By Barrelman Ambassador, Kim Ruble
Doing a point to point triathlon can be a little confusing at first, but once you have done one or two, they become much less anxiety producing. Barrelman Triathlon is set up with 2 transition areas. The Swim start and T1 is at the Welland Flatwater Center and T2 and the finish line is at Kingsbridge Park in the city of Niagara Falls. The distance between these two venues is 16 miles (25.7 km), which is about a 23 minute drive. https://goo.gl/maps/wsFP8Y6U9ngoSVaY9
The day before race day, you will want to check in your bike and your gear. Although this year it looks like we will have cooler temps, the past few years race day has been unseasonably hot. It’s a good idea to let out a little air in your bike tires to avoid tubes expanding in the heat. Having to deal with a tire change race morning is the last thing you want to deal with. I have seen it happen especially in hot temps (I have also seen very dedicated volunteers take care of tire changes for folks that don’t even know they did it the day before…thank you volunteers!).
You will be given gear bags for your bike and run gear. You will have stickers to attach to the bag indicating your race number. It is always a good idea to add additional markings with duct tape and marker to ensure that your gear is well marked. I also recommend that you buy some large ziplock bags to put your gear inside of the gear bag in the event of rain. Running in wet shoes is really not a great way to start a half marathon. Your running gear will be delivered to T2 for you and waiting in your transition spot. You are able to drop this off at T2 yourself on either Saturday or Sunday, but I think it is much less of a hassle to just drop off my gear bag on Saturday at the Welland Flatwater Center and not worry about it. If you need special nutrition for the run, I would put it in baggies or bottles that you can mix with water once you get to T2. I bring my bike nutrition with me the day of the Race as well as a bike pump to top of the air in my tires. I would not bring a bike pump unless you have a friend or family member you can hand off to on race morning. You will not be returning to T1 once you get on your bike and the bike pumps don’t fit very well in the transition bags. There will be plenty of people that have pumps that you can borrow. They will also have bike mechanics on hand that can address any last minute issues. But always make sure that your bike is in good working order prior to the race.
Once you finish your swim, you will put your swim gear in the bag that previously held your bike gear. This bag will be delivered to T2 and waiting for you at the finish. Once you leave T1 on your bike, you will not be returning to the Welland Flatwater Center. So make sure everything you are not taking with you on the bike goes in your transition bag.
Hope to meet some of you at the Expo on Saturday, September 21, 2019. I’ll be volunteering at registration in the morning and wishing you all the best of luck in your race!