When we are responsible for it all, we tend to think of things differently. There are many things that we take for granted in the majority of triathlon races worldwide. Manned aid stations are one of those things, as evidenced by a thread in our forum about the unmanned aid stations this weekend at the Atlantic City Triathlon.
That said, Norseman and the other XTRI events are considered to be self supported. What does that actually mean?
It means pack the car right because it's going to be tight.
As of this writing, we are 6 hours away from waking up in the morning to start this year’s epic. Currently the sky is a perfect color with low hanging clouds and a little mist in the air. We are currently prepping the car because in about 4 hours the rain is supposed to start and it's not supposed to let up until at least halfway through the bike. In the car we have all of our luggage, all my camera gear and Tim’s stuff that needs to be ready to grab at a moments’ notice. Between the three of us we only checked one bike box and a gear bag. Despite our well-sized station wagon, it’s still going to be a bad game of tetris. And that’s with Tim being well-loaded with gear to start the bike off.
What makes it this way? Why so much stuff? Simple: self support.
Because of the weather and some of the challenges we will have in the morning getting out of town (the tunnels are one way traffic), we felt it best that Tim was over prepared in the case he not see us for the nearly all uphill first 90K of the bike. Tim’s gear once on the bike will look something like this:
2 Bottles (one with water and one with Powerbar Iso 300 Calories)
4 Powerbar Gels (400 Calories)
2 Powerbar’s (400 Calories)
Zoot team race kit
Zoot team race vest
Zoot thermal long sleeve top
Zoot thermal gloves
CEP ankle socks
Shimano cycling shoes
Norseman safety vest
Personal phone (Required by race)
Meanwhile, in our vehicle, we will take the following:
2 x Five liter jugs of water
11 x Powerbar Gels (1,100 Calories)
8 x Powerbars (1,600 Calories)
5 x Powerbar Power Gel Shots (1,050 Calories)
24 Scoops of Powerbar Iso Active (1,950 Calories)
4 Perfect Bananas (400 Calories)
1 Jar of Peanut Butter
1 packet of Certified Piedmontese beef jerky
Saucony Kinvara 12 running shoes
Saucony Trail shoes
Nathan’s Trail pack
CEP Trail windbreaker
CEP calf sleeves
Additional Crew Gear
Personal food (not Powerbar- mostly Haribo and Norwegian candy)
Clothes ready to change into (because we have to run with him the last 5K)
Is this a lot? Is it stressful? Yes and no. In a lot of ways, it’s familiar and brings me full circle for a lot of events I used to do. You are responsible for you. You support yourself. In addition, this isn’t our first rodeo. We have all been in the sport for over a couple of decades . Tim is dialed into his nutritional needs and we (the Slowtwitch Media House team) have great sponsors to make sure we have all the gear we need.
But it is still a lot. And a lot can still go wrong. After all, it’s a long day. It’s too long for everything to go perfectly.
We are one of about 230ish or so racers and support crews that are taking on Norseman tomorrow. There are more than 80 Norseman crew members that volunteer for this event. We are all very excited, and also a little nervous. There will be live broadcasting of the race, found on their website https://nxtri.com. And we’ll be back with a full recap after the event.
But for now, we rest and wait to see what tomorrow brings.