|These tips will get you game on these guys|
In a sport where the apparel depends almost exclusively on man-made technical performance fabrics, the pre-race expo is the perfect time to show your more casual side. Though cotton is a no-no when it comes to race day, it should be your go-to fabric when you are waiting in line for your race number or queuing up to score free samples of energy bars from the cute girl who probably can't spell "nutrition". As a group, triathletes have varying tastes in terms of casual clothing choices. But a pair of jeans, khaki shorts or old cargo pant cut-offs will always do the trick. Just make sure they are loose and comfortable - save the skinny jeans or tailored shorts for the après race parties.
Your best bet for the top half is always a favorite t-shirt. This is real easy if you are not a big fan of graphic tee's - roll into the expo like you own it with a solid color-block tee of your choice. But if prints are your thing, here are a few guidelines that we recommend you follow:
- If you did the race last year, don't show up to this year's expo in last years tee.
- Though it's fine to choose a tee with a subject matter not directly related to triathlon or endurance sports, be careful not to go too far off the beaten path. The Simpsons or Family Guy tee should be left at home. Conversely, action sports brands like Hurley, Volcom or Quicksilver (Pac-Sun, various prices) are always fine.
- The crown jewel t-shirt for a pre-race expo is a t-shirt from Tyr, the swimming equipment manufacturer. They are hard to come by, so if you see one, buy it. Because by wearing a tee this rare, people will automatically assume that you are in some sort of inner circle and thus kick ass at swimming. A simple mind game to be sure, but quite effective.
|Castelli/Nike Free combo|
As far as accessories, we recommend you keep a few things in mind:
- Bring a recyclable shopping bag from Whole Foods with you and then make a big deal about transferring the contents of your goodie bag into it while at the expo. Not only will people see that you take eating healthy seriously, they'll see that you care about the environment.
- As cool as they are, your race day sunglasses need to stay in your transition bag until the race. Because the fact is that high performance eye-wear looks terrible on your face unless properly matched with a race suit or bike helmet. Though a pair of Ray Ban aviators (Zappos, $239) look good on just about everyone, you'll also be OK with a slightly less sporty knock off of your favorite hi-tech shades. Peppers (REI, various prices) and Giro (Performance Bicycle, various prices) both have nice collections of suitable quasi-performance sunglasses to choose from.
- Baseball hats are meant to be worn forward or backwards only, with said position typically dictated by age (or how old you feel). An offset of 10 degrees or more in either direction off of center is all but forbidden. Incidentally, this applies to all baseball hats in all situations, and in all facets of life.
Until then, train hard and look awesome.