Usually, in triathlon, transition is in a field or parking lot near a beach. The bikes are racked there along with all your gear. You run to your bike, swap out your gear and move on.
Transition in Madison is very different.
It’s inside a convention center.
So, the first thing you have to do in coming out of the water is run up to the wetsuit stripers who quickly removes your wetsuit for you.
Then, you run up a helical automobile ramp in a parking garage (seen at the far right side of the photo) lined with hundreds of cheering fans:
Once you get to the top, you go inside to the ballroom where your cycling gear is kept in a bag for you.
A volunteer screams out your number when you arrive and another volunteer grabs it, brings it to you and escorts you into the changing area:
He then brings you to a vacant chair and opens your bag for you and asks you what you need. He also asks if he can get you some water or a snack.
Transition with concierge service.
I was wearing a tri-suit under my wetsuit and toweled off a little. I put on my cycling shorts, socks, cycling shoes, helmet and gloves. I slammed a small bottle of gatorade and a salted nut roll. The volunteer put my towel, wetsuit, cap, and goggles into my bag and let me know that he would take care of those things for me as he escorted me to the rooftop parking and the sunscreen ladies who slicked me down. I then headed to the bike area. A guy with a megaphone then shouted out my number. By the time I got to my rack, a volunteer was standing in the aisle with my bike.
I then ran to the other end of transition to the mount line. This area was congested and I saw a few near crashes as I waited for the cost to be clear. I then mounted my bike and rode to spiraling helix down and out of the parking ramp (on the far left side of the building).
Finally, I was out of the weirdest transition that I have ever experienced and the dreaded bike leg began.
T1 split: 12:49.
Total Elapsed Time: 1:40:56.
Time Remaining: 15:19:04.