of the others that I knew was doing the race as well, Sierra, and we spent the time in line together.

Waiting to Check-In
Waiting to Check-In
Sierra & Dan Waiting to Check In
Sierra & Dan Waiting to Check In
Numbering by DJ Flux
Numbering by DJ Flux

After registering and getting all my numbers and being marked up, I headed to get a tube fixed on the rear tire of the bike (apparently in my ride yesterday, I had taken on a flat from both glass and wire that were in the road). It was very lucky that this happened yesterday and not tomorrow because a flat tire in a race like this will surely end your day. The folks at Bob’s Bicycle Works were amazing and got it all fixed up. (N.B. If you are in the area and need to rent or buy a bike, these guys are awesome and take good care of you!)

Racked and Ready to Go
Racked and Ready to Go

One of the offerings by the race coordinators was to open up the swimming area in the Indian River to contestants to get a feel for the water. They said that the temperature was 74.9F which means it will likely be wetsuit-legal. However, I decided to leave my wetsuit in Chicago and will be swimming it without. On getting in salty, murky water, I was shocked by the cold for just a moment, then it felt pretty good. I swam a hundred yards out and back and got the feel for swimming in the open, saltwater. The current was not too bad on the way out but I could definitely feel it pulling me (just a little bit) on the way back in. I am very glad that I took that swim since I would not want to get in for the first time tomorrow morning.

Post-Swim Glow
Post-Swim Glow

After changing back into street clothes, I met Jennifer, Andrew, Sierra, Brent and Sierra’s friend Kate at the US Spacewalk Hall of Fame where they had been spending time whilst i was taking a dip in the briney murk. This place is an awesome museum that has artifacts and history from the era of space in the USA. Andrew particularly liked the consoles (actual consoles) with working switches and lights. Can you blame him? Neither can I.

Consoles, consoles, consoles
Consoles, consoles, consoles

Also, in Spaceview Park, there were handprints of famous astronauts including his beloved Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins.

Space View Park
Space View Park
Hands of Neil
Hands of Neil
Hands of Mike
Hands of Mike

Afterwards, we all headed off for dinner at Cracker Jacks for a nice meal and then back to the hotel for an early night. Well, we thought it would be an early night until the idea of going to the pool came up. Now, I should explain that Andrew has spent time in the pools over the last few vacations but afterwards, he seems to forget and become re-scared to get into the water. Once again, timid Andrew ventured into the water – slowly – and realised that he could do it and began a multi-hour swimming marathon that took us through sunset. Fun was had by all and I am certain that we will be back in the pool before we leave Florida. I hope we can keep that momentum up once we get back home.

Back in the Water
Back in the Water

Off to sleep now so that I can get up in a few hours. Wish me luck, as I will need it to get over this bridge at the start and end of the 33-mile bike ride. Actually, these pictures make it look worse than it really is. I hope to make the most of the fast descent to conserve energy on the long straight away that follows.

The Bridge of Doom
The Bridge of Doom

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