Saturday, April 4, 2009

Eve of Ironman 70.3 New Orleans

Well, well, well. 'ol Brad, and his 45 minute buffer at Ironman 70.3 Oceanside. I won't announce his result, and I never like to count my chickens before they've hatched, but... my brother, who finished his first Ironman 70.3 at Oceanside today in 5:40:09 (great job, Jon!), chimed in that even he would have fallen well, well within the 45 minute buffer had he taken the bet.

Do they sell Belgian trappist beer by the case? No, no chicken counting....

This morning, I circled with Inside Tri freelancer Stephanie Pearson, photographer Robert Murphy (he of all the kick-ass photography in the new Inside Tri) and pro T.J. Tollakson for some magazine shots. Always good to hang with T.J. because as a trained engineer, he loves to play and tinker with his bike setup. He has a wicked new Praying Landis setup that I'm sure the Slowtwich iPhone wielders in transition here in New Orleans will be running to his bike to check out. Say what you will about his setups, he does them all on his own—he doesn't wait for companies to go through tooling and prototyping—he does his own prototyping, with whatever he can find that will get the job done. He actually has several of his custom carbon Kona setups backordered for a bunch of consumers.

Here, getting the job done with a setup that works here in New Orleans means a couple of armrests comprised of jock cups, and a really, really cool bottle that refills, has a straw that is right at his head position (no ducking to take a drink) I have shots on my camera, which is currently with Stephanie, and will load to our website soon. But I'm sure the Slowtwitch-erazzi will be all over it. For it's MacGyver build, I settled into it—and can see how it's a comfortable setup for T.J. He has power numbers that back his position and prototyping. I am sure lots of companies are looking at T.J.'s ideas with careful thought; and I told him I'm sure he'd be able to find a job with any of the tri companies once he's done racing if he desired; he's a thinker and a tester of the outside-the-box variety.

After a long ride from my hotel at the Riverwalk area of town along the Mississippi River to T1 at Lake Pontchartrain (which, as you can see is a bit brackish), it was a cab home. Time to connect with T.J. for dinner right now, then chill out, watch a bit of Ironman Australia and South Africa, with a nice 4:30 alarm a fun bus ride across to the race start and a 7:20 wave start. Looking forward to that finish in the French Quarter—I love half Ironmans, but this one promises to be pretty fun.

UPDATE: Just back from dinner with T.J. and his girlfriend Ashley, and I ran into Hawaii Ironman race director Blair LaHaye and her husband (and St. Anthony's Race Director (Philip LaHaye). Seems Nawlins is Philip's hometown, so he had several tables pulled together, and several kids clawing at him.

But the cool thing about dinner? We struck out at two pasta joints (one had a line out the door, the other was completely gutted of its pasta by triathletes that beat us to it), so we went to a Southern place, Mulates. Live New Orleans band playing (complete with a guy playing the washboard). And T.J.'s dinner? Alligator, on a bed of penne. Awesome. I tried the 'gator, and... it tastes like chicken. I'm serious. I'll actually order it next time.

Unless the gators on the swampy part of the bike course (they said in the pre-race briefings that they're out there) get me first.


b said...

So how was IMNO for you Jay? Thanks for the insight to the race also! One question is I see TJ wears the awesome Specialized TT aero helmet that pro cycling teams have been using since this USAT approved and if so how can someone like myself get my hands on one?

Recover well, Brian

Jay Prasuhn said...

Thx, will recount Nawlins in a sec; the aero helmet (I wore the same on race day) isn't on the market yet, though it's earmarked for public sale...sometime. They did sell about 30 in Kona last year, but they're not officially out yet. I'll check on status of that for you.

b said...

Thanks Jay for the reply about my Specialized TT head questions and keeping me posted of the consumer status of the availability in the USA mkt. Drop me an e-mail via my blog at anytime :-) I have really liked that TT helmet since Pro Cycling teams such as Team Astana & Predictor Lotto used them back in the 2007 Tour de France...

plus the colors of the Specialized TT aero helmet would work quite well new R.Dean machine linked below:

Have a great day and thxs again Jay, Brian