1. When do you plan to go to Panama City and when plan to leave? I haven't bought tickets yet but plan on arriving on Tuesday the first and leaving either late Monday or sometime Tuesday. The race is on Saturday. I know Kahuna wants to have a margarita party at a Mexican place Sunday night. I'm in. Are you?
2. What airport are you flying into if you already have tickets or what is the best one to use? I have not bought mine yet, doing so this week. I am planning on renting a big SUV or minivan. It can be a shuttle around town or loan it for quick trips for those on a tight budget. I'm on a tight budget too don't get me wrong. I am going to probably be stressed to the gills and not really into being a shuttle captain, but it will be nice to just load people in and go places as opposed to a five car convoy.
3. I am staying at the Inn at St. Thomas Square. From what I can tell its about a 1/3 mile from transition. Of course if you have ever been to Vegas its like saying the Rio is right off the strip.
4. Whom is bringing family with them? Mistress and Mighty Mo are coming down.
5. Whom is even considering tattoo's? I will do the leg work on this and find a close, highly rated (read: safe) place. Having just watched three good friends get tattoo's after Arizona this month I would suggest creating your perfect template before going down there and handing it to the artist when you get it done.
Something to keep in mind is that the M-Dot logo has several variation based on color code of the race (orange, red, blue, brown, black) and the thickness of the 'M' character is different on almost everything. At the race expo you can buy a M-Dot rub on tat for the race, which were very popular race day. You can buy them online to test them on your intended body location before you get it permanently done. They are about an inch high.
I will post the tattoo's my team got as soon as I get the pictures. Some ideas based on what I have seen:
*M-Dot logo on the middle of the calf belly (centered backside).
*M-Dot on the outside of ankle. Seen large ones and small ones.
*'Ironman' surrounding the ankle, the image similiar to the one at the bottom of my blog page.
*Creative design of swim, bike, run icons placed in a band around the bicep.
*M-Dot logo with the state flower on either side (female)
*Using race font to write 'Florida' on top, 'IronMan' underneath, state flag underneath, year underneath. Actually a very cool tatoo that I will post up.
Whats your design going to look like?
6. Do we have support shirts yet for family members to wear on race day? I remember Sheila or Shelley maybe coming up with something. Even if its just bright yellow Tri-Geek Dreams shirts.
7. For those that have family going, we need to plan on giving all our support teams each others cell phone numbers. When they are scattered around the course, they can call each other to let everyone know who is coming their way, keep everyone up to date on our conditions, get cameras turned on and ready, signs held high, kids alert. This worked so well at Arizona. We had four groups staggered around the run every couple of miles, no one got past us without us being ready. One person with a wi-fi laptop can be posting to our personal IMFL website or as a back up we could link all their cellphones up to blogger on the go so they could each text an update to a central location. I think using the imflo6.blogger as a central info dump is good idea and then later we can individually draw from it for our own race reports.
Plus let's be daring. It would look like a private Ironman live feed. All our friends and family around the country could be getting info from one place instead of jumping to ten or more seperate blogs. It becomes fun for them too and getting a glimpse at the unity we have all shared over the past year or more in this race.
Update@ 11 am: I just went to Orbitz and looked into flying from Phoenix to Panama City (PFN) tickets are roughly $550 a person on Delta with one plane change.