Because I didn't choose to register for Lake Placid last year, I will also be spending my time up there training in prep for Kona.
The main priority of being a spectator for your friend/loved one is to make his/her pre and race day experience as easy and smooth as possible for an ideal racing performance.
ENDURANCE TRIATHLON SPECTATING TIPS
Be prepared to drop your athlete off, wait around, walk a lot and find/pay for parking before and on race day. Often times, the logistics of getting to the race expo, transitions or race start make for the most stressful situations. Your athlete will likely be on a time schedule and perhaps a little ancy and anxious if things aren't going "as planned". Try to make it easy on your athlete by getting him/her where they need to be on time and allow plenty of extra time for delays.
Review directions to avoid getting lost and always plan for extra time (at least 15 minutes). Be sure to read the athlete guide before arriving at the race as well as any last minute details on the race website. Better yet - print out the race schedule so you are well-prepared. There may be parking deals/restrictions in certain areas, schedule changes as well as road closures before and during the race. Lastly, if your athlete is racing a very important race (ex. A race of the season, qualifier race, etc.) be accommodating to their requests to stay within walking distance of the race venue. Although we can likely save money by staying at a hotel 10, 15 or 20 minutes away, staying within walking distance of the race may cost more but it can be a priceless experience on race day morning (for you as the spectator and the athlete). Always do your homework when it comes to picking the "right" place to stay before the race. Weigh your options before booking a hotel room for sometimes it pays to be close whereas sometimes you may be fine staying up to 10 miles away from the race venue for a kitchenette, free WiFi, free parking, etc.
Again, allow extra time (15 minutes) in the morning. Every athlete is different with his/her typical pre race routine so discuss this with your athlete ahead of time so your athlete can be in his/her "zone" on race day morning.
To avoid an athlete freak-out, review the weather ahead of time but do NOT complain about the weather (cold/hot/windy, rain) in front of your athlete! Your athlete does not need to hear you complain about it being really hot on race day or about the 90% chance of rain all day.
5 min T2