Thanks to Karen Smith for this update
Well now that the individual triathlon races are all complete, the athletes are getting ready for the 4 persons mixed relay. The teams are based on the ITU regions and have been formed based on the individual results. For example, the top two men from the Americas and the top two women from the Americas will form a team Americas 1. Similarly, the third and fourth best men and women in the region will form Americas 2. Tyler is on team Americas 3 with teammates from Brazil, El Savador and Venezuela. Erica is on Team World 2 with teammates from Zimbabwe and Solomon Islands.
The relays start off with the female and alternates male/female/male. The distances are 250m swim, 6.6km run, and 1.8km run for each person.
It is a very fast race with lots of excitement and change in lead positions. This race is very spectator friendly.
The Athletes were allowed to practice the course today. The swim start and finish is the same as for the individual race, but just shorter. The bike course goes in a different direction and offers more corners, bridges and narrow passages. The run is different also but uses some of the previous bike course.
During the relay, once a team member is tagged, he or she can do a running/flying dive off the pontoon. This was very entertaining to watch the athletes practice this today. Some were launching themselves 20 feet out, doing belly flops, going way too deep or doing flips. The athletes really had some fun taking turns practicing it. It is not a skill that is typically practiced, however some refinement on this technique is probably warranted!
It was really great to see the athletes having fun with their competitors and being a little more relaxed. They take the relay seriously but you can see that the nerves are not nearly as intense as the previous days.