It’s that time of the year again! TRI SEASON!!! You’ve probably already been out there spectating, but if not, will probably have the opportunity very soon. We’ve already got 4 races under our belts! So, we thought we’d put together some must have items for the well-prepared triathlon spectator on race day, both going solo and with kids.
It can be a difficult day out there, especially if it’s a full-distance race, so make it as easy on yourself as possible and please, don’t make your bag too heavy – seriously. Backpacks or crossbody bags are great, because it’s so much easier to be hands free, especially if you need to do some running of your own – which you probably will. Plus, we do want you to have some fun, too…
- A tracker app. You can use IronmanLive or download a free app such as IMTrackr or IronMobile. They have proven to both be reliable and will track multiple racers at the same time. This is a great way to know how your triathlete is doing, especially if there aren’t many loops on the course.
- Course map. This really helps when it comes to knowing where best to stand and spectate. These are available for Ironman races on their site under Races and Athletes. But, always check the sites for any changes to the course around the day of the race.
- Camera phone & portable charger. If you can get back to the room easily, you may not need the charger, but they are so easy to carry these days, I wouldn’t want to be without one. It’s amazing how fast the battery runs down on these phones, especially if you’re taking a lot of photos and videos and you may be out on the course and can’t get back quickly. It’s also nice to have access to books to read or games to play on your phone to kill some time.
- Small wallet. You’ll need someplace to keep your ID, a bit of cash, a credit card, and your hotel key. A lot of phone cases these days serve this purpose, too.
- Sun protection & lip balm. We can’t stress this enough. Chances are you will be standing out in the hot sun much of the day, so don’t even think about not covering yourself with sunscreen. Seriously, also think about getting clothing with built in sunscreen.
- Nourishments. This includes water and snacks. These are not usually available anyplace out on the course, so carry something with you.
WITH THE KIDS
- Backpacks for all. You will need to carry a lot more “stuff” if you’ve got kids in tow, so let everyone share the load! Just remember to keep them light.
- RoadID’s. THIS IS ESSENTIAL. While you may not like to think about it, you could get separated from the kiddies, so if they have on a RoadID band, they just need to find a volunteer and have them call you.
- First Aid Kit. Anything can happen at anytime, including cuts and bug bites. You can buy ready made kits or make your own with items you think you could need.
- Clothes for EVERY possibility. Mornings can be brutally chilly; afternoons blistering hot; and then, you can have a downpour in between! Look for anything that can be folded into a pouch. LL Bean, REI, and Land’s End are great places to start. This also includes sunglasses and/or hats.
- Entertainment. I will leave this up to you depending on the ages of the kids. Just know you will need something to keep them entertained. Let’s be honest. It’s a long, boring day out there much of the time – sorry all you triathletes – and we all need to find something to occupy the time in between seeing your triathlete.