We left for KS Thursday morning. Turns out you can fill up an Element pretty quickly when you have 2 people with clothing, riding gear, etc and everything you could ever need to set up an expo and show off the Saris and CycleOps goods. And let's be honest here people, I am NOT a light packer. I'm just not. Anyways. After a slight detour to swap racks (don't ask....but trust me, it was the best option there was) we were on our way. Destination Kansas City for the night.
Truth be told, it was a solid 8hr drive, possibly made a wee bit longer by the fact that we had to stop and let me out of the car a few times. I'm kind of like a puppy or perhaps a small child in the car. I get antsy, I have to pee, I get bored, I get hungry, I'm annoying. But between the few stops and my cat naps (I only remember closing my eyes for like a minute I swear) the time passed pretty quickly.
Thursday night we got together with a handful of my dealers from the area and enjoyed some of the delicacies of the KC Hooters.Friday we were up relatively early in the morning, and on our way to into Kansas City to get a little work done before heading to the expo in Lawrence KS. We got to Clinton State Park midday to set up for the expo. By set up I mean set up, take down, relocate, and repeat. And it was a warm day! We're talking upper 80's and full sun...not something I had a whole lot of before heading down there. I was, as a coworker of mine would say, a Sweaty Betty. Having worked the expo and event last year it was crazy to see how much it had grown! From a 40x40 lot behind a building off Mass St in down Lawrence, to a sprawling huge outdoor expo at the race site....it was awesome. The race director's spared no expense making this event top notch--including a "yellow brick road" finish line (that may have sealed the deal on me racing)!!
Friday afternoon rolled around, expo started, and the triathletes came! With over 2200 registered participants there were plenty of people milling about. It was long, hot, tiring afternoon. And in true Katie form, I got sunburned. Grrr! It also turned out that there was no food at the expo, so there was definitely no eating until we finally got out of the expo sometime after 7 that night and sorted out our accommodations in Lawrence.
Dinner that night was at Montana Mike's Steak House. It was non-meat eater at a "classy" steak house. Enough said.
By the time all is said and done, we got out of the restaurant sometime around 9:30 or so. At this point I really want to drive the bike course. I still wasn't sure I wanted to actually race on Sunday, so I thought seeing the bike might help me decide in one way or another. Turns out trying to maneuver the bike course with a questionable map and no sense of direction in the dark is not easy. We made a few u-turns, a few turns, and there was of course when I navigated us at 65mph onto a gravel road with no warning. Opps. Needless to say, Wyatt was less than thrilled with me by the end of this drive. In fact we cut the drive short after I navigated us in the wrong direction (again).
What I learned while on this drive? Well KS is NOT flat. It's not. All those pastoral pictures of wide open farmfields...not quite. There were quite a few loooooong climbs. Nothing like the WI IM course, and I would have to agree with Robert that I would love LOVE love to do 2 loops on this course versus 2 on the IM WI course, but there were some hills just the same.
From here.......to here!
That's right, a church.........with a No Gun sign!
It was like a triathlete exploded! Seriously. And this is only one of my bags. There were 2 more that are out of the picture. There was going to be no sleeping until I was packed to my liking.
All that's left to do is sleep and race. Simple as that. Right.
So that takes us up to the night before the race....it took me long enough to get to that point, but I swear my race day report is in the works and will be up soon!