Friday, April 3, 2009

T Minus Two

The day after tomorrow I will officially start my 2009 racing season with the Ochsner New Orleans 70.3 Triathlon.  I’ve put in a lot of hard and smartly-designed work over the offseason and I am eager to see the effects.  This will also be the fastest half-iron course that I’ve ever raced on, far and away … so while Matt won’t let me have any time goals I am expecting to set a new PR by a pretty wide margin.  My main goal on Sunday is to just get the first race of the year under my belt, to race smart and to have fun out there.

The race directors set a few of us up with a rather unique homestay – we are staying at a church about a mile from the starting line.  The pastor is racing on Sunday, too!  Neale and his crew have been very gracious hosts, showing us around town and making sure that we’re logistically taken care of.

The kids at the church are putting on a play tomorrow afternoon.  I arrived too late to get all the details (they were disseminated at dinner on Thursday night) but I did get to see some of the hijinx that went along with today’s dress rehearsal. 

The church is in a rather upscale part of the city but you can still see some signs of the damage that Katrina inflicted on the city.  There are some undeveloped lots in what used to be a packed neighborhood of million-dollar homes.  It’s a rather pretty city with lots of water – canals, bayous, lakes … I can see first-hand why flooding was such a problem.  I hope to see a bit more of the city during and after the race.  For now I’m mostly resting and getting some Microsoft work done.

I did make it out for the Pre-Race Party tonight at LePhare in the Warehouse District.  The dress code was business casual and my fashion sense is a bit lacking so my Redmond roommate Ed helped me pick out a snazzy ensemble.  Check it:


I went over there with my friend Loren (whom many of you already know) and also my New Orleans roommate, Ben Greenfield.  Here is the latter of the two, growing a bit attached to the gift that we got for our gracious host:


I’ll have more to say and hopefully more pictures after Sunday’s race.  You should also check Ben’s blog for a few videos of our (mis)adventures in NOLA.

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