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Race-Day Preparation for Collegiate Nationals

By Brady Thomas | April 18, 2012, 12 a.m. (ET)

clemsonIt’s taper time! Chicka chicka yeah! For most of us at the Clemson Triathlon Team, this past weekend was one of the very few weekends since mid-February that wasn’t taken up with races, training camps, formal or our largest fundraiser — the Easter Bunny Run Half Marathon and 5k (great work Adventure Geek Productions), which was a screaming success. The team doesn’t know it, but I donated all the proceeds of the race to the OJ Simpson Innocence Fund. Nonetheless, it was far from a quiet weekend for most of the Tri-Tigers.

Before we go any further, a shameless plug for our YouTube video.

Carl Eichert, Lee “The Answer” Gedney and I paid a visit to our sponsor, The Sport Factory in Roswell, Georgia.

A side note: for those of you keeping up with my blog posts (probably just my mother) you may have heard Ms. Gedney referred to as “Moose.” The nickname “Moose” did not seem to be as well received as we had hoped and as her representative, I advised her to go with “The Answer” as her new nickname, since it seemed to work well for Allen Iverson. Ms. Gedney is currently picking out temporary neck tattoos and those sweatbands that go on your finger.

clemsonThe Answer received a bike fit and VO2 Max test by the lovely, the talented, Matt Russ. Our team coach, Chris Zimmer, and Mr. Russ graciously and flawlessly fielded all of Carl’s questions. Carl also got a sweet new road bike so he can throw down like a boss hog gangsta on the draft-legal mixed team relay Saturday afternoon.

Proving that we wear more than tri shorts, my teammate, roommate and all-around good guy Tron, went down to Charleston for his girlfriend’s sorority formal. He wore a nice suit and was asked to leave after the fourth time he requested the DJ play “The Wobble.” (Tron Bernied his way to a 4:30 half last fall.) Earlier this week, Tron announced that he would not be racing the draft-legal relay after Doug MacLean (@RunDMCracing), pro triathlete and Tron’s coach voiced concerns that doing the relay would throw off Tron’s ch’i.

clemsonSunday morning, Przybylicious, Edge, Slick, Alex “Stone Cold” Brown and I met up to decorate our team trailer so we would look good when we got into Tuscaloosa. All we had was electrical tape. The dollar sign and the underline under “team,” emphasize what we’re all about: teamwork and money.

While Tron was off rubbing elbows with the beautiful people, most of our nationals team joined in for an open water swim that ended in me trying prove that I could do the Dirty Dancing move. You know, the one where Patrick Swayze lifts Jennifer Grey over his head. I think it was a minor success, but the girl (The Answer) who was being Jennifer Grey said it was bad.

For many athletes at #USATCN12, this will be their first time in the South, or as it’s officially known, “God’s Country.” Being in the South for the first time can be quite a shock if you aren’t prepared for it. (See “My Cousin Vinny.”) As residents of the Deep South, a few of my teammates took it upon themselves to provide a few pointers for those of you coming from far and wide to race #USATCN12.

First and foremost, my teammate Edge can’t stress enough the importance of having a pick up truck when you’re in Alabama. If your team can — rent one. Girls in the South love guys in trucks. Make sure you have at least one girl in your truck with you — a truck full of dudes just seems a little off. You’re especially cool if you can drive around listening to Chris Webby in your truck. clemson

Go to Moe’s Barbeque. Not on Friday though. Wait… most of you reading this are my competition. In that case, go on Friday. Even better, see if they can cater breakfast for your team for race morning.

clemsonFresh off his 21st birthday and the Boston Marathon, Nick Sykes encourages everyone to leave your cowboy hats at home, as you’ll just look silly. But, you should pack something besides race shirts, so you can go out with your teammates after the awards ceremony Saturday night.

Former varsity rower Erin Grubbs wants everyone to say “y’all” as much as possible while you’re in Tuscaloosa.

My teammates Magic and Slick say, “Don’t forget ya Rogaine!” You never know when you’re going to need it.

Finally, even though we are in the Heart of Dixie, there will not be a gun rack next to your bike rack in transition area.

For more from the 2012 USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championship, visit the event coverage page.