Tuesday, February 10, 2009


This past weekend I ventured down to the USAT Mid Atlantic meeting in Richmond. Mainly to help the club out by providing an extra body for the club challenge, the club with the most people there wins cash. We won for the second most people there, and apparently donated the money to the Challenged Athletes Foundation. It’s a great cause, but if I had known we were going to do that I probably wouldn’t have gone.

There was supposed to be a silent auction for various race entries. However, in true USAT fashion, they waited until the last minute. I didn’t even know about it until I walked past the table and asked about it.
And the opening bids were all set for the price of the entry. FAIL again.
When you set up a silent auction, you set the opening bid for about half of what the item is worth. If you’ve done your homework, you’ve advertised what is being auctioned off so people are excited about the items and you start the auctions with competition for the items.
Most people already have planned their race schedules by now, and their budgets are set. This would have been a good idea to have online probably a month ago.
Anyway, the auction was supposed to support the CAF, so it’s doubly sad that it was handled so poorly, and I didn’t like feeling like the club donated our winnings to cover for the USAT’s F up.

Bob Babbitt, one of the original Ironmen gave a fantastic talk. It was all about the early days of Ironman where you had two days to complete the course, and he did it on a beater bike in a long sleeve cotton t-shirt. It was fascinating. Apparently, his support crew, which was legal in those days, brought him a Big Mac, fries, and coke to eat on the bike course. And he took a 45 minute nap during a massage in transition. He actually gained weight during the event from eating so much sweet bread. I love him. He was a great speaker, just told stories without pushing anything on us, if you get a chance to meet him or hear him speak, GO!

Unfortunately, they ended his talk to let a guy try to pitch his mental coaching services to us. Mental coaching is the new Fauxhawk. Everyone is talking about it or trying to sell it to you, but there is very little accreditation or education supporting their advice. I cannot stand when people try to sell pop psychology bullshit. I tuned out and read my Self magazine in an effort to keep my mouth shut and not out this idiot.
Just a piece of advice: you probably wouldn’t hire a coach who hadn’t ever completed a triathlon himself, would you? Same goes for mental coaching. And this should be their primary business, not some side effort to soak money from patsies who don’t check credentials.

Later, we heard from the Duathlon Nationals guy. There will be a keg, and a club challenge, and amazing swag. The race is cheap too, only $35 so it’s looking pretty tempting. Did I mention no swimming?

In other news, don't stay at the Omni. The staff is impeccable. Amazing customer service. But they can't make up for the fact that the walls are paper thin, and the facilities have not been kept up. Bed was soft, noise incessant, toilet ran ... it made for a very cranky ride home the next day when neither one of us had slept more than a few hours. And we were both too tired to run the du course like we would have liked.

If you get a chance, eat at the Tobacco Company. Mashed potatoes where you could taste the heavy cream. Great martinis. Yummy tiramisu. And there's an atrium that runs up the center of all three floors. Awesome.

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