Today is race day for our sprint triathlon. It is the culmination of months of planning, hours and hours of hard work and years of wishing for a local triathlon. Our community, College Station, Texas is home to Texas A&M University and has not had a triathlon event in over 25 years. When I began exploring the possibility of bringing a triathlon to town, I had no idea the amount of work and dedication that would be required to gain local approval for the event, including; securing the sponsors to provide the funding, and forming a team of volunteers that can deliver a safe and well-executed event. Finding people who share my passion for kids fitness and triathlon was not always easy, but it has been rewarding and allowed for many new friendships. Triathlon race production is a team effort and we have a great team! We started small with a kids triathlon in 2011 that was very successful. We repeated the kids triathlon in 2012 with a sold-out event of 325 participants (not to mention over 600 parents). Now it is time for TRI Aggieland Sprint TRI and the planning and preparation is done and it is almost go time. As a certified race director, I have tried to follow all the steps that I have learned and as an insurance professional, I can say that I probably worry more and spend more time thinking about contingencies.
Here is a small list of things that can an event director up at night:
- The Texas Heat – a ton of ice, 500 12th man towels iced down and ready, kiddie pools for ice baths, water, water, water!
- Weather (more specifically lightning)
- Volunteer numbers (we need over 100 on race day)
- Budget (everything cost money, unless you can get a wonderful sponsor to donate it! Our event is 100% non-profit with all proceeds going to our 501C3 local Children’s Museum)
- Road construction – Lots of good things happening on the campus of Texas A&M which means CONSTRUCTION!
- Our athletes. How can we make sure that they have an experience that they deserve. We have a few special things up our sleeve like 2 laps inside legendary KYLE Field, a splash zone full of kids from our local youth TRI team, a very cool aid station at the Clayton Williams Former Student Association, a race picture running next the famous Aggie Ring Statue.
Okay, time to go back to work. Packet pickup starts in a few hours and there is work to do!