Monday, June 9, 2008

Part One: Getting to Rapperswil-Jona

As is my usual fashion, I can never seem to get my act together without pulling an all nighter before I fly out to a race. I had tons of things to get accomplished for work before I headed out so that I would have a job to come back to. Being a beatnik and singing in a coffee house was not going to make me as wealthy as being a personal trainer and coach so I had to stay up all night before the flight to Zurich to make sure that I got all my stuff for work complete and had all my ducks in a row.

I made it to the airport with plenty of time and had the usual events take place. The shuttle bus driver and the rest of the people on the shuttle bus from parking thought I was a freak to be hauling around the bike box. I got asked the “Is that a bicycle in there?” question when it clearly states “FRAGILE: Racing Bicycle” on all sides of the bike box. I had to fork over $100.00 to have the carbon fiber pony make it on to the plane. I found out that booking with my husband’s Platinum Elite One Pass number did not get me any upgrades because I paid for the flight and he did not. SUCK! So, I headed to the back of the bus and took my seat on the first leg of the journey to Newark.

Once in Newark, I had a six hour lay over so I decided to get a nice lunch and then I found the gate where I was to be and I stretched out on the floor for a nap and charged my cell phone. No one was there so I got a good 70 minute uninterrupted nap. As boarding time got close, I spent the time sending text messages to JT. I was so sad that he was not going to be going with us to do the race. Looking back, I still wish he would have been there, but it was probably best that he was staying home with IM CdA being so close. I had a good seat on the flight from Newark to Zurich and tried to get as much sleep as I could since we would be landing at 8:30 am Zurich time and I did not want to be jet lagged.

Once in Zurich, I met up with my buddies Lauren and Ryan and we found my luggage and my bike and we went to go find information on luggage storage for after the race and to get train tickets to go to Staffa where our hotel was. We got more looks from people as we hauled three bike boxes around. The trains in Switzerland are very clean and very much on time! Little things were interesting. The vending machines were selling bottles of tea with cannabis in them! I have a feeling that it would not have been a good idea to have that before the race. Our first stop was in Rapperswil where we changed trains to make it to Staffa. We knew that we had gotten off at the right place when we saw all of the Ironman 70.3 Switzerland signs!!!

Once we made it to Staffa, the hotel car came and picked us up but the bike boxes required that we make two trips. We got checked in and to our rooms and then we went down the hill to Migros grocery and restaurant for some lunch before we headed back to Rapperswil for packet pick up. The Swiss Franc and the US Dollar are almost the same in exchange value, but food is very expensive in Switzerland. And any food that is not a sandwich or has a bread product in it is crazy expensive. So my special diet was going to make me pay out the wazoo the entire trip. Double Suck!!

We got to Rapperswil and walked all around looking for the race venue and could not find it. It was only when we saw other triathletes who had already picked up their stuff that we figured out which direction to go. Everyone had these cool back-packs with the IM logo on them and we were hoping that they were part of the SHWAG that we would be getting. We passed a children’s zoo and saw through the giraffe and zebra compound all of the bike racks set up in the transition area. We made it! Since we had arrived near the beginning of the packet pick up, the race crew and volunteers were still setting stuff up and the expo was not yet open. We got our race packets and YES we scored the awesome back-packs! There was a small tent set up with some cool event gear in it and I bought a race shirt. It is very cool because in tiny print it has all the athlete’s names and countries all over it.

We explored Rapperswil and found the “Stairway to Heaven” that would be on our run course and took a look at the castle and church that were at the top of the stairway. The weather was pleasant in probably in the high 70’s. We stopped and had some dinner and I had to watch my buddies eat pizza while I had to eat another salad. We looked at our watches and saw that it was after 7 pm and it was so weird because it was still sunny and very bright out. We caught the train back to Staffa and walked up the big hill back to the hotel and hoped that none of the hills in the race would be this long and steep. We spent the rest of the evening putting our bikes together and then at 10 pm I collapsed into bed.

Stay tuned for bike check in and touring Zurich tomorrow!!!

Later Gators,



Viv said...

I am exhausted and we just got the bike put together...LOL!

I am glad you did get some good naps while traveling.

Man, Liz what a pain with the no wheat thing. I am feeling for you. The hubby used to be in Zurich all the time and BK was like 16 bucks?!

Looking forward to more.

Jeff said...

On the edge of my seat waiting for more!

greyhound said...

If you can pull up a piece of floor and sleep at will, you might be an Ironman.

Rainmaker said...

Looks like you got a very solid sticker collection going on that bike case. Well done!