I had such a great time at this race 4 years ago, I told Ferrell in January that I'd be signing up again this year. I didn't expect he'd join me, what with his "retirement".... but in May, he decided this would be a good way to kick off the final month of training for the Pikes Peak Ascent Half Marathon.

Peaches - we got a basket, and more, at our favorite fruit stand, just a couple of miles east of Manteca on Hwy 120. Run by the same 4 young ladies as 4 years ago.

A road trip isn't complete without a burrito run at Taco Bell. This one's in Oakdale.

Note the spectacular Yosemite high country scenery reflected - a shot worthy of the great Dave Wyman!

near Lake Tenaya

Packet pick up was at the Ski Lodge.

Timing chip hand-off

After we checked in to the Boulder Lodge, I go for an easy ride out to the lake to check out the beach and the water temperature.

I'd bet Ferrell there's no way the water temperature could be as high as 65F at this elevation (the claim at the check-in)... but, I was wrong. The water felt great! But pretty strong winds. Here, June Lake beach and venue from a mile away.

The ritual begins. The ceremonial attaching of the numbers. Ferrell forgot his race belt - doh! Gotta pin to his top. I, however, was totally prepared.

I warmed up dinner in the microwave, cooked at home; chicken pasta, olive oil, cheese, and rolls we bought at the fruit stand. Ferrell turns on the track and field Olympic trials.

Gu Electrolyte mix was the right call. just a bit of orange flavor and a hint of sweetness, unlike Gatorade which tastes like saturated sugar to me and I just can't handle

Race morning. We turn on the Tour de France while Ferrell has his "wagon wheels" breakfast of peanut butter on sliced banana, and I down my tall KleenCanteen of my special mix power smoothie.

Time to mount up and ride the 2 miles to the transition

The lake level was quite a bit lower than 4 years ago, despite our El Nino. The big rock to which I'd swum with my students in Astro 30 some 25 years ago, and at which I was floating for the start of the race 4 years ago, was now at the shore line

We get my body marking

Always good to mentally go through your race before deciding your transition equipment is perfectly arranged.

That's a "Rog" - we're A-OK, All systems "Go". Ready for Launch, etc etc