The Ironman people took over our Big Kahuna half Ironman race this year, and re-branded it. This got a lot of interest, and it was a more competitive race and certainly a larger race. It also filled immediately, and I ended up just having to jump in unofficial to be able to do the bike and run - the swim logistics were just not going to work. Too bad, since that's my strongest event. We had the usual suspects - Dave D, Dan, Rick F, and also Jim Mollerus, who was the first triathlete I met when I moved to Santa Cruz 30 years ago, and encouraged me to come down to the first Sandman Triathlon, where I met Rick Ferrell and the rest of the group. I hadn't seen Jim in many years, but it was great to see him here, still strong and fit.

 

The day before; any gear worth buying? I did like the Ironman Santa Cruz jersey, since it unzipped completely and was cooler and thinner than my others

I skipped the swim, which I felt confident I could do well anyway, and am ready to start my own race on the bike

Gorgeous sunrise greeted the first waves in the swim start

 

Rick finishes his swim warmup

Arriving at Davenport, 11 miles up Highway 1, going north. The course then turns in the Swanton Loop, rejoins Hwy 1, then on up a few miles further before turning around.

Foggy miles up Hwy 1 on the bike course

Up Swanton Road, near the top

Ferrell catches me just past the lighthouse

Then Dave Delucchi

Dave Delucchi looking pretty strong

Beauty and the beast

Ferrell gives the thumbs up. Guess he's feeling OK. I gave a wane smile back and shot a crooked picture

Dan and I pass,; he on the way back in from the turnaround.

The Tiki at the Turnaround. Now the long 6.6 mile path back to Santa Cruz

Passing the Dream Inn, heading down to the beach for the final 1/4 mile on the sand

Dodging sand castle heading to the finish. The big white athletes tent is up ahead. The famous Cocoanut Grove dome is at left

Finisher's chute.

On the sand at the Boardwalk. Happy racers!

Rick and Kim look pleased

   

 

Had a great experience, even though I didn't do the swim. A big race with a big feel to it. The final results are here.

My bike leg was 3:30:17 for the 56 miles, a 5:00 transition, and then a 2:50:17 run for the half marathon. My transition area was my car, on the street behind Depot Park, so that added a bit to my transition.