The Santa Cruz International Triathlon - Aug 14, 2011

I'd promised to do the swim for this race, after doing the run on the sprint tri the previous day. But I'd had little sleep and the race started at 8am - early for an astronomer-type like me. At 7am I awoke after a poor night's sleep, and rolled over, groggy, , more or less convincing myself I'd skip it. At 8am I re-awoke and did what I always do - project forward in time and imagining how I'd feel, looking back, blowing off the race and sleeping instead. I knew I'd regret it, so let's see...; probably my wave wouldn't start till maybe 8:40am, so I bolted out of bed, no breakfast, no drink, threw on my wetsuit, grabbed my mesh gym bag, ran out to my bike, biked down to the transition area at Depot Park, locked it, took my swim goggles, ear plugs, swim cap, doffed my shoes, and ran barefoot down to the beach. I arrived and heard Julie Moss giving the countdown to the starting gun. Gah! My wave was starting like, NOW! So I just kept running, fumbling with my swim cap and goggles and hoping I'd get them afixed by the time I arrived at water's edge. If I'd been a minute earlier, I'd been able to start at the front, like I prefer. This time, I had to start at the very back and muscle my way through the pack. The water was warm (well, for the ocean here) and no problem, and I swam hard. But I didn't feel fresh and I didn't feel like I was having a stellar swim. It was novel to be getting out of the water, crossing the flags, running 100 yards to more flags, and re-entering the water for the second loop of this 1.5k (nominal) swim. Fun, and glad I did it. I raced back like the real racers, to the bike transition, and then snapped a few photos and rode home. Running that far barefoot on concrete cramped up my calves pretty good later in the week, though.

My time was 21:20 at water exit, which is a little fast to be really 1.5k. With the run in the middle, it's hard to say.

SCTA character Buzz comes in off the swim

Acknowledges his fans, and off he goes

This shot proves I was REALLY THERE!