Beginning to wonder!!Many questions ran through our minds. Where would we leave the pool? Do we go through the locker rooms? Would the transitions be timed? Would we have any crossing guards directing traffic while on the bike? Is outside help illegible with beverages and stuff? Will we live? That one cracked me up!!
Before the pre-race speech from the director, one could see the fear and hear the skepticism in peoples voices and comments. It was all for none though. We all did just fine. 26 individuals and 10 relay teams of three showed up to take on a 500 yard swim in a pool, 12 miles of mostly flat terrain, and a three mile dash along side our local greenbelt. Five of the teams included Special Olympians too. It was a chance to get out early and break open the spring and summer season with a really cool field on a course that doesn't get much attention on the bike or jogging circuit. We were all very excited!!
Then there was the schmorgesborg of weather to contend with. Rain, sleet, snow, sunshine? Which one's it going to be? Well, we got'em all!! It just depended upon the time you were on the course. Though it was very much a stab in the dark on which weather pattern individuals would encounter, the one guarantee we all had to face was the wind.
As people set up their bike swim-transition (T1) quarter to half dollar snowflakes filled the sky and enshrouding the mountainside in grayish white skies. You could only imagine what people were thinking!! "What in the heck are we doing out here," rang loud and clear on people's facial expressions.
The swimmers left every ten minutes or so in waves of six. Us faster competitors took to the water first. It was weird for several of us to swim in front of spectators too. You could almost hear cheering for us at times.
Out of the water and out into the chill of the day! Dawning riding clothes without drying off was not an easy task. Somethings tend to be forgotten in the heat of an event. For me it was the towel. I forced on my top layers and polypro socks, shoes, and boot covers to fend off the cold. Leaving the transition in third was exactly where I expected to be for the rest of the event.
On the road, our bikes revved high with the wind at our backs. At one point, my swimming chum, Steve, said his speedometer read 30 mph!! The gray clouds gave way to blue skies for our spell on the bikes! Our tires flung fresh spatters of silty mud on our shins and spackled our butts and backs until it dripped off our clothes.
I felt fortunate to hit the four stop lights green and ever better when a crossing guard waved me through a major intersection at Fred Meyers Dept store. But minutes later, we had to flip a 180 at the back of the cul-de-sac and head back into the 25 mph driving wind!! Maintaining 14 mph was quite the chore. Everyone was beat down by this menace for the five miles back to the second transition at the city park.
Out on the run, the blue skies had dissipated and the light pitter-patters of sporadic showers cooled the face. Amazingly, though, the guy I thought was going to take second place did not have his shoes delivered to the T2 and so I cruised up ahead of him as he borrowed a pair of trail shoes that were two sizes too big from a complete stranger. Ha-ha!! I was now in second place and not going to relinquish it ever!!!
Overall my 7:06 swim finished fourth; my 33:48 bike took second; and my 21:04 5k ranked second for an overall second place finish. One better than I figured I would place, so that pleased me immensely. Mainly for the fact that I would never be able to overtake him under any other circumstances. Yeah, whatever!! Who ever said it's all just for fun