Monday, September 10, 2007

The Big Kahuna

Hanging out with the competition, Emily from San Francisco Tri-club. Always down to make new friends. For the photoset click here.

What a great weekend; friends, racing a triathlon, 2 days in beautiful Santa Cruz and a drive up the California coast Monday morning.

Race venue was in Santa Cruz, 1.5 hours South of San Francisco. Friends and I rented a house which turned out to be right on the run course overlooking the ocean and 2.3 miles from the start, how sweet is that?

Our household was very laid back and mellow, serious but not overly so. We were doing it mostly for social/training reasons. We were all in different states of fitness but all realistic about our goals. As a result we were a very relaxed and fun group. The home had a big kitchen and we drank wine while we prepared food, drank more over dinner and cruised downtown for our dessert. We had ice cream, cruised downtown a bit and caught a couple of songs from a street band before heading home. We were all in bed by 10:30 and I got the most sleep before a race, about 6 hours. No anxiety whatsoever, slept like a baby. I approached this race like a regular training weekend workout. I didn't taper and kept up with my workouts even the day before the race. The only thing I did different was lay off the weight training. I wanted to finish in daylight:)

Lena and Mari at Coldstone, downtown Santa Cruz.

Race morning was a beauty. By the time our we got up at 5AM, Bruce had already gone out to stretch in the dark. He enjoyed listening to the surf coming in and breathing in the ocean air. We shared a meal together while Mari tried to share her superfood with us - Japanese Azuki Bean pastries (bread filled with sweet red bean filling). I love Azuki beans but I've never had it before a race so I politely declined.

Part of the crew, ready to go.

By the time we got there the place was already bustling with activity and the transition area full. Soon it was a time to start and all athletes walked down the 1/8 of a mile to the start for the mandatory 6:45 meeting. I was unfocused. I was admiring the female athletes, "how ya doin!?". Talking to friends, "hey long time no see, where's so and so?". Searching out other club members, "how's your place? we got a great setup by the beach, stop by after the race." Eventually I settled down and got our crew in the ocean to warm up. It was cold and I'm glad we did it. It was colder than the 61 degrees they claimed it to be.

Lena, sneaking in to an open spot on the transition area.

And we're off.

Stay tuned.....

Meanwhile the 49ers American Football team just pullled one out of their you know what for a 20-17 win, I can relate somewhat.


  1. "...admiring the female athletes..." Love it! I burst out laughing.

    Rick, congratulations on your amazing performance at Big Kahuna. You are not only a superstar Ultra Marathoner, but also a rock star triathlete!

  2. Those girls look mighty cute...and I bet Lena is Russian, isn't she? OK, tell us the full story. BTW, I appreciate your worries and advice too, I'll call sometime this week.

  3. awww haha you guys.

    Jen - thanks for thinking of us while you and your crew were training. I'm glad to have missed a windy ride in the city. I was out riding Saturday morning and it wasn't too bad, I guess it picked up.

    Olgie - Lena is not Russian but definitely European descent. You'll love the rest of the report when I blame you for something. Hope to talk to you before Bear 100.

  4. The wind must have picked up after your ride because I literally felt myself become airborne!

    Looking forward to the rest of the race report.

    The photos are awesome! I wouldn't have wanted to leave Santa Cruz either -- not with the view you all had from the house!

  5. ooh a multi parter! Where was the house that you were staying at? Look forward to hearing how the actual racing part goes :)

    By the way, what distance is this one? I was trying to figure it out based on time but am not sure if I made the right guess!

  6. Addy - We were at 1526 West Cliff, past the lighthouse. This was a Half-Ironman also now known as "Long Course", a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and a 13.1 mile run.

  7. Any race report that says "I was unfocused. I was admiring the female athletes" is one that I will definitely stay tuned for! :)

    And Rick, I see my Vikings play your Niners on December 9th. Better watch out, we are on a roll! ;-)

    Looking forward to the rest of your report.

  8. rick,
    you know the right way to race when "admiring the scenary" is something that you can think about. I want the whole story the next time I see you!

  9. aha...I was right! My guess was half ironman, but then 9 hours (which seemed like the cutoff?) Seemed short. I don't know too much about your sport here though, so I'm actually not sure how long a full ironman takes :)

    That's awesome that you're doing this and then Big Basin next weekend.

  10. intriguing intro to your weekend! Looking forward to the next installment! : )