The “Perfect Race”…Not So Much.

One of the missing elements of the perfect race that went without mention yesterday was travel hiccups!

Well, for those that know me, know I don’t always have the best of luck… particularly with traveling.  If a flight is delayed, it’s usually mine.  If a flight is cancelled, it’s probably mine.

Well today proved no different and I’ve already learned a huge lesson for future races.  My wonderful mother was amazing enough to book my and Dawn’s flights for us.  Unable to see our itinerary online without a confirmation number and mom unable to locate the confirmation, we were unable to see even what airline we were booked on.  As a result, I was a little stressed this morning wanting to get to the airport in time.  We knew we were on a 10:15 flight, just weren’t exactly sure what airline.  Ooops.

So, we arrived at the airport in plenty of time, quickly got to the United desk and found our flight with ease.  Phfew.  As we continued at the kiosk printing our passes, we were notified that “your departing flight to DC is delayed and you will in turn miss your connection.”  After waiting 15 minutes while the putz behind the United desk punched away on his keyboard (think Meet the Fockers) giving no head nods, smiles, nothing, we were notified that the next available flight gets in to Burlington at 10:30pm!!?

Given that packet pickup ends at 6pm and USAT is typically extremely strict on their times, policies and rules,  10:30pm obviously didn’t work.  So as the putz behind the desk just stands there staring at Dawn and I, we immediately start asking for surrounding airports and such that might get us in earlier.  Said putz behind the desk truly earns his name when he just blankly stares at us with no suggestions of potential alternative options.  So, luckily for Blackberry’s and Iphones, we frantically google and discover Boston is only 4 hours from our destination.

The Boston flight is due to leave at 11:30 with an arrival at 1:45pm giving us exactly 4:15 to de-board the plane, pick up our car, and drive the 4 hours to Burlington.  Pretty tight, but feasible.

At this point, our Boston flight is delayed till noon, not getting in till 2:15, thus nearly eliminating any chances to make it to packet pickup by 6pm.

My amazing sister tracked down 4 different people with USAT until she tracked down someone who told me if I can get to the Information tent by 5:30 am tomorrow morning, I should be allowed to get my packet then.  It will make for an extremely stressful pre-race morning, but at this point, I will be happy if I am able to race at all!

Lesson learned:  Don’t fly in the day before a big race.  Plain and simple.  Going forward, I will be sure to leave myself a cushion when traveling to these A races. The airlines are just too unpredictable and the additional stress of such situations are not conducive to pre-race relaxation and recovery.

I will keep my followers posted on if / when we make it to Burlington and at this point, given the stress of today, I’m hoping to fair ok tomorrow.  Wish me luck!!

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