For the second year in a row, Team Red, White and Blue held a triathlon camp in Austin, Texas. This year’s camp was held April 11-14 and had over twice as many participants as last year. This year’s participants also included two amputees and a visually challenged athlete, which meant when we were planning the activities we needed to keep this information in mind.
Planning was fast and furious, but it all came together in the end and worked out well. Since we had so many athletes this year, we rented vans to transport them all from the hotel to the training venues. Thursday afternoon those vans came in handy as we ran shuttles to and from the hotel and airport most of the afternoon. Once the athletes were picked up at the airport, some of them headed over to Jack and Adam’s, the local bike shop, to either pick up their bike and assemble it or to get fitted to a new bike that they would take home with them from camp. It’s always exciting to see the new athletes get their gear.
After most of the athletes had arrived, we headed to Zilker Park for the team dinner that was hosted by the Texas Beef Council. This is the second year they have partnered with us as well and the athletes love eating a nice steak on their first night in Texas.
Friday morning we all met back at Jack and Adam’s to make sure that everyone had their bikes and to make final adjustments for anyone who was getting a bike or who had gotten in late and not yet assembled their bike. Then it was time for the awesome bike clinic that Derick put’s on for the athletes. They are taken to a large grassy area and run through a bunch of drills to work on clipping in and out of their pedals, work on riding in a straight line, work on drinking while on the bike, etc. There are always several people who fall, but no one laughs at them. We all laugh with them, because we have all been there.
After the clinic it was time for some lunch on the lawn. Then we all headed north for some swimming. The athletes get to experience open water swimming in a wetsuit and get to learn some tips and techniques from the pros that come to help at the camp. This year we were fortunate to have Jessica Jacobs, Jessica Myers, Tim O’Donnell and Logan Franks. The pros are so amazing and friendly and willing to share any information they have with the athletes.
After swimming everyone headed inside for a yoga session. This was something I asked Derick if I could do for the athletes this year and he worked it into the schedule. I had so much fun teaching the class to these military veterans and several of them came up to me afterwards and told me how much they appreciated it. I loved doing it so much in fact that I am going to take the YogaFit for Warriors training class in August.
After yoga we headed to dinner at BJ’s Brewhouse. Everyone got lots of time to bond and we heard from the founder of Team RWB, Mike Erwin, who had joined us throughout the day to see how the camp was going.
Saturday morning was a group ride, which unfortunately I missed. I was being a good mom and attended my son’s soccer game before meeting back up with the group for lunch. After lunch was more swimming and some running and then dinner at a Bar-B-Q place, which again, the athletes loved.
Sunday was another full day of camp. The athletes got to play garbage can ball on their bikes. If you don't know what that is, it was kind of a combination of soccer/rugby, but on the bike. Oh my! Those men and women did not hold back. It was great to watch them have so much fun and be so confident on their bikes. The day ended in a nice dinner with a pro panel where we were joined by Patrick Evoe and Kelly Williamson. What an honor to have so many pros to share with the awesome veterans.
Everyone had a great time and year two was another success. Being a part of organizing and putting together this camp for Team RWB and the military veterans who attend is one of the highlights of the year for me. I look forward to meeting the men and women who attend and seeing them progress in their skills. Even the ones who come in having done long distance triathlons walk away with some new knowledge. It’s a great group to be a part of.