..........Picking up from yesterday, pretty soon after the Rock 'N RollMan Half, George and I were back in the Ford Edge heading north on I-75 towards Chattanooga before heading west on I-24 towards Nashville. We arrived just in time for me to be introduced as a Celebrity Big Kid during the packet pick up for the race the following morning.
I awoke Sunday morning to some sore legs, but was ready for a fun day with the kids. Timex Teammate Bruce Gennari was there as a Big Kid as well and we started the day off by helping the not-so-big kids set up their transition areas, which was pretty entertaining because with kids from ages 6 through 15, some of the bikes didnt have either tire on the ground and were instead just hanging from the racks. Additionally about half of the bikes were pink with white seats so it was a was pretty funny sight; certainly not the not your typical transition area!
The kids started according to their age group, with the 6-7 yr olds first, and 8-9 yr olds second. I was helping at the swim start and then moved to the transition area, where it was great to see the unabashed excitement on their faces. It was also pretty cool to see the competitiveness; some of these kids were really getting after it!
After the 8-9 yr olds went off, the Big Kids had to race. My feet torn up and my left glut/piriformis was still really tight courtesy of the half the day before, but how could I not race for the kids?? Thankfully I managed to pull out the victory while rocking the speedo the whole way.
After the "older" kids had their races, it was time for everyone's favorite part of the day... the awards! I say this sarcastically as at most races, the only people who stick around are the people who are receiving awards and even they usually arent all that excited to be there, and then jet as soon as their names are called. Not so with the kids! They were genuinely thrilled to get to go up on stage and receive their awards. In addition to trophies, Bruce and I were placing Timex hats on each of the award winner's heads, which really got them pumped!
All in all, I thought it was a really successful event. Almost 300 kids raced and I didnt see a single one disappointed. Rounding out the day, Bruce, George, and I went to lunch at Chipotle... cant beat that!