This post has been updated as of 10/27/16.
It’s Ironman 70.3 Austin time! Get ready for some fun, Texas style. Hopefully, you have read our Food and Fun Part 1 and Part 2 series, so you are all set for your visit with things to do and places to eat and can just relax and enjoy. If not, do it now……
If you are racing or spectating, this will most likely be one of the most fun races you will ever do. Prior to Ironman taking over the race, there was even a naked aid station, but now the folks wear “clothes”. Although the race is not downtown like most of the other Austin races and triathlons, Austin brings itself to the race site right outside of the city.
Of note: from downtown, it will take you about 20 minutes, assuming no traffic, to get to the race site. And remember, Austin is the “music capital of the world” so you can be sure that music will be a part of the race. We have divided our spectating tips into two parts; part 1 takes you through the bike and Part 2, bike to finish.
Here are The TriWives tips for making the most of your spectating experience:
1. Make sure to attend packet pick up and bike drop off with your athlete prior to the race. This is a great time to get to know the area. Make sure you take note of shade trees, the bathrooms, and where the food is. Austin is also known for awesome kids’ areas and there has always been a live longhorn on site to visit with.
2. On race morning, this is one of those races you want to get to with your athlete. The parking is plenty, but access roads to get to the site are not. Beware – there tends to be long car lines. I have volunteered at the buses for a few years and athletes always underestimate the time they will need and are rushing. Don’t be one of them…..
3. Once you arrive at the race parking area, you will need to take a shuttle to the swim start. It is just a mile walk away, but there will be cars on the road, and it will be dark, cold, and hilly, so there is a danger. We really recommend hopping on board. Due to the number of people that need to take the shuttle, remember that the athletes do take priority. You may be asked to wait for the next one as a spectator, so the athletes can get to T1. It won’t be long; just smile, kiss your athlete goodbye, make a new friend or two, and remember where the location is that you picked the day before to meet up at. You will only be a few minutes behind your athlete.
4. Make sure you bring treats for the kids and your coffee to T1, as well as a blanket and warmer jackets. It is always a little more chilly at the water. When you take the shuttle back once your athlete is out on the bike, you will have plenty of time to put everything back in the car when the sun comes up.
5. You should have time to chill with your athlete and wait for the swim start, but this may depend on how your athlete likes to spend the time before the race – some do prefer solitude. The swim is an out and back into Decker Lake.
6. This race has always been spectator – friendly and easy to get yourself around as your athlete comes out of the water and onto their bike. You will have plenty of cheering time, just PLEASE! make sure you plan at bike drop off, so your athlete will know where to look for you.
7. Your athlete is now out on their bike for a beautiful one-loop ride, so it is time for you to make your way down the road to the bus and hitch a ride back to the expo center.
Be sure to catch Part 2 tomorrow for Bike to Finish. Also, watch for any updates if we hear things have changed. Happy racing and spectating!!!!
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.