This is not a day for people who love to sleep in. Transition opened at 4:15 and we drove to Chicago to be there by 5am, meaning we got up at 3:30. It was dark and only a teeny bit of traffic on the road - and why were so many cars driving around with bikes???
Martin and the boys had signed up for helping out at a water station - none that I passed but one for the olympic distance athletes so they dropped me and my bike off, accompanied me to the body marking station and then set off. I waited forever for the body marking just to find out that there just was a pen being reached around. And then - what was my number again...One hour to go to my wave - that was early. Time for a potty break (if one can find the portapotties with the short queues) and for the swim gear check - there was no way to get to the transition zone before 11 or so.
Of course I noticed that my flip flops were still on my feet after that gear check. So I dumped them somewhere with the hope to find them later.
Wave 14 went, wave 15 (announced as Female/Male 40-44) shocked me quite a bit because they had purple swim caps, I had a white one and had been told 15 was my wave - yet the color was wrong. But my number was in the range for wave 16. Somebody was out there to confuse me...
Wave 16 started as mountain biker 40-44, female. I went, anyway - my number was right in the range after all.
I swam as fast as I could for the first time starting quite in the front and having myself being passed but not run over. It was a good swim, no running into anybody, navigation was easy for I generally breathe to the left and there was the pier we swam alongside of. After the swim I ran over the concrete path toward the transition (and my weird foot did not hurt at this - usually it does) - and - yeah - onto my bee-bike. this time I finally cracked the 20mph for the bike split (though I did not crack the 1:30 for a sprint) despite of pot holes and riders on the wrong side of the road (riding British is tough - and confusing for some as it seems). Passing was made difficult by heavy and quite fast traffic on Lake Shore Drive so one could really not go past the cones (not that I would have but some of those blocking riders needed a couple of "on your right"). Also there was a line between the two lanes that we were allowed to use - Chicago's winter had produced some concrete decay and it was patched with asphalt. So for crossing I chose to only do it if I could get a big angle towards this line.
Much too quickly I went back into the transition and onto the run. The run was fun, the sun was starting to come up but for I had started at 7am it really was not too hot yet. After 1:30:and a bit I went into the finish chute, just to check out the food, water, more water, and to win a bento box and a brand new transition backpack (Lake - really nice piece).
Then I went back to the transition zone and packed up (after standing in line to get in for quite a time), traced the race course of the olympic distance race until I found the rest of my family who had been volunteering at an aid station giving out Gatorade. They all came in very yellowish and very sticky.
Such a nice day!