People often think of triathlon competitions as an individual sport.
That's not so for a St. Louis couple who have trained and competed together in triathlons for 20 years.
Sunday's Ironman 70.3 Kansas competition will mark Chris and Wayne Polette's second Ironman event.
"I think one of the things that keeps our marriage strong is we train together," Chris, 51, a nurse said. "We push each other, support each other and share a mutual goal. It gives us something to focus on besides our children."
She and her husband, a 51-year-old paramedic and firefighter, were among hundreds of people spending time at the Lawrence Live expo near Ninth and New Hampshire streets Friday afternoon. The expo, which continues today, features the Navy SEALs Accelerator Course and sports vendors. Athletes were filing through the area picking up race packets, which they will do today as well. The Ironman competition begins at 6:45 a.m. Sunday.
"So far it looks really, really nice," Chris Polette said. "Everybody is real friendly, and it's well-organized. We've been to Lawrence before, we knew it was a neat town."
Wayne Polette said they were checking out all the sports gear being sold by vendors. But that's not all they were checking out.
"We're going to take in as much of Lawrence as we can," he said. "We love the city."
In the evening Murphy Grant, of Lawrence who works in sports medicine, brought his two sons to the expo, which also offered children's activities and live music.
"They are having a good time," he said "It's a good family environment."
Pat Robinson, Lawrence, head of registration for the triathlon, said about 300 volunteers of all ages have helped make the event a success.
"It's a great community effort," she said. "Even the weather's cooperating here right now so everything is looking good."
Competitors still have to deal with nerves until Sunday morning, however.
"I'm feeling very anxious as most people are before a big event like this," Chris Polette said. "But you've worked really hard and you are kind of anxious to get going and see how you feel and hopefully feel good through the race and finish feeling good."
Ironman 70.3 Kansas Weekend Events
8 a.m., Adidas Rock Chalk Run (5K and 10K) begins at the Expo, Ninth and New Hampshire streets.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Expo, which includes the SEALs Accelerator.
10 a.m. and 1 p.m., Event/course talks.
Sunday Race Day
6:15 a.m., Navy Leap Frogs Parachute Team will skydive onto the beach.
6:45 a.m. Race begins at the Clinton Lake Marina. Spectators are encouraged to arrive before the start of the race. If spectators want to enter the park between 6:40 a.m. and 8:45 a.m., they must enter from the south on County Road 458. The northern section of County Road 458 will be closed from 7:10 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Spectators will not be allowed to enter the park between 8:45 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. World Multisport is providing transportation every 20 minutes between 8:45 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. to the Iron-Cross, where athletes are expected to pass two to three times during the race.