Part III: Racing, Famous People, and a Sandwich

The conclusive post of the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship three-part series is upon us. It aims to stimulate your senses, mentally, visually, and if you’re hungry, physically.

4:00 am came way too soon on Saturday. At least this morning we did not have to take a ferry ride. We stayed only eight minutes away from the race site. Our biggest problem was there was no coffee shop open! Plus, our GPS lied to us about the location of a Dunkin Donuts!

We arrived at the race site and unfortunately we had to park a decent ways away. We had to take quite a few trips. All of Jeff’s tools, 4 bike frames, 4 complete bikes, bike and repair stands, a table, and a chair. Eventually we set ourselves up under the Endurance Films Racing Team tent. If you were following us on Facebook (Please “Like” Us), you had the opportunity to see loads of photos.

Eventually, our Jack Kane side-kicks showed up with coffee, donuts, and muffins.

Oh, the sweet nectar that is DDs.

Unfortunately for Jeff, he had a higher calling. That higher calling was the Endurance Team needing last minute bike and air pressure checks. It was a cinch. He took care of them, but it was too late. If only he knew what he had walked in to. The man did not stand a chance. It was like shooting fish in a barrel or hitting a pinata without the blind fold. He was Justin Bieber and these triathletes were teenage girls. Or worse, a Justin Bieber Pinata (Why does this exist?!!). MASS Hysteria! Jeff was donned in an electric green USAT Media vest, armed with a bike pump, and supplied with tools, so naturally, the vultures circled and attacked.

[quote cite=”Jeff, Team Mechanic”] “Want to make 2000 friends faster than Facebook? Bring a pump into a transition area”
[/quote] …Subsequent quote, “Another 1000 if it looks like you know what you’re doing” – Scott, Endurance Films Racing Team, rang so very true. We’d like 3000 Facebook friends too! PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!

While Jeff was out saving the world, I was working the Expo/tent area. Similar to the inside expo, we had loads of traffic. We had more bikes out this time and caught many more people’s eyes. Additionally, we were right across from the food tent. Subway and Jack Kane bikes— A match made in heaven. We even have a clip of Subway Jarrod looking at our bike. We also had Senator Scott Brown from Massachusetts stop by our tent. He was curious about our bikes. (See the gallery at the bottom)

What a Pair!

When there were slow moments, I had a chance to shoot brief Jack Kane bike highlight videos. If you’re not working, you cannot be successful! (You have got to check out the Endurance Films bike one. See what happens when I spin the front wheel!)

One of the big stories we were present for was Diane’s qualifying for Team USA that will compete in New Zealand. This was (and is) awesome. We have video of it, so I don’t need to say anything.

As the Endurance Team trickled in, some were happy with their results, some were not. Nevertheless, all of them were super pumped about being on a team and coming back and talking with each other. These athletes barely knew one another and yet they were like best friends. Another reason why triathlon and its community is so superb.

Once the last energy gel had been guzzled and last toe-nail punished from the pavement, the crowds faded away and we began the take down. Not to mention picking up the trash of others…. just saying. It was a general consensus, we wanted some beers before the awards ceremony. It was our lucky day too, the host hotel had a Vermont beer sampler.

Can I get a crazy Howard Dean, “Byahhhhhhhhhhh!”??? Or Frank-the-Tank, “Once it hits your lips, it’s soo good!”

We dabbled at the award ceremony and then split for dinner. We were famished. We enjoyed a delicious dinner and then headed back to the ferry— Well, we first had to pick up my brake pads.


Two epic events occurred.

1) My first “Michigan”. Two words: “Boo” and “Ya”

2) I like climbing hills. Jacksonville, North Carolina (where I live) doesn’t have any hills. Even inclines are a rare occurrence. Plattsburgh, NY (where we were lodged) does. This made me happy. Fortunately, we were able to re-acquire my brake pads so I didn’t drive 1000 miles and not be able to ride. We enjoyed a great fifty mile ride and it was great to ride up some gradients. Just in case you were concerned, the Michigan didn’t interfere with the ride.

After the ride, I did a little organizing and packed up the car. It was then I realized I was a killer. (You’ll see in the gallery at the end)

Fast FORWARD to Monday

And so our two heroes drove off into the early morning sunrise. Withered and drained from days of hard work, lots of travel, and supporting one heck of a triathlon team. They drove back to the Motherland; the South where sweet and un-sweet tea rule and some people say “y’all”. They snapped a few photos on the trip back so they could remember what mountain and hills looked like. They took a chance and drove through the netherworlds of Washington D.C. traffic right around 3:30pm. A stretch of tarmac where automobiles enter sane, but may not come out quite right ever again. They were victorious, but cut it oh-so-close. (Note to those that try to take advantage of the car pooling lane after 3:30pm, the police scan all the cars at the exit and pull you over if you violate. It was funny to watch)

They reached their destinations later that night and were quick to pass out. In all: a driving legend emerged; 2,015.8 miles of being the sole driver. (But he’ll be the first to admit he’s no Siphiwe Baleka). A team mechanic survived the throngs of transition area triathletes. A van was saddened to be cleared of beautiful bicycles. Even after all this, a normal work-day was expected Tuesday morning…

Oh, the life of working in the endurance sports industry.

Zane and Jeff

[hr_small] In all seriousness, thank-you for reading this multi-part series. I hope you enjoyed it, laughed a little, and learned something. Jeff and I had a blast on this trip. A huge thanks to Eric and Danny of Endurance Films for letting us be a part of this. It was great meeting all of the Endurance Film athletes and doing everything we could to help them perform to the best of their abilities that weekend. If you had never heard of Jack Kane bikes until USAT AG Nationals and now you follow us, thank you. Every single one of you can play a critical part in our success. If you want to see true grassroots growth and partnerships, continue to check us out.

Ride smart. Ride hard. Have fun. Is it time for the 2012 Age Group Nationals yet? If you raced this year, how was it? How’d you do? Any questions for me?

Brand Marketing Manager

Part II: Dawn of a New Day
Part I: Drive, Expo, Ride