It was everything I imagined it would be (the best of times) and it was FUBAR – CLUSTER FU*K I hoped it wouldn’t be (the worst of times).
Friday morning, bright and early – cause the FireMarshall was transporting us to the airport and well, ya know traffic/international travel/TSA required we leave at O-Dark-30 – we hauled my gigantic bike box, gear and luggage to the airport for our journey to Cozumel. I thought it was going to be smooth sailing. BWAAAHAAAHAAAHAA!! We checked the luggage & bike box without so much as one glitch. Boarded the plane, soared to 30,000 ft, got the Wi-Fi going and waited on the beverage cart to slide down the center isle.
Bloody Mary’s and “ONLY DIET COKE” (yeah, right) for breakfast! Happy Happy Joy Joy. We landed in Cancun, gathered our stuff, chartered our van (we had 6 passengers, 4 bike boxes and luggage) for our journey to Playa del Carmen to catch the ferry over to Cozumel.
And then all those well laid travel plans went to hell in a hand basket. We missed the 3pm ferry (although the damn thing was sitting there till 4pm) by 5 min – per the ticket handler. They would only let us buy tickets for the 5pm ferry. Okay. We did and went to Senor Frogs for food, libations & shenanigans.
Thirty minutes before the ferry was to depart, we got in the line to board…and watched as the ferry just pull out – WITHOUT ABOUT A GAZILLION PEOPLE – most of us with bike boxes. In other words, they were having a race on an island and you don’t have enough ferries? SA WHAT. Thank GOD we had Francie with us who spoke Spanish and was able to find out that – OH WELL, that was the last ferry (with that particular company for the day) and we would have to trade in our current tickets for tickets on another companies ferry and beat it back in the line to board. 30 min later we had new tickets but those of us with bike boxes had to get out of the line and gather on the dock as they would let us board first. That was only decided AFTER they realized that they were about to have a riot on their hands if all the race participants didn’t get to the island TONIGHT!
When boarding began…CHAOS ensued. They checked our luggage but each of us had to lift our own bike box onto the ferry – up the plank, up the stairs – PURE MADNESS. By time we all got settled on the ship we all looked like we had been traveling for days in a torrential downpour from the sweating, huffing & puffing that was going on. The 6pm ferry didn’t leave until 7ish and didn’t arrive at Cozumel until 8ish. Then we had to wait in line with a gazillion other people for a taxi van to get us to the resort. We arrived at the resort around 9:30pm. A little over 12 hours of traveling.
JESUS be some air conditioning.
We didn’t really get to see it till the next morning, but this was the view from our room. Erin made me put my bike back together so I wouldn’t have to worry about it that night, we ordered some room service drinks, showered and I made plan with my fellow TriDiva’s to get up for the practice swim, mandatory race meeting & packet pickup/expo.
Saturday morning – another O-DARK-30 wake up as we all traipse down to the swim start for a morning frolic in the water. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!
While we were waiting on the dock to jump in and get our swim on, the TriDiva’s were talking and trying to figure out what was going on. All of a sudden this man turns on us and says “OMG! You speak English!”. We met “Philly Joe” who was staying at our resort as well and we were fast friends from that moment on. Joe was always surrounded by his Tri-Harem of women and he was an absolute blast to be around the entire time. FUN-TAY!!! We all decided to swim about 600-700 m of the course. That was the most spectacular open water swim – EVER!! You could actually see all the way to the bottom. Visibility had to be over 100m. I was so busy looking a Dory, Nemo and his turtle buddies that I didn’t realize how far I was swimming. You almost didn’t even have to look up to sigh as you could see the sandbag anchors holding down the buoys. MAGNIFICIENT. Only draw back was the salt water taste in your mouth, made you feel constantly thirsty, but they had these “pouches” of water waiting for you when we got out.
After the swim and a jaunt back to the hotel to change, we were off to the WASTE MY TIME CAUSE YOU DON’T THINK WE CAN READ MANDATORY ATHLETE MEETING. All the woman did was read out of the athletes guide, contradicting herself again and again. When we started to ask her questions she kept having to ask the race director and translate back & forth. Talk about CONFUSING. Yep, that meeting right there wasted an hour of my life and cleared everything up about as clear as mud. HUMPH.
We walked from the meeting about a half mile to the expo where we picked up our packets, got our number tatoo (next time – just let them do the marker) our goodies and headed back to the hotel…
WHICH TOOK PRACTICALLY ALL DAY! And then we had to rack our bikes…
Back to the hotel to get our bikes and blue run bag (you had to pack all of your run gear in advance and bring with you to T1 for them to transport to T2) and catch bus (which you brought your bike onto) down to T1.
It was very intimidating and awesome all at the same time and as I racked my bike and perused all of the bikes around me – I NEED A NEW REAL ROAD BIKE! STAT. My bike, in comparison, looked like I had bought it from toys-r-us (close though), but, hell, I’ve raced with it for 2 years – nothing I can do right this minute so, lets get to racking.
That van made my day. After a long day of pre-race preparation, Erin, the QueenMum, PhillyJoe & his wife went for a little shopping in downtown Cozumel and then headed back to the hotel for dinner in the “fancy” restaurant at the resort. Hind sight being 20 20, I wish I had picked at the buffet instead. My soup tasted off so I only had two spoons and left it. The filet was alive still when they brought it to me and I think they were confused as to what mashed potatoes were so I left that and got some lasagna which tasted like hamburger helper lasagna. Hmmmm… I really wish I had just went to the buffet and watched the chef make me some plain pasta at the pasta bar and been done with it. I felt fine and slept fine but just felt off.
But that’s a tale I’ll have to tell you about in Part2 of IM70.3 Cozumel – Race Report: The Good, The Bad & the UGLY…