4. Work hard. Play Hard. Racing Abroad
Head out with your closest and dearest and remember you are doing this hobby to have fun!
Once the frivolities of racing are over and finished, it is now time to move on to the important part of a post race party. Before we start, we always condone responsible drinking and of course appropriate behaviour (by that we mean no lycra in a pub/club!). Here are five rules your should follow when planning your post race party.
What day do you party?
If you are racing any distance except for Ironman, it
cool to go out the night of the race. Why? Well for one, you can demonstrate the race ‘wasn’t that hard’ and you can get out until the early hours after an early start. Secondly you have loads of energy and caffeine in your body so your body is nutritionally prepared for a long night and finally, for those who are looking to save money after racing abroad, you can save drinking money by being one of the cheaper dates out on the evening after a race.
If you are racing Ironman distances, you should get yourself to the finish line and cheer those last few people home just before cut off. If you can then still head out, then you didn’t race hard enough!
What do you wear?
Stick to dress codes just like Michael Raelert
Check and see if there is an awards ceremony dress code. Once when racing Ironman 70.3 in Phuket, the dress code for the awards ceremony was bow ties and board shorts. (Further pictures deleted due to complaints and inappropriateness). Imagine a marquee in Thailand with a few hundred sweaty badly tanned but physically fit men and women wearing very little clothing and definitely not the most coherent. My mother was definitely enjoying the views!
Otherwise, the following rule always applies. No visible compression or lycra. Most triathletes began life as lycra enthusiasts who in turn were forced into endurance sports. That is fine – each to their own. But on no account should the lycra be visible. We aren’t racing any more.
Where do you go?
Is doubling up on nutrition helpful?
Check and see if there is an after party. Kona has a few on, depending on what level of sponsorship you have may depend on whether or not you get an invite. However, there was a general invite to Lulu’s (which is now closed!) after the award’s ceremony. Similarly there was a sports pub that took on triathletes after Ironman South Africa. If there is no official after party, then ask some of the volunteers, they will always know if there is something a bit less official going on.
What if there is nowhere official to go? Well then it is time to organise your own. Firstly, get local advice, you are likely to be going out on a Sunday… Therefore, get tips on where to go if you fancy a more lively scene. Organise the people you are with so if there are a few of you, then link up and head out to the town. I joined in with a few professionals and a gang of amateurs after the 70.3 worlds in Nevada (Las Vegas to non triathletes) and had an amazing time by sharing a limo and then hitting the strip (again, pictures deleted due to complaints and inappropriateness). Either way, prior planning and talking to the locals/concierge will help you have a fantastic evening and by the end of the night ensure you are thoroughly tired out!
What do you talk about?
You are allowed to ask how someone’s race went. As a reply you may talk for only two minutes about how your race went not quite to plan and you are a bit disappointed about the whole event – no one likes a moaner. You may talk for 10 seconds about how awesome you raced and the achievements you did (like winning) – no one likes a bragger. At no time whatsoever are you allowed to talk about kit, gear, bikes, peeing yourself, $#!tting yourself or how this was ‘just a training race’. These are also known as the forbidden topics of conversation and must never be talked about except when in lycra (see above)!
For more helpful advice on how to begin topics of conversation not constituting triathlon, please see here:
Who do you go out with?
Firstly, you should go out with your friends and family who travelled all this way to support you. One word of caution is that it depends on who you are travelling with: I remember once heading to the bar to order two Gin and Tonics, one for me and one for my greatest supporter: my mum. On the way to the bar, I had a delightful conversation with a couple of stunning South African ladies. I ordered my drinks and they said, why don’t you come and join us. Through a parting in the crowd, I could see my dear solitary mother sat on a table of her own waiting for a drink…I had to politely decline the generous offer from these pleasant women and join my mum for a couple of drinks. Of course if you can persuade these supporters that it wont be their scene and people will just be talking about the forbidden topics of conversation (see above), then maybe you will get to meet some intellectual locals… Otherwise, this is a great opportunity to meet new people within the sport. I have made great friends who I now frequently meet up with at different races and add to our group. (Sadly though, no more South African ladies…)
Remember to enjoy and reflect positively on all your experiences. All too often athletes forget that triathlon is a hobby which they love and they loose sight of that point after a race because they are competitive. Get out there, let your hair down and have fun! You will enjoy racing all the more because of it!
2012 World Champion Pete Jacobs just happened to swing by to the party with his wife – we think the gentleman in the background is trying to do a delayed, but still helpful 3-2-1 for the photographer?