Sandman Triathlon, Aptos
August 5th, 2001
$50 (62)
.5(?)m, 15m, 4.2m

21m - hope it was really longer than that
47m - much better than alcatraz! Long mild descents were great
36m - return of the nasty side stitch. And another sand ladder!
1:48:40 - wanted 1:45. 201st of 369. 10 mins gets me to 100th. 5 to 150th.

This race lived up to its reputation. A very tough, all terrain sprint plus. The mixture of surf, sand, and redwoods was very pleasing - true cross country.

This is a small race, only about 400 or so. Add in the 3 wave swim start and it's very much uncrowded at all points in the race after the water. It's held within Seacliff State Beach - parking fee. Many parked outside, and by the time I got there, parking at the beach level was long gone. Be prepared to ride your bike down, suffer at the end of the day going up. Registration is simple, but transition spots are first come, first serve. Aim for a spot near a parking sign next time - it was very hard to find my stuff coming in on the bike. It was a different transition in that people could ride in/out, but in general a spot to the back is probably best. That is the bike start/end.

This beach has a pier of sorts, with a half sunken freighter at the end. We walk to the other side of this for the swim start, then swim a counterclockwise semicircle around back to the transition area. Waves occasionally break large, but it's mostly light stuff. I'm done with my warmup fast, so I stand at the start. This was probably a mistake. I end up starting in the front, dead middle of 150ish salmon. I'm not that fast, and I definitely don't start that quickly. Next time I'll shoot for the outside, maybe halfway in the pack. I hope that this wasn't really a half mile because it's would be my worst split ever.

Quick trot to the transition to the bike. I tried to read the course on a map, but with no luck at all. I take it totally blind, a very interesting way to do it. After the initial half mile, we proceed east up the hills. I think it ends up being a 6 mile gradual climb, with the last hill nearly making me stop. Thankfully, that is the aid station, and it marks the point where we head back. For the next few miles it is a glorious downhill. The drop isn't too steep, so I don't feel the need to brake much. The road is a bit bumpy. Still, I'm making good speed, at least until my computer sensor is jarred a bit away from the wheel. 0.0mph. Wireless sucks (or is it Supergo)? After this there are many fast flats, with the occasional 100ft hill climb. Somewhere in this section I crossed over to my big chainwheel and it makes a big boost in my speed. I need to fix my deraillers so they make less noise, though. The last drop to the ocean is a bad one - steep, with lots of cars being (hopefully) controlled at the bottom. I fall over in the transition area - the usual unclick right, fall left routine. I was pretty shocked by the time - averaged ~19 mph and made up for the slow swim. I think I can get my target and then some. (probably not realistic - forgetting the last .2m of the 4.2)

Again I eat a powershot and drink a little right as I take off on the run. This may be a most unwise thing, again I have those terrible side stitches. Add to that the difficulty of running on the sand. It is a bit angled at the water line and you have to occasionally dodge runners and water. On the way back, I stopped caring, but this is really bad for the shoes used. I retired mine. The midpoint has it's equilivent to the Sand Ladder. A nasty climb up the plateau. This is my only walk - everyone takes that opportunity. At least the side feels better finally. Maybe I should be walking early to get rid of it. The drop back down is a bit exciting, then it's back to the sand. When I get to the finish, I see that I'm going to fall 3+ mins behind the 1:45 target. The run was slow - 8.5mins/mile slow. I guess I should practice sand running before this event. Next year.

29th of 40 in 25-29 group, 201st of 369 (including 13 relays - 9 ahead of me) Another popular events for the diehards.

More Pictures: All photos by Assured, including the title picture.
Ocean Start - Start2 - Swim exit - Biking - Beach run