People Watching at DC Tri

There are good reasons to be up at 4:30 am:

  • You’re having a great time with friends or just on your way home from a night on the town.
  • You and your sweetie are up to see the sunrise.
  • You’re getting ready for an eagerly anticipated overseas trip to China or somewhere far, far away.

There are other less good, but still acceptable reasons to be up at 4:30 am:

  • You have to pee.
  • You’re getting ready to head out for a business trip.
  • You’re looking after your sick dog.
  • Anxiety over work – this one barely qualifies.

So where does “getting ready to take husband to his first tri” rank? You be the judge.

I packed up the dogs – hello? it’s still dark, why are you putting our collars on and dragging us outside? – and grabbed my own backpack, then drove G down 23rd Street to Constitution Avenue. He walked out and trudged the rest of the way to the staging area on Ohio Drive.

Meanwhile, the dogs and I drove around Foggy Bottom for a few minutes and quickly found a parking spot – guess not that many people are up at that time in the morning. We then walked down across the Mall, past the Lincoln Memorial and the smattering of people sitting on the steps enjoying the muggy morning. We crossed Rock Creek and were met by a row of port o potties (oh joy!) and a lawn full of half dressed people, milling about, all getting ready for the DC Triathlon.

DC Tri

The most surprising thing about the Tri? The range of competitors I saw there – young, old, men, women, fat, skinny, those wearing wet suits and those just in regular bathing suits. Each one marked in waterproof marker with their number and age – the age part would come in handy later when trying to track down G.

We managed to see the start – a bunch of people in brightly colored bathing caps jumping into the Potomac, and then the thrashing about in the water, some swimming desperately for the kayaks, others breaststroking, backstroking, treading water or just floating to take a rest.

Triathletes swimming in the Potomac

Watching them come out of the water would have been fun, but that would have meant missing the beginning of the bike.  That’s the problem with the sprint – spectators have to make tough choices on where to watch and what they can see.  We saw G running along with his bike onto Rock Creek.

Tri transition area

Then we – the dogs and I – headed back to the car and home, and after dropping them off, I took Metro to the finish, or at least close to it. Despite my calculations, I missed G by a few minutes. Still, it was a fun and action-packed day.

G has a new addiction, and I am a tri-watching veteran.  Ready for September? Good thing we’ll both have months to get ready.

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