Swim Tip: It’s pretty well known that the lake curves a bit. Some competitors like to start on the left and follow the buoys and many/most others like to stay to the right to try and cut off some of the course. One suggestion is to (sshh…don’t tell) stay in the middle. You might get some surprisingly clear water. No promises though.
Swim Tip: The swim exit is usually up a set of stairs. It always seemed like it was one stair short. Plus the water can be a bit murky, so the stairs can be somewhat hard to see. So maybe this isn’t really a tip. More of a warning. Just be careful getting out. There…now it’s a tip.
Spectator Tip Swim Start: Quite a few of the spectators stand on the Mill Avenue Bridge to watch the start. And we can’t blame them. It’s a great view. But it does get very crowded and if the line is three deep, the view is no longer so great. One suggestion is to have your family and friends follow the sand path that goes along the south end of the lake. They can actually walk along the swim course for quite a ways. If you coordinate things correctly, you can look over and give them a wave prior to the start so they can pick you out. Tell them to look for the person in the black wetsuit wearing a swim cap.
Spectator Tip: Post Swim Start Coffee: Of course, we mentioned coffee. After the swim start, quite a few (as in about a thousand) spectators make a run to the Starbucks on Mill Avenue. The line is out the door and you could wait for 20 or 30 minutes to get your java. Either, begin your walk as soon as you see your loved one start the swim or consider Coffee Cartel at 225 West University Drive or Cupz Coffee on 777 South College Ave. Both are about 4/10th of a mile further away but the lines will be shorter.
Bike Tip: If you're going to use arm warmers, roll them up into a ball/doughnut shape (mmm....doughnuts). They'll go on much easier than if you try to put them on as a sleeve Especially if your arms are wet. Just slip your hand through the opening and then unroll them onto your arms once you've settled in on the bike.
Bike Tip: Try not to coast down the beeline after the turn around. Just keep constant pressure on the pedals. You may be surprised at how many people you'll pass.
Bike Spectator Tip: Most spectators like to hang near the hot corner. We like to go up Rio Salado a bit (near Packard Drive). You'll still get to see your athlete twice and you'll be much easier to spot. Be sure to bring a camping chair and maybe an umbrella.
Run Spectator Tip: If your support crew brings camping chairs, they can set up on the North Bank Path (across the lake from the expo). It's a somewhat lonely part of the run course but knowing you have someone there cheering will give you an extra bump on a part of the course where you really need it.
Toes..blech: We know toes are not supposed to be discussed in polite company. But trim your toe nails the day before the race. Your feet will thank you after the race.
We’re not doctors: But while we're on the topic of body parts, consider putting Imodium in your special needs bag. G.I. problems have been known to ruin more than once race.
Just plain odd but intriguing: We won't name names but someone at Coeur put a little finger tooth brush and some tooth paste in his special needs bag. He claimed that having a fresh mouth made the run more bearable. At minimum, it will make the finish line smooch better!
Finish Line Tip: You've thought about your finish line picture...right? No? Ok, then here's one to consider. Do you know how to make a heart with your fingers? Some people do it with their index fingers and thumbs and some use their entire hands. In any event, consider making a heart when you cross the finish line. We think it's cool. And it's our unofficial symbol. Send us picture making the heart and we'll send you something free and post it on our Facebook page. Do it at the finish and you'll get an extra bonus!
Ok..that's about it. If you have any special tips of your own that you'd like to share, send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll add them to the list.
Hope you have a great race!
Your friends at Coeur