August 19th, 2001
$35 listed (actually $125/3)

8:54 - fresh water, no wetsuit = hard
31:14 - top chainwheel is good, 21mph? average
22:04 - no cramps, good hill strength. 7:07/mi
1:05:38 - on target, even with bad swim.

A good 1000 plus showed up for each of these this summer, and it sold out during the online reg period each time. No day of. The race starts at 7 (ugh) and checkin begins at 5. We sleep in a bit, so we get there around 6:20. At least the lines are all gone. But we discover that the team registration we did (I thought this was saving us $10) was actually a relay, so we pay the difference with the smallest bill we had (20) and go individual. I can't imagine why anyone would want to relay a sprint.

Being late as we are, the transition area is already pretty staked out. To get 3 bikes together, we find a patch of grass in the back. It'll do fine.

The swim in a lake that was once a quarry. The course is a semicircle going counterclockwise. Buoys and lifeguards. Temp is somewhere in the upper 70s, clarity looks to be 20ft. The rocks on the bottom are a bit sharp, as I discover later when I get a couple nasty gashes. The race is separated into 6 waves, 5 minutes apart. James and I decide to skip the opening 29&under men's group and take the next one. After my Sandman gaff, I decide that I should start at the back and far right of the group. Our immediate surprise in jumping in is that outside the swimming area is a LOT of algae. And it's the slimy fresh water climb. Very gross. The day after I was in a random running store in the Haight and heard 3 women talking about it. My plan to hide away from the mess fails - instead I keep running into people breast stroking or otherwise blocking my path. I should have been about a third of the way from the front. The right flank approach also failed - kept running into the outside barrier of lifeguards on surfboards. This race tells me that I ought to do more (some) practice in freshwater, as just getting my head above water is hard. Maybe that's why so many are in wetsuits today. Time is a disappointing 8:50 for the quarter. (Whereas yesterday at the Aquatic Park I was turning out several in the 5-6 min range without trying too hard - eventually I find out the AP course is only 295m, not 400.)

The bike route is a mostly flat 11 mile stretch. The way out has the smallest amount of incline, the route back is almost rolling with the occasional rise. This time I stick to the big chainwheel and shift in back when necessary. I definitely need to get that adjusted - the chain rubs until I'm in the 3 highest cogs. There are a lot of mountain bikes on the course, and more than a few drafters. Mel reports seeing a few people take a turn early, before the entertaining u-turn that troubled more than a few out there. Volunteers and local PD cover all the intersections on the course and do a great job. No need to stop or slow down much for the turns. Scenic value is low, however, and towards the end it's getting warmer. I didn't bring water on the race to avoid cramping, time loss. In review, it seems ok for a sprint.

My quads are definitely a bit tight after that blistering (for me) bike pace. Will it affect my run? The run course is mostly dirt on an insane back and back and back course where you can see several parallel roads. I think I much prefer the out and back variety. One plus though is they manage to make one water station a 3 or 4 stop location. I think I grabbed a single cup on the run, again seeing how long it takes dehydration to become an issue. This course had numerous microhills - 20 ft rise each time. I can pass a couple people up and perhaps one on the descent of each one. I'm running a descent pace, though there are no markers to really tell you feedback. Just work on passing people - we're well up in the pack and so most are putting in decent efforts. Only at the finish do I see the split - the 5k alone is faster than my early efforts last year, when I was still 20lbs heavier and just starting to get my speed back.

Finish had water, cantelope, and bagels. The auction started after the last finishers, James won an entry to another race at Angel Camp - we handed that over to a woman that wanted to go. It was a week before Monterey. Then it was time to run off to In N Out!

More Pictures: Race pic proofs by photocrazy were too small to judge! Rest were from a disposable that Mel brought.
My finish - Melinda at T2 - The group