For all that triathlons are solo events (and you could, in theory, wake up one morning and think, huh, maybe I want to do that race, and then do it--if you'd been training and the race hadn't filled up) and sweep rowing is not (in that you need a varying number of other people, with their own schedules and weekend plans), my scientific study of 1 triathlon club and 1 rowing club suggests that triathletes plan way ahead and rowers wait till the last possible second to decide, tentatively decide something, and immediately begin think about changing their minds.
What this means in practice is that Kevin signed up months ago for a triathlon which was on Sunday, and my boat and I decided a week ago to race in a regatta on Saturday (and, just in the interest of scientific accuracy, were not 100% sure what race we were racing in, or who was coxing, till Friday night).
This deciding later thing actually worked well for me, because it saved me from having to be nervous--if I started to worry, I could just remind myself that maybe we wouldn't actually race!
But we did, and it went well (we won, in fact, but only because no one else signed up in our event--but more importantly we rowed well and kept racing the whole way, and didn't get demoralized when the men's boats which were racing at the same time leapt ahead of us at the start).
Even though the actual race took 4 minutes, we were there all day--I volunteered in the morning at the registration desk, then we went to the boathouse, launched our boat, rowed down to the race, raced, rowed back to the boathouse, put the boat back, then went back to the regatta to watch the last few races (normally, the boats are driven to the race on a trailer, but this regatta was just a little ways down the river from our boathouse, so we rowed there). Meanwhile, Kevin was volunteering at the finish line. Kevin's tri was kind of in the same direction but further away, so we stayed up there (in Southbury, I think it was) Saturday night.
You know, I thought when Kevin started doing triathlons that I'd feel bad about not doing them too--but it turns out, I'm happy to be a spectator. Getting up at the crack of dawn is a pain, but otherwise, it's perfect. I went for a run while Kevin was getting set up, then hung out with him till he got in the water. I even took pictures:
I watched the swim start, then watched the swim to bike transition till Kevin came by, then went back to the car to nap and knit till it was time for him to come back from the bike. When the car got warm, I moved to nice shady bench under a tree. I nearly missed Kevin's bike to run transition, because he biked much faster than I expected, but I did see him.
Then I knit some more, then went to watch for him on the run. The course was a little strange--5 miles out, 5 miles back, then a 3 mile loop--so it was possible to stay near the start and see your runner at the 10 mile point. Because it was so convenient to the start (and the parking lot) there were groups of kids with their non-triathlete parent, waiting to see their triathlete parent come by. Triathlons are not a kid-friendly sport--hours of waiting for few short glimpses of your parent. And that led to some funny conversations--one mom who told her kids (right after their dad passed by, with 3 miles left to go) that their dad would be back in 15 minutes.... because he just needed to get warmed up with a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, an 10 mile run at regular-person pace before picking things up to world-class pace for the last 3 miles, apparently!
Anyway, Kevin made it to the finish line...
...Even though the run was nearly impossible. Really--the pro who won said it was the hardest course he'd every done!