Well here we are again, 105 days and 7,458 miles away from the Cozumel race but Liz is currently out sweating on the bike again. It should be said it is much much cooler here in Taupo New Zealand than it was in Cozumel, but still, once you get to a certain level of exertion you are just covered with sweat. For me that would probably have been in the process of putting on the wetsuit (seriously it looks like hard work, it takes plenty of the athletes 10 min plus to wiggle and smear their way into those things), but I’m guessing it happened for Liz somewhere on the first lap on the bike. But the physical pain of my athlete is not why I’m talking to you today, we covered that during the Cozumel race.
I’m here to tell you, the significant other of a (admittedly questionably) sane individual that has chosen the Ironman lifestyle, what is in this whole mess for you. Being a race sherpa is no easy feat. All the stress from your athlete tends to (naturally) rub off on their families. However, there are a few serious benefits. The best one (other than helping your athlete achieve their dreams) is the travel opportunities.
Distance triathlons are a great excuse to travel. There are so few of them (relative to shorter ones), that it is practically mandatory (61% of the preregistered athletes here in Taupo NZ are from overseas). Liz and I came to the agreement early on that I’d support her in her masochistic tri-lifestyle if I got to choose the locations she raced (I highly recommend this arrangement). Basically, our thought is that if she is going to train for 6 months, and we are going to pay a grand in registration fees alone why on earth would we go to Tennessee, the Florida panhandle, or Wisconsin. Nothing against those locations, I’m sure they are very nice, but compared to Western Australia? New Zealand? Sydney? Cozumel? Victoria? Whistler? or Cairns?? You have to deal with a tired, sore, hurt, and stressed athlete for 6 months. You deserve to go where you want to!
So get online, do some searching and figure out where you want to go. Then walk up to your tired, stinky, and tired athlete and tell them that they need to create a training plan because they are competing in (Insert your choice here) next year. Trust me they won’t complain.
-Quinn (Liz’s Race Sherpa)