USA Triathlon News Blogs Championships Blog The Logistics Behind...

The Logistics Behind a Destination Race

By Mike Buenting | June 24, 2016, 11 a.m. (ET)

duathlon gearIt’s race week and soon I will be boarding my plane to Portland, Oregon, then driving to Bend, Oregon — the site of this year’s USA Triathlon Duathlon National Championships.

Destination racing, as it’s called when you don’t live local, has many challenges. There are a lot of logistics to figure out and lots of good organization needed to get from point A to point B. 

So the journey to race at such a high level event like Du Nats is more than just the training and preparing yourself mentally and physically. It’s how do I get myself to the race site along with all my gear?

As a member of USA Triathlon (the governing body) of our sport, they bring us many great vendors to work with and discounts that help us organize and prep and make it to the race sites ready to perform! For my trip to Bend I have utilized these wonderful sponsors and vendors.

The block of hotel rooms in Bend at the host hotel Riverhouse on the Deschutes was my first order of business. And help from Game Time travel made this very easy. Box checked — hotel is set.

Next because this is a duathlon and I need my bike (not just a running race where I toss shoes in a bag), the question is “How do I get my bike to Bend?” Again thanks to USA Triathlon and a great partnership with Raceday Transport, athletes had several options to get their bikes from home to the race site. I worked closely with Liz and the team over at Raceday Transport to get my bike shipped to the race site via UPS. Raceday Transport then collects my bike and assembles it for me and has it waiting at the race venue for me. Now this is awesome! No carrying my bike around the airport or loading it into a rental car. I did have to live without my bike for about two weeks which was rough, but I have a road bike (second bike) to keep training on during this time. I also received help from my very supportive local bike shop here in Minnesota. Freewheel Bike took my bike apart, loaned me a road case, packed my bike and had it ready to ship. They will collect it and assemble as well once the race is over and the bike is shipped back to me.

So my race entry is complete, my hotel is booked, my bike is packed and shipped, and my flight is booked. Next I need a car to drive from Portland to the race site. Again thanks to a partnership with USA Triathlon, Avis rental cars took great care of me secured me the best rate on an SUV and it will be waiting at the airport for me when I land.

At this point, my journey the months of sacrifice and hard training are done. My travel plans for me, my family and friend (athlete I coach) Manuela are booked. So now it’s time to pack my transition bag full of gear and get ready to travel. 

This morning (as you see in the photo) I made a list of things needed and extra things I might need and began packing my bag. I have to plan a little extra as well because like a crazy person I have signed up to race the standard-distance and sprint-distance races all in one day, actually only a few hours apart. So I got out my Rudy Project Aero helmet (sponsor of USAT), my Rudy Project sunglasses, race belt (for race number), two race suits (one for each race), my ON-Running shoes, my Pearl Izumi cycle shoes, nutrition like my Glukos energy gels, Skratch drink mix and my salt tablets. Some Swiftwik socks, some arm warmers, a couple visors, Body Glide, and spare tubes, and wrenches, and lube for my bike.  I also pack some warm-up and cooldown clothes for pre- and postrace.

Everything is packed, planned and ready to go. Now I just kick up my feet, relax and hydrate and fuel my body to be ready to go on race day!

Competition is now this weekend. No more hard long workouts just stay sharp with some light activity and let the body rest and recover from months of hard work. You can’t change anything now but you can certainly hurt yourself if you try and do too much before the race.

Find yourself a good motivating, positive book and read some quotes and stories to give you some inspiration, listen to some good music and maybe find some great song lyrics to sing while racing that will help keep you moving.  And then go lay it on the line and poor your heart out on that course!

Best of luck! Safe travels! And see you on the West side!