Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Snake Bite Tri 2010

The second Snake Bite Triathlon took place last weekend in Morgan City, Louisiana. You think racing in a triathlon is a challenge? Try being a race director! Yep, this father's day totally rocked and completely flew by like no other day. We woke up our entire household at 3:45 am to head out to the race transition area (flashlights and bug spray in tow)- talking nonstop the entire ride about all the details that must be considered. We were blessed to have the field of 200 very cool people sign up for this deal - all sold out weeks prior to the event!

We moved the swim course this year to deeper water and were stoked to have sponsors that built a telescoping aluminum staircase for the exit. Transition was closeby and Lisa secured plenty of carpet for all the tender feet. Everything was roped off and the volunteers in their positions - the sound system blared the national anthem and my shirt was completely soaked with sweat, literally dripping because as a race director you run around from one point to another coordinating police officers, bike and run courses, ice/water stations, volunteers, questions from participants - you know the drill - a million people needing your attention. Anyway, as I looked across the lake at the rising sun and the masses of people, I couldn't believe the race was about to happen - the 2nd Snake Bite Triathlon.

Over the past few months we had 3 swim practices for folks to get used to open water swimming. For new triathletes, the swim is usually the most intimidating part. These workouts were great confidence builders, learning situations for athletes and volunteers, and just good ole comradery. People talked openly about things that work and don't work, what times they train, and swim techniques. This is the good stuff. We are all about getting together with other people to train - it motivates and commits you.

We had about 20 volunteers on the swim course and the athletes did a fantastic job of following our directions and working hard to finish - btw, every single person that started this bad boy finished it! The water was warm and not much chop - truly ideal conditions for a first timer.
There were 3 wave starts - the first was males 30-39, then all other males, followed by the chicks. This format separated the groups evenly and let the tough guys clear out all the snakes for the rest of the gang!

Transition was set up as a big rectangle with one end being "in" and one being "out" - transitions always have to have circular flow in and out so that everyone has to do the same distance during the event. Several volunteers stayed inside of transition to keep people oriented as to where they went next.

The bike course was super fast - flat and very straight - just an easy out and back (13 miles). Traffic was not closed, so we had to have volunteers on the course, as well as police at every major intersection and at the turn-round. We also had an aid station with water/Gatorade at the half way point.

The run course led participants through the carillion tower park which is a raised gravel path through the swamp where large bells played music (2 miles). Our volunteers said that one of the last runners saw 2 snakes - just makes you run faster!

One little detail: during the race it was so hot (94 degrees 105 heat index) that our original order of 34 cases of water and 14 cases of Gatorade got demolished. We ended up making 3 additional runs for more water and ice. Once folks got through the finish shoot they were treated to tons of fresh fruit, ice bags, and fluids. Then over to the judge's stand for shrimp stew, jambalaya, door prizes and an awards ceremony.

We took down all of the tents, barricades, and bike racks, loaded ice chests, signs, parking cones, and food. It was amazing that at 1pm everyone was gone. All of the months of planning pinnacled into about 4 hours of actual contact with the athletes - it was such a huge relief to have the final goal achieved - another safe, fun race with people amazed at their own will and power! In the end we had lots of newbies who rode the first time high for a few weeks - it was fun to get up in the morning to check emails and listen to our home answering machine to hear all the comments about the race.

Many thanks to our great photographers - Mel Bourgeois, Bob Bourgeois, and Sarah Langlois - for working so hard in the heat to get all these great shots.

A lot of work, but a great event! If you think doing a triathlon is a great feeling, consider volunteering for one, especially a local, grass-roots one where you can really help and be close to the athletes on the course. You will not find a better feeling in triathlon! Many thanks to all of our volunteers this year - these events would not be possible without you!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Registration opens for Snake Bite Tri 2010 !!

Registration for the 2010 Snake Bite Super Sprint Triathlon is now open!! For details about registration, click here.

Highlights of changes for 2010:
1. The swim course is being moved to a cooler, deeper section of the lake.
2. The run course will be through the beautiful Brownell Memorial Park and Carillon Tower.
3. A section of Lake End Park campground will be opened and reserved (at reasonable rates) for triathlon participants interested in camping for the weekend.

A lot of things will be the same. We're still planning an incredibly fun, safe, laid-back race. We're still going to have a rockin post race party with plenty of food, drink and music. We're still planning a nice goody bag, including a Headsweats visor, and plenty of door prizes. And we're still planning on tremendous support from our community, including some of the most generous sponsors and happiest volunteers you'll ever come across in any triathlon.

Click here to read our participant reviews from last year.

Check back here for more details. We look forward to seeing you at the race!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Snake Bite Tri OWS

Lisa and I organized an OWS practice for those individuals doing the Snake Bite Triathlon. It was really great training, and a lot of fun meeting some new triathletes. Good news - no snake bites! Check out the Snake Bite Tri blog for details.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Snake Bite Tri

Because triathlon has been such an incredible experience for us, my wife Lisa and I decided to start a super sprint triathlon in Morgan City. We felt like so many people would enjoy an event like this - everyone from local people who are already triathletes to individuals who have never done a tri before.

A few months ago, we started planning this event - sponsors, volunteers, USAT sanctioning, goody bags, meetings with park/city/parish officials, food, music, safety plans, etc. etc. etc. It has been quite an eye opening experience as far as how much planning goes into a triathlon. I think we are pretty well prepared. We even have the coolest triathlon name I've ever heard - Snake Bite Triathlon. We figured we could use fear to etch our tri name into people's minds - pretty cool, huh. It works.

Let me show you around Snake Bite Triathlon.

The event will be centered at Lake End Park in Morgan City on August 23, 2009, starting at 8:00am. We chose the venue because it's such a beautiful park with great access to popular bike and running routes. It also has really nice pavilions for post race partying (a big reason a lot of people are doing the race).

The swim - 400m. It will be a beach start, but we'll have to start a little ways out in the water because it's such a shallow lake. To become USAT sanctioned, we had to have the water tested to be sure it was suitable for swimming. Thank goodness it passed. There are plenty of snakes and alligators in this lake, but not a lot where we'll be swimming (I hope). We're being super cautious with the swim and are going to have more than enough volunteers/lifeguards on the swim course, because this will be a first triathlon experience for a lot our participants. We're also planning a "practice" swim a few weeks prior to the event to let everyone get a feel for the swim course, including the lifeguards.

The bike - 13 miles. It will be an out and back course along Highway 70, which is a nice smooth blacktop finish. Traffic will not be closed, so we'll have plenty of volunteers at every intersection, police presence at several points on the course, several individuals riding up and down the course on bikes and in vehicles, an aid station half way, etc. We're hoping that the mayor of our city will send out some street sweepers a few days before the race to clean the shoulders of the road where the race will happen - hopefully no flats!

The run - 2 miles, an out and back course along a shaded road. Heat is definitely a big factor in Louisiana right now, so a shaded run route will be really sweet. We will have an aid station half way, with water, electrolyte drinks, pretzels, cookies, etc. The run route is down a road that already has a walking/running path.

And after the run, it's PARTY TIME to celebrate the finish. We'll have great Cajun food, drinks, and awesome music. Finishing this race will be a great feeling for everyone, but especially good for so many of our participants who have never done a triathlon before. The whole purpose of this event is to promote fitness and triathlon in our area, and we've already had so many people sign up that we would have never guessed would do a triathlon. It's going to be such a great day!

Check out the Snake Bite Triathlon website for registration information.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

New Orleans Rapport de Course

This is how it all begins - training in Bayou Teche in Oma's backyard with the Morgan City crew. It's great to have a local group in our area - we all work together to schedule workouts where we go our own pace and encourage each other.

Along with training I've been installing an invisible fence for our dog, Sandy. Signe helped me put out the flags after I had buried the lines. Our lives are very busy this Spring with track and tennis, so planning for our NO's weekend was hectic before we left and has been crazy ever since we got home, hence the delay in my race report.

Lisa and I took off for our NO's weekend on Thursday at noon. We didn't actually leave home until around 3pm after packing the car with all of our tri gear, clothes and food for 4 days. When we arrived we met up with Stu, Chris, Michelle, and Robbie and headed to Deanie's for seafood and beer. Then on to the French Quarter for drinks where Chris rode a mechanical bull in a bar called "Bourbon Cowboy"! The photo above is our lake swim on Friday morning where Michelle and Chris were cut up on the barnacles on their way out of the water.

Saturday we interviewed the Zipp pros in our condo. They were modest and easy to talk to - Lisa was drooling over their bodies, even going as far as begging the professional photographer, Steve Stenzel, to please shoot Linsay's legs (red shorts above) She deemed them "Perfect"!

He knew better than to deny her request - here he is in action.

When our four girls arrived on Saturday we took a stroll and ran into Regis and Kelly - I think Kelly might do tri - check out that bod!

New Orleans is known for it's French and Spanish architectural influences - lots of wrought iron work - I snapped a few shots because I'm hoping to build a gate for our house one day.

This is a shot of the French Quarter - local artists sell their pieces along the park (on the left).

Unfortunately I don't have any race photos yet - I'm hoping to post some soon.

The day of the race Lisa and I woke up at 5am and made our usual peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the race. We ate bagels, drank coffee and walked 2 blocks over to catch a bus to the lake (15 miles away). Transition was great - we were located very close to each other - perfect because we were planning to race together. We've never done that before and decided it would be fun to run together, so I waited in T1 for her.

The water was perfect - not much chop and the 150 person waves seemed very manageable. During the swim I couldn't believe when I saw the red buoy indicating the 1/2 way point - crap this thing is long.

The bike was nice on the way out - not much traffic and the wind at my back. It was the way back that made me a little crazy. Lisa was about 1/4 mile back and I'd see her at each turn around - she was suffering, so we decided to take a break at the last water stop. She took off her shoes and was nauseated - we ate rice crispy treats and talked about the constant wind and how uncomfortable everyone looked.

T2 went fine and we settled into our run groove - then we saw cousin Miles - that's where the bad idea began. We had instituted a team rule that if you pass someone you could and should spank them. So, Lisa and I each took a cheek and swatted Miles. 1/2 mile later he spanked me so hard I had a perfect handprint with welps and bruising - thanks, dude.

I'm not sure what we were thinking at that point - maybe that none of us wanted to be spanked anymore, but we decided to take it in nice and easy. We met cool people along the way from all over the country - then we saw Wil - with a huge smile she ran the last mile with us and got some photos. Seeing the kids, Oma, and all of our friends at the end was the best - a safe day on my home turf in beautiful weather - a day to remember.

The finisher medals were excellent - they have the traditional water meter cover imprint on one side - a memory that NO's is sub sea level - and inagural finisher on the other, a reminder that this is the first time I raced this way - with my family!

Laissez les bon temps roullez !!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

IM - New Orleans

Ironman - New Orleans is next weekend. Lisa and I have been training as much as we can, but have been limited by the rest of our busy lives. Today we've planned an open water swim in the bayou with some of our friends to get used to the water temperature and wearing our wetsuits.

All of my Evotri teammates are coming down for this event, and a lot of our friends from Morgan City are participating, also. More than anything, we're really looking forward to seeing everyone compete, especially those who have never done the 70.3 distance before.

Matt Rinard is a friend of ours from college who did the awesome poster for this event. The price of it is $50 unframed or $175 framed. To reserve your print you can call 1-800-628-6621, drop by the gallery at 738 Royal St. in the French Quarter, or email

Best of luck to everyone who is competing!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Mardi Gras 2009 !!

Mardi Gras is here again!

We've had beautiful weather this year for our parades.

Lisa and I had a great time on the float today with our friends Jay and Val.

The rest of the wild crew on our float - lots of jello shots and dancing.

My business partner's daughter Caitlyn was a maid in the court this year.

King and Queen Hephaestus 2009

Happy Mardi Gras !!