Ironman New Orleans 70.3 2009 PRERACE

>> Tuesday, April 07, 2009

This whole event will have to be done in 3 posts. Sorry. I still need to wade through more of the 417 photos I took! So my next few posts will look like this:

Post 1: Prerace Shenanigans
Post 2: Race Morning through the Finish Line
Post 3: Pharmie’s Finish and Post-Race Shenanigans

So lets get started with the prerace fun!!

Our flight took off early Friday morning. So Thursday night, Pharmie helped me get into “race mode” by removing that thin layer of unwanted hair:

The sink wasn’t THAT hairy when she got done. Most of this was from my shoulders:

On Friday morning, we caught a flight down to Memphis before hopping another plane to NOLA. As soon as we stepped off the plane in Memphis, it smelled like meat. No joke. So I had to have a smoked sausage biscuit:

We arrived in NOLA, waited for TriSaraTops’ plane to arrive, and then the 3 of us went straight to that sweet meet-up with 4 pro triathletes that I mentioned 3 posts down. Here’s the photo I took of the 4 pros:

Heather Gollnick, Chris McDonald,
Linsey Corbin, and Desiree Ficker

Stu interviewed them while TriCajun and Robby recorded video (I’ll let you all know when Stu has the interview up on his site - it should be pretty awesome!). Here’s Desiree and Linsey being interviewed:

Lisa (TriCajun’s wife) wanted me to get this shot of Chris that shows “The Big 3:” his tattoo, his earing, and his sideburns:

I think Lisa has a little crush!...

Here’s Desiree and my wife Pharmie. How’s this for a lot of HOTNESS in one photo?!?


Here’s a final photo of Pharmie, most of the Evotri gang, and the 4 pros:

Back: TriSaraTops, Chris, Robby, Sweet, and TriCajun.
Front: Pharmie, Desiree, Rural Girl, Linsey, Heather, and Stu.
I took the picture. No Steve in the photo. Dang.

After that, we went to the race expo. I got tapped on the shoulder and was asked “are you Steve in a Speedo?” It was blogger Viv! She was getting ready to rock her first 70.3! We sat in on the pre-race meeting (all the normal stuff: don’t drown, no iPods, here are the penalties, here’s where the water stops are, etc.), nearly ran into Macca, and finally stopped to eat. All of us started with a round of fried gator. Well, ALMOST all of us. Pharmie didn’t want to try it. I dove right in:

Tasted like rubbery, dark-meat chicken

I ordered pasta with grilled shrimp. It sounded like a good 2-days-before-a-race meal:

Finally, we went back to the place we were staying. We rented a house with the Evotri gang, and it was GREAT! At the fullest, we had 8 people staying in that house, and we had such a blast!!

Saturday (the day before the race) we wanted to test out Lake Pontchartrain. Some of the team tested it the day before, and it was CHOPPY!! Rural girl got all cut up when the waves slammed her against these concrete steps:

Notice how calm it is now!

These next 2 photos I showed a few days ago - here’s Pharmie and I before heading out:

And here’s the majority of our group when we all wrapped up:

Here’s Stu playing with his camera:

When we were standing there, a little crab scurried over my feet. Then it happened to a woman from Dallas who we swam with. Stu tried telling us that it was a small gator. Thanks Stu.

I got 2 great shots of JP, the youngest Team Evotri member, as he was finishing his swim. It looks like he’s posing for some sort of Nautica Swimwear ad:

Sorry ladies, he’s in a committed relationship...

Because the water was SO SHALLOW right where the race was going to start, a few of the guys started practicing their dolphin-dives. Here’s Robby as he seems to be skipping across the lake:

Then Robby, JP, and Stu wanted to dolphin-dive for the camera, but it was a pretty uncoordinated effort. Here’s some of Robby, little of JP, and a lot of Stu:

And then I got a splash from Robby, a lot of JP, and nothing from Stu:

We all hopped out, dried off, and headed to a little grocery store for lunch. On the way, TriSaraTops and Stu posed next to this great sign:

“Poop-Free Neighborhood”

We grabbed food, and my lunch was GREAT! I had Sunny D, beef jerky, Spaghetti-Os, and PB&J on an English muffin. If you think it sounds gross, stop to think about how most of that is QUITE good for a body the day before a race!

Then we went out Saturday afternoon for things that were maybe NOT so good for us: BEIGNETS!! Beignets are fried dough that are then SMOTHERED in powdered sugar:

Here’s Pharmie and I killing some beignets:

Here’s Sweet, TriSaraTops, and Stu joining in on the fun:

Finally, Robby (who is usually an attractive man) shoved an entire beignet in his mouth and got a little powdered sugar up his nose. What were you thinking Robby?

Here’s Pharmie and I outside of Café Du Monde (where we had the beignets):

We all headed down toward Jackson Square, which is where we were going to be finishing our 70.3 the next day.

Right in front of the square, they were already closing the street and putting up the finisher’s chute:

Then we all went back to the house, the Evotri folks grabbed their bikes (Pharmie and I had our bikes shipped, and they were supposed to be waiting for us in transition), and we got ready to check our bikes into transition for their overnight stay. Robby was a PRO at packing 6 bikes and 8 people into their big van! We helped everyone get unloaded and set up. Check out this sweet wheel porn along their huge van:

TriCajun helping Rural Girl (who NEEDS the help! Ha!) get her bike set up:

Before leaving our bikes in transition for the night, I snapped an Evotri team photo:

What a good lookin’ group!

(Left-to-right, that’s JP, Sweet, Rural Girl, Wil, Robby, TriCajun, Stu, and TriSaraTops.)

Then we headed towards transition. Our Evotri buddies got their bikes set up. Pharmie and I had to go find our bikes for the first time since we shipped them nearly 2 weeks before! We KNEW they’d be there, but there were still little butterflies as to if they would REALLY be there! I spotted Goldilocks, and Pharmie found Tony (our bikes). We got our bikes checked out on a little test-ride, and everything was A-OK. We put them back in their spots in transition. I kissed Goldi goodnight:

Coming out of transition, I nearly bumped into Macca!

We shook hands, and I’m pretty sure because of that, I was able to propel him to a 2nd place finish the next day!! (Either that, or I held him back to a 2nd place finish... I’m not sure...)

So we headed off to a final big meal before our race the next day. The van was too full, so Pharmie had to ride in the back:

We went to “Mona Lisa’s,” and I had a sausage, ham, and basil pizza:

PERFECT pre-race fuel!

Back at the house, everyone was in “final prep” mode. Here’s Sweet going through all of his gear:

Finally, it was time to hit the hay:

A few hours of sleep, and then it was time to race on Sunday morning!! Since so many of us were from the mid-west, we didn’t know what the race would hold in store for us. It was supposed to be 80 and a little sticky (NOT weather we’re used to training in during the winter months!). I’ll be back as soon as I can with the race-day story!

(In the meantime, here are links to the blogger buddies from our NOLA house party who competed in the race. Go check them out: my lovely wife Pharmie, Stu, Rural Girl, Robby, TriSaraTops, Tri-Cajun, JP, and Sweet.)


Gabriel Losa 11:06 AM, April 07, 2009  

Great post, Steve!
Can´t wait to read the race-day story!



Chloe 11:25 AM, April 07, 2009  

No doubt! It was awesome to meet up with you guys as well! What a great race! Congrats on your time! That is AMAZING! I can't wait to read your race report!

Oh yeah - the pink compression socks are the best. I think you should get some for your better half :) I can't tell you how many men on the bike complimented on my pink power socks!

Tracy 11:51 AM, April 07, 2009  

EXCELLENT shots! I seriously have a whole new respect for photographer types, well done, AND you raced! Serious work load brother, holy cow no wonder you eat so much... ;-P

Maria 12:22 PM, April 07, 2009  

awesome pictures! can't wait to see the rest!

Anonymous,  12:23 PM, April 07, 2009  

Who says I'm looking for commitment? Dayem. Umm, nice photo.

Steve Stenzel 12:26 PM, April 07, 2009  

Ha! Anonymous, you're probably right. I'd tap that for a one-night stand.

Well, only if I weren't in a committed relationship.

And if I weren't straight.

Unknown 12:29 PM, April 07, 2009  

Great stuff, Steve!
I had a blast hanging out with you guys. You are the best!
WIBA can't come soon enough!

Michelle 12:30 PM, April 07, 2009  

Crap, 'Josie' is me. Kids!

Jess 12:45 PM, April 07, 2009  

Love the pictures! Can't wait to here how it went!

X-Country2 1:00 PM, April 07, 2009  

I've been very excited to read this post. Can't wait to hear the rest of the story. :o)

PS- committed relationship or not, that JP is a hottie!

Missy 1:14 PM, April 07, 2009  

The best always! Love it, looks like a blast. I can eat my weight in fried dough, I mean funnel cakes, I mean begniets and that chickory coffee!

JP Severin 1:17 PM, April 07, 2009  

Nice pictures but even better race. The food shots get me going. Hopefully my quasi nude photos will propel you into the next stratosphere of blogging greatness. Just let me know, and I will do my part. Only for beeds. We all have our price.

tfh 1:18 PM, April 07, 2009  

Great photos!

Can you say the beignets were the secret to your success? I need an excuse to eat them more often.

Chic Runner 1:25 PM, April 07, 2009  

Love the pics and can't wait for the rest of the story! :)

Anonymous,  1:25 PM, April 07, 2009  

You really took pictures of everything. I am so excited to read the next 2 posts!

Melissa 1:33 PM, April 07, 2009  

Hi Steve. I can't wait to read installment #2 and #3 of the race report. It was nice meeting you (I was with Amy at the finish line, the dork who crashed her bike). These photos are great, looks like you had a blast pre-race!

Coach Liz 1:45 PM, April 07, 2009  

Ah, Cafe du Monde...I have not been there since before the BIG storm. I have to make a trip back to Jax Square.

Great wheel porn! I am very jealous that you got to rub elbows with so many famous pro triathletes.

Looking forward to the next installment.

GoBigGreen 1:49 PM, April 07, 2009  

How great that you rented a house! We do that at Firehouse 50 and it sOOOO beats a hotel. I cant believe you eat that stuff before racing. I dont know if i am impressed or grossed out:)
Did you feel ready for the swim? Did the wko's we did help? I hope so!!!

Marlene 1:53 PM, April 07, 2009  

Okay, I would absolutely FREAK OUT of a crab scurried over my feet... OR a gator! I am not cut out for tri's! :)

Looks like a really fun trip so far. Can't wait to hear about the big day!

duchossois 2:03 PM, April 07, 2009  

Great photos...except for back-shaving which really is better unseen. I am anxious to see the next installment.

Maggs 2:14 PM, April 07, 2009  

Can't wait to read the rest of your posts.

Unknown 2:56 PM, April 07, 2009  

looking forward to the rest of the story

Unknown 3:03 PM, April 07, 2009  

Great pre-race report...except for the back hair pics. You really need to cut that stuff out and embrace your hairyness.

Michelle 3:35 PM, April 07, 2009  

Great stuff Steve! Riveting actually! I am excited to read and see more!!!

Again I am so proud of you!!

Carolina John 3:46 PM, April 07, 2009  

good pre-race. i like the basil pizza, and i never realized how many evotri blogs i read.

Diana 4:17 PM, April 07, 2009  

Very nice photos Steve! Can totally get a sense of how the day was so far, looking forward to reading more of your big day. Thanks for all the eye candy pics to look at!

jen 4:26 PM, April 07, 2009  

Great photos! Looks like a really fun group. How cool that you met all those pros!!

The Boring Runner 4:39 PM, April 07, 2009  

Wow, Macca's bike looks SWEET.

Nice pics, New Orleans is a pretty fun town - especially if you can get past Bourbon St and get into the REAL city - which I am sure that you did over the course of 70.3 miles!

Jess 5:34 PM, April 07, 2009  

I don't know how you can eat like you do and not hve mudd-butt come race day! You must have the digestive system of a rhino.

t-odd 6:41 PM, April 07, 2009  

Wow, Macca looks sweet. (Wait, I meant to repeat what Adam said - where is delete?) That is it! I am going to do a spring race next year. I can't wait this long again. It sounds like it was so much fun. I'm looking forward to chapter two.

teacherwoman 7:44 PM, April 07, 2009  

Great post! What a wonderful experience. I can't wait to hear more...

BTW, those pics of JP are very nice ;)

Stef0115 8:47 PM, April 07, 2009  

Steve you are a gifted race report writer/photographer.

Seriously, LOVE. THIS. Way to keep us waiting with bated breath!

Shannon 6:12 AM, April 08, 2009  

Love the photos....your the pro of racing rundowns!

Anonymous,  6:23 AM, April 08, 2009  

Hey Steve! Just got caught up on almost a week's worth of posts. Thanks for taking so much time to put all that together. You're a good man!

1010 Chris

Mike 6:50 AM, April 08, 2009  

Good luck to you and everyone in the group!!! I'm interested to hear the results!

Trishie 8:13 AM, April 08, 2009  

Great post--- looking forward to reading the rest of the story!

Lindsay 10:49 AM, April 08, 2009  

loved the pics and pre-race stories! can't wait for the rest of course :)

Unknown 11:37 AM, April 08, 2009  

Awesome post. There is a lot of prep for you tri folks. That has to be a lot of work but I imagine well worth it after the event. Congrats.

Totters 1:54 PM, April 08, 2009  

Can't wait to read more! Not too shabby to have a 70.3 in the books before it even breaks 60 degrees here:)

I Run for Fun 3:00 PM, April 08, 2009  

Great post. Look forward to reading the rest. That's a lot of prep.

Anonymous,  3:03 PM, April 08, 2009 in the great white North Canada, the french call them "Pète de Soeur" translation "nun fart" because when you roll the dough before dunking it in the hot oil, it squeaks! LOL. I forgot about those. They are fun to make! Hmmm deep fried bread!
Congrats on finishing!

Unknown 8:20 PM, April 08, 2009  

As of 9:18 p.m EDT in New Jersey, my stomach hit a big pang. My stomach is growling at this moment just by looking at the picture of the pizza. Thanks for showing the picture of the pizza. In order to combat that nasty pang, I went to the first picture to look at the disgusting picture of pre-race shaving, the growling in my stomach stopped so that helps.

Run For Life 10:50 PM, April 08, 2009  

Looks like a good pre-race couple of days, can't wait to read about the race!

sRod 8:16 AM, April 12, 2009  

Oh man, visions of funnels cakes are dancing in my head now.

NW Bicyclist 2:41 PM, May 22, 2009  

That is so cool that you got to meet those four pro riders! I'm also envious of you for getting the alligator, I have only had it twice, but is is one of my favorite exotic meats!

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