I've got my first Half-Iron distance race in October (The Longhorn Triathlon)
So I just recently got one of those fancy-shmancy Profile Design AeroDrink bottles, and I just wanted to sanity check myself about it's proper use during a longer race.
I was planning on starting with the Aerodrink bottle, and two regular bottles in cages. When the Aerodrink is empty, refill it on the fly from one of the other bottles, which leads to my first question:
What's the best way to do that? I could either (A) unscrew the top and dump the water in (I've seen this done, but it didn't look like a very good idea), or (B) Leave the top alone and give it 3-4 good squeezes out the bottle nozzle.
(A) would be faster, but probably a good way to lose the top and half of my water.
(B) is slower, but less likely to result in disaster.
So with my odds of placing in my age group at virtually nil, I'm planning on (B). Should I practice refilling and eventually aspire to mastering technique (A), or is that just stupid?
Now, Austin in October can still have temps in the mid 90's, so 3 bottles worth ain't going to cut it. This race has bottle handups, and I've been wondering how those work. The webpage says athletes start with 2 bottles, and there are handups every 10 miles. From the wording, it sounds like the handups are provided by the race and not by me. This is the first time this race has been held, but it's being put on by the same folks who do Timberman so I would expect it to be similarly run.
I'm guessing there are pit-stop like places where I exchange 2 empties for 2 full bottles. I assume the pit-stop entry and exits will be well marked, and are governed by slightly different rules (drafting restrictions waived? Max top speed?). With the race providing the bottles, I'm guessing I just yell out "water" or "Gaterade Endurance Formula EDGE Bottle (tm)" (ok, maybe I'll just yell "gatorade") and someone will hand me the right thing.
Beyond that.... Are you required to stop to refill? It is like a water stop on the run where you snag a bottle out of someone's hand on the go, with a bucket to toss your empties into? Do you mark your bottles with your race number and try to collect your originals at the end? Or just start with 2, finish with 2, and call it even? Any good tips to avoid first-time mistakes and/or avoiding accidents with someone who's just a little too serious about shaving off every possible second?