- It is best if, when riding your bike to a triathlon at 4:00am, one of your contact lenses does not fall out. If it does, you’ll be forced to stop, dig out your spare, and put a new lens in. This delay may give a guy with a flyswatter in his shorts the opportunity to strike up a conversation with you on the side of the bike path in the dark. He may then give you his card, which doesn’t feature his name but does include the title “Flyswatter Guy”.
- Do not be afraid to be chummy with your competitors. The best quote of the morning came from the pro racking her bike next to mine, who responded to my inquiry as to whether a plastic knife near her bike was hers with the response, “No, it’s probably the Flyswatter Guy’s.”
- When you’re in a pinch and don’t have electrical tape while setting up your transition zone, your Jaybird Reign band can be used to secure your water to its aerobar mount. Two years ago at NYC, my bottle flew out shortly after transition, and I could not risk losing my INFINIT with temperatures in the high 80s before 6:00am.
- The NYC swim start pontoon is HIGH. A pre-race diving board session could considerably improve your water entry style.
- When the two girls in front of you at the end of the swim end up excessively far right of the exit platform, do not think to yourself “well that’s a tactical error on their part” because you will be swept into a lateral current at that very moment and be pushed excessively far right.
- Apparently if your chain falls off to the outside of the large ring, you can get it back on without getting off the bike. Knowing how to do that could save you considerable trouble on the side of the road during the race. It turns out that it’s hard to get a chain back on during a race when your adrenaline is pumping so hard that your hands won’t stop shaking.
- Do not miss a timing mat running out of transition. If you do, your parents may grow concerned, and your first text upon finishing the race may be “DNF???”
- Even if you’re totally dead on the run, expect to be encouraged by tons of people running and walking in Central Park.
- Check out the post-race expo, which features far more goodies than the average post-race expo. You may walk out with two bags of dried mangos, three KIND bars, a large bag and 6 small bags of Basmati rice, a large box of brown rice, a smoothie, a chocolate Popsicle, a 3-D video of you and a friend jumping with Statue of Liberty props, and an interview with a running stroller company even though you said you aren’t having kids any time soon because you have an indeterminate number of years of school left.
- Get a good Greyhound bus driver on the way home, whose "welcome to the bus" speech includes tips like "if you use the restroom, there is hand sanitizer in there. Use it, because if you don't, well that's nasty" and "we should have internet, but if it works, it works, and if it doesn't, it doesn't, and that's that." (it doesn't).
Special thanks to my homestay Andrew, the Jaybird crew, and all of my Maverick sponsors. It dawned on me post-race that not having to eat gels during the bike because of my INFINIT nutrition = no stuffing old gel containers down my suit = no random assortment of cuts and scrapes under my suit where the gel containers would normally rub. It's the small victories.
Julie Patterson is a member of INFINIT Sponsored Team Maverick Multisport. She was born and raised in Worthington, OH by an active family that encouraged her to try a variety of recreational sports. She attended the University of Richmond where she competed on the cross-country tream. During her time on the Richmond XC Team they won two team conference championships (2008, 2010), while Julie also set the UR women’s 10K record (34:50), and earned all-conference and academic all-conference, all-district, and all-American honors. Julie currently enjoying the challenge of balancing life as a PharmD/PhD student with life as a professional triathlete and wife.