Monday, July 20, 2015

New York City Triathlon 2015

I wasn't a competitor this year; instead, I volunteered so I could have automatic entry for the 2016 race.  I lugged around equipment for the TV crew, which meant getting to the swim start at 3:30 am, which meant leaving from Brooklyn an hour earlier, and stumbling around the Upper West Side looking for the streets in the upper 90's that let you cross under the Henry Hudson Parkway--something that would have been hazardous in the 1970's but worked out fine this year.  But I had amazing access to the start and finish with the pros.  (The amateurs, not so much; the TV production wasn't much interested in the amateurs.  They found the amateur athlete overcoming personal difficulty/tragedy or supporting a family member, taped that in advance, and that was pretty much it.)

I made Kristen Marchant, a Canadian rookie pro, my favorite athlete of the day.  I got a selfies with her at the start and at the finish, and she was incredibly gracious about it:

She finished 8th among the pro women; came out of the water 7th, having lost the lead group (the women started 11:37 ahead of the men to allow for a grand prize for the first finisher, either male or female) and basically held that place the entire race; her results are here, and her blog post on her race is here.  She's only 24, so I'm hoping she's a rising star and someday these photos are "I knew her when" items.  The men's pro race was unusually exciting, with 6 lead changes, which rarely happens, but which we never saw because it was happening out of the bike course; we'll get to see it when the TV show is on (only on SNY, which we don't really get here in Arizona), because the camera-person (who rode on back of a motorcycle on the bike and run course) reported how much fun he had watching the battle.

But for NYC, there were very few spectators.  It was a very hot and humid day, and during the race, organizers cut short the run for the last amateurs for safety reasons.  I only stayed at the finish for the pros and the first few elite amateurs as the TV crew didn't need me anymore, but when there are more competitors than spectators in New York City, you're clearly a niche sport (especially when compared to the absolutely packed NJ Transit train from Penn Station that afternoon, filled with fans headed to MetLife Stadium to watch Mexico-Costa Rica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup match).

But I now have guaranteed entry for 2016--see you there, where I hope to do better than in 2009 in my two-steps-up age group.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Two Found Items on the Internets

First, Anton Ego's restaurant review from Ratatouille (the great Peter O'Toole):

Thanks to Vulture. I'd forgotten this.

Next, courtesy of AdWeek, it's Wes Anderson and Claremont, California: two great tastes that taste great together:

Also much fun, even if you hadn't been to those places while visiting your kid in college.