Ferrell was in top form after his July conquest of the Lake Placid Ironman. Why waste this moment of awesome physical power with weed-pulling at home when he could be grabbing trophies? So with some last minute wrangling he was shoe-horned into the Santa Barbara Triathlon. I was newly approved for unassisted walking after my recent hip surgery, and therefore good to go for another bandit tri swim. Count me in! But we were both committed to other projects this weekend so this would be a shock-and-awe surgical strike, not a full-on party weekend in SoCal like past competitions here.

Rick showed up at my office right on time - 12:50pm, moments before the NYSE stock exchange closed and during my critical period of closing trades for Profunds and individual stocks. It was a good day; netting me plenty to deal with yesteday's losses and also the steep lodging costs on the beach front in trendy Santa Barbara.

Arrival in our humble but expensive room. How to get both of us into the shot? Ah - I have an idea...

"But....this complementary race bag has holes in it..."

This year's low-key shirt

The ritual begins. First, I get that wetsuit turned right side out.

After race check-in and up-loading the motel room, we cruised State Street... and settled on Carlito's Mexican Restaurant. I had the strip steak megaTostada. Now, the previous night I'd had a full-bore carbo Mexican dinner with my astronomer friend Stephane. I had plenty of energy for the swim the next morning - was it all the high-calorie Mex?

Race number affixation

Our alarm clock

A pre-dawn calorie-loading of bananas and peanut butter

My race is only a half hour - a couple'a kiwi's will suffice

Still somewhat bleary-eyed - I stretch my scalpel-ed hip rotators and glute's

The transition area was literally a half block away from the Motel 6. On the way we meet... Sarah, an acquaintence from past races

Before setting up, Ferrell - complete with palm tree growing out of his head (sorry 'bout that chief - a photographer goof strictly for rookies)

Time for the first half of that Power Bar...

...and reset that odometer...

Uh oh.... brain lock-up.

The dynamic duo

Rick and arch-rival Fred Maggiore - president of the Santa Barbara Triathlon Club

Swim prep


The swim was nominally 1 mile, and although it seemed a long mile, I felt strong all through

My first of several Platinum flaxseed+yogurt goodies

My swim time was 30:35 getting out of the water, and add about 25 seconds to get to the timing carpet for 31:00, which would've put me 9th out of 32 in my age group, and 296th out of 900 overall on the swim if I'd registered. Ferrell was 28:26 - beat me again, but hey - I'm gaining on him compared to Wildflower. I had time to relax, watch more swimmers come in, walk back to the motel and take a shower, and be back in plenty of time for Rick's bike finish.

...Southern California girl...

The cheer section awaits their favorite bike finishers

Rick came in at the back of a large pack and almost slipped by me. And still with that palm tree growing out of his head. Sorry, chief!

That's Ferrell on the run, and another palm tree that just jumped right into the picture

Reason #8... Finish line promo

A trademark Ferrell Foto Finish

...glad THAT's done...

A noble competitor whom Rick out-hammered in the final mile

...such happy healthy peeple! I luv this sport!

Fred won my age group (50-54). An excellent effort!

Platinum was a big sponsor, and they're healthy products were pretty tasty. And the Platinum girls were nice to me! I had more than my share of energy goodies

Rick collects his 4th place award


...till next year

On the way home, a heavy lunch at El Pollo Loco in town, and then lots of sweets here at the Apple Farm in SLO. The chocolate walnut cookies were outstanding


The race results are on-line here.