We arrived at the transition area at 6:15 for a 7:37 wave start. I set up my area and began to stretch while remembering the litany of items I had left at the hotel, the most disconcerting was my Rudy Project glasses. Luckily I found them in the car. After the detour, I continued to get ready for the swim portion of my second attempt at finishing a sprint Triathlon. (First attempt, I flatted with no way to repair). At 7:12 the first wave for olympic men went after a 5 minute display and every seven minutes another group of olympic distance triathletes went out with no problem. Then the fun started.
The wind was a blowing and you could see the swimmers struggling in the white caps. The first rescue pontoon boat pulled to shore and the boat was loaded with 15-20 athletes. over the next 1/2 hour we were told we were going, then not, then going in 5 minutes, then they canceled the swim for all sprint distances. This sucked! Now i know that it is for the athletes safetly and I was not mad at the race officials, but I was pissed. The first thing I thought was of the thread, " you know you are a triathlete when? Well you know you are a triathlete when they cancel the swim for your safety and you still want to swim. Anyway, they took us to the swim exit where we began our duathlon in waves.
This also was a joke as you had hundreds of athletes hitting the transition area at the same moment. On the bright side, it was my quickest swim ever. I changed into my bike gear in a hurry and raced with my bike to the transition exit so I could wait in line like I was at Disneyland. A few minutes later I hopped on my bike, and proceeded to ride my brakes for the next 1/2 mile until we exited the cone section of the bike route. Uphill for the next 6 miles and into a head wind of 20-30 mph. At the base of the steepest grade and longest climb, one of the elite olympic distance athletes(from what I could tell), on his decent, crashed at about 40 mph about 15-20 seconds before I arrived at him. He lay motionless with his bike, clear across the road from where he should have been. His knees were ground to the bone and his shoulders were just meat. he had 3-4 riders dismounting around him as I arrived. Since I could offer no help, I continued on to see if I could reach a race official for help. Thankfully they had reacted before I reached them and I heard an ambulance in the distance after 10 minutes or so.
I summited, made the turn around and let fly down hill to catch my brother who had passed me on the ascent. On the way down the crashed rider was being loaded into the ambulance for a long ride to the nearest hospital. I still do not know who he is, but my prayers are with him. I hope he recovers quickly and has no ill effects from his injuries. I passed my brother and later found out I did it quietly. He said, "I thought you were behind me and then I saw you out in front of me!". Well we battled the last two miles trying to drop each other and ended up finishing the bike leg together.
I hit the transition station and made my mistake of the race. I downed a red bull and it hit my gut like a BOMB! I struggled for the first mile of the race with the discomfort in my belly. Once it subsided, I hit my stride only to be faced with a giant uphill sand dune. I once again lost the wind in my sail and struggled up the quicksand like hill. From there it was a fairly timid run with one section of technical downhill and then on to the finish. I finished in 1:33 which is horrible without the swim but with the headwind and running in sand, I'll take it.
Overall, I had a great time. Can't wait till my next race. June 7th.
pictures to come when available.