It’s hard to believe that after the year we had in 2014, we are now just 30 days away from the first race of the season. I have to admit I’m very happy it’s a 70.3 and not a full Ironman. Selfishly, it’s a shorter day for the family…and for him, I’m still a bit on edge nearly 9 months after he was hit by the drunk driver and am glad he’s starting off slow…
Since I’ve been out of the routine for a while, I decided to put together my 30 Days To Race Day Check-Off List to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything. Now, I have to say, most of these items have already been taken care of. What I’m doing now at 30 days out is just making sure it’s all done. You can certainly start planning this whenever you know which races are scheduled. I know Sherry does months in advance. A lot depends on your comfort level and race location.
For this trip, we’re headed to Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico. We originally booked at the host hotel, but when our college daughter decided to spring break with us and her BFF, we were thrilled, but had to look at other accommodations. We ended up renting a penthouse in Old San Juan. If this was a full or an “A” race, we would have kept the host hotel for at least race night to have a place for us to go during the long race day and to make it easier on trihubby.
BIKE ARRANGEMENTS MADE.
We always recommend using TriBike Transport. Unfortunately, for this race, TriBike is not picking up in Omaha (or anywhere near). We have decided to ship the bike the week before by FedEx to one of the 3 official bike shops of the race and have even arranged for them to put together and tune up the bike. We look at each individual race when deciding how to transport the bike and considerations include the class we’re flying in and if it’s a direct flight or not.
RACE NUTRITION AND FOOD SOURCED.
Just because you’re going to an Ironman race does not mean the nutrition you or your athlete needs will be available locally. Even one year at Coeur d’Alene, we had problems finding Gatorade and that was back when Gatorade was the race drink. Make a couple quick calls if you want to the local stores to see if they can meet your needs or do as we now do – travel with or ship what you need.
Over the years, my husband’s nutrition plan has changed, thus making this more challenging. We have found that shipping items through a company like Vitacost or drugstore.com has become our best bet. We also like to stick to our clean eating when we travel, so I spend some time researching the best local restaurants and markets and checking if farmer’s markets or farm stands are available.
TRANSPORTATION ARRANGEMENTS MADE.
Flights: If you’re not driving to your race, do you have your flights booked? I like to do this 6 weeks out, but in reality, I usually get flights booked 3 weeks out and many times have to change them even then. It seems no one in my family can ever commit to a departure day or time. For San Juan, so far hubby and I are booked there and the girls are booked back…so that’s half way done, which is great for me. That said, I know Sherry books her flights as soon after the registration is complete per her triathlete’s wishes. This becomes a personal preference – just make sure it’s done!
Rental cars: If you will be needing a car rental, seriously book early to make sure you have the size of vehicle you need. Consider the number of people, amount of gear, if you have a bike bag, how far away from the race site you will be, and book accordingly. I can’t tell you the number of people who arrive in Kona, pull up to the luggage area with the rental car, and figure out the family and all the gear won’t fit. Our secret is to reserve a SUV or Jeep when we register for the race. There is no fee involved and you can always change it later, because at many locations, larger vehicles are limited. And remember, even if you TriBike/ship your bike, you may still need to cart it around once you arrive.
This trip we are not renting a car since we will be in Old San Juan and hubby will ride his bike over for bike drop -off (we did the same in Mallorca) and we will hire a car for race morning to drop us off at the race site. That assures you get there when you want. We are new Uber users, so we will test it a few times before race day, so the girls can get there a bit later.
Resort transportation: For international races and especially on islands, many times they send smaller vehicles to pick you up at the airport, so make sure you let them know before you arrive about bike boxes and other items you may have. Often they have sent 2 vans to pick us up.
SIDE EXCURSIONS BOOKED.
Now’s the time to do it! And, it may be too late depending on the race. For example, for Kona, this should go on your 6 month out list. But for most locations, first check to see if we covered the race under our Food & Fun section and if not, take a few hours to research the best things to do in the city you are going to. Also, check out the visitor’s center website and see if you can pre-purchase city passes or book other excursions or activities ahead of time to assure it won’t be sold out and/or you can get a discount. Another awesome site to check out is TravelingMom.com for great destination ideas.
ALL TRAVEL DOCS ARE IN ORDER AND DOUBLE CHECKED.
Seriously! Is your driver’s license up to date? When do your credit cards expire? Do you need your passport? And the big thing I always forget now that the twins are in college, their passports if needed. Make sure they have them if they are not traveling with you and are meeting you there. I’m embarrassed to tell you how many times I have had to overnight their passports to them. Many countries require that your passport be valid for 6 months out, so if yours is set to expire within 6 months from when you’re traveling, renew it early.
SUPPLIES, GEAR, AND CLOTHES ARE IN READY ORDER.
Make sure you have all the supplies you’ll need based on the race location. For my upcoming trip to Puerto Rico, it’s sunscreen, bug spray, emergency kit stocked, summer clothes cleaned, and I have the clothes I need….I’m terrible about packing and usually do it about the time I’m walking out the door. Don’t be like me – it’s just added stress.
PET CARE IS ARRANGED.
Alright, this is not relevant for everyone, but it is for us and if I can’t find pet care, I don’t go on the trip. Depending upon the type of care you use, this may need to be done long in advance, so plan accordingly.
What not to think about? The fact that I am headed to a warm climate and am far from bathing suit ready…Oh well, 30 days out is way too late to start worrying about it now…
DID I FORGET AN ITEM ON YOUR CHECKLIST?
Sherry is one of the TriWivesClub and LifeDoneWell co-founders and contributes to multiple blogs. She is a former co-owner of the California Apparel News and had a career in the healthcare industry. Her passions include traveling, real food, the environment, and animal rescue/welfare. She lives a healthy lifestyle and has been a vegetarian since 1987. She and her husband are parents to two rescue pups and reside in Connecticut.