Jeremy was discouraging me from bringing the kids up for the start, because he was planning on a 5:30 race time. That's a long time to sit at the park, even if it's a great park. But we went anyway. :) It's fun to see him swim.
On Friday, I picked up enough snacks to feed an army of preschoolers and some new toys. We bathed the kids and put them to bed in their clothes for the race. That way, I could get them up and put them in the car without any fuss. I got the car all packed up Friday night, too.
My alarm went off at 6 am, and we were out of the house by 6:35. I forgot Hwy 13 north was closed, so I had to back track a little bit, but we made the long drive to Rockford and got to the park before the first wave started. But not early enough to see Jeremy before the race.
After we parked, I had to put a ponytail in Ivy's hair. Then we loaded up the stroller with the baby, the Enormous Bag (see F), and the Little Cooler. Plus sand toys. Oh, and the kids. On the way to the beach, we dropped our stuff off on a bench near the play ground. Ivy was very concerned someone would take our stuff. Jamey was begging for sunscreen--he kept saying "I'm getting sunburned."
FYI, Lake Rebecca Park is an EXCELLENT race venue. LOVED IT! The play ground was close to transition. It was easy to get around. We had no problem seeing the swim and then getting up to transition right away. The beach was GREAT. And there were lots of bathrooms. And lots of shade.
This is how our day went (using Jeremy & Bethany's time estimates).
Jeremy start 7:42
Bethany start 8:06
Jeremy out of the water 8:12
Jeremy out of T1 8:14
Bethany out of the water 8:41
We stood down at the beach from about 7:35 until Jeremy got out of the water. The kids dug in the sand, played in the grass, and made friends with every adult within 10 feet of us. Jamey took 52 pictures of rocks and only whacked 3 people with sticks. We saw Bethany right away and hung out with her until she went down to "On Deck" or whatever they called it. After Jeremy got out of the water (FIRST in his age group), we climbed the hill up to transition and screamed "GO DADDY" as he was hopping on his bike--well, running it out of transition. Then we stood up at transition until we saw Bethany come running in to get her bike. The kids mostly pulled up grass and ran around while we waited.
Bethany out of T1 8:43
After Bethany left on the bike, we went over to the playground. I applied 32 layers of sunscreen and the kids ate bagels, pop tarts, and ritz crackers with peanut butter. They also played with the sidewalk chalk. We walked back over to transition to see Bethany off the bike.
Bethany off the bike 10:30
Bethany out of T2 10:32
Jeremy off the bike 11:15
Jeremy out of T2 11:17
Between Bethany getting off the bike and Jeremy getting off the bike, we played in the grass near transition again. This time, they ate 32 bags of fruit snacks, ate ice cubes, and drank 12 juice boxes. Also, the kids had to go potty about 15 times. This is when they took out the new bubbles, new frisbees, and pet every dog that walked by. Bethany had long time estimates, because as the race was happening, she was due to finish shortly after Jeremy got on the run. So, as soon as Jeremy got out of T2, we walked over to the finish and set up camp over in the shade there. I had brought a blanket to lay out, and then had the cooler, big bag and stroller that I didn't want to haul everywhere.
Bethany finish 11:40
We cheered Bethany at the finish and sat around with her a little bit. The kids were eager to get to the beach, so I took them down there while Bethany ate some snacks, recovered, and talked with some people she knows from swimming. The kids swam until it was time to see Jeremy finish.
Jeremy finish 1:15
We stood a long time at the finish to see Jeremy. He had done faster on the swim and bike than he estimated and he looked good leaving T2, so I thought he'd have a faster run. Turns out the run was really hard, so we stood at the finish line longer than the kids liked. Jamey threw a little fit about "not throwing rocks at people" and Ivy was sad she couldn't run through the poison ivy-infested woods. Barefoot. We cheered Jeremy at the end--Ivy ran with him. And then we sat!After the race, we sat on the blanket for a long time, eating more snacks, drinking lemonade & water, and resting. The kids were happy to see Jeremy again and he & Bethany were happy to be sitting. We stayed long enough for Long Course Prizes (at 2:30). They packed up their gear, and we walked to the cars.
I think we got home around 4 pm. The kids did great! Aside from waiting for Jeremy at the finish, they didn't fight or throw any fits about anything. They just played outside and had fun.
I don't think I have anything negative to say about this race as a participant. It was great. The kids were great. It's fun to cheer on our athletes.