The 30th anniversary edition, and quite possibly our last Santa Barbara tri. Ferrell was going to use this as a tune-up for his main goal this season - a strong showing at the Big Kahuna Half Ironman in Santa Cruz in 2 weeks. I too planned to do Big Kahuna, but skip the run, as my left hip area still needs more rehab it seems. But Santa Barbara is always a lot of fun; and well worth doing in any case. One of the remaining locally organized and locally run races (vs. the big corporate events taking over the sport). The timing is usually awkward - the weekend before the first day of classes for me, and so once again, Rick Ferrell drove by Cabrillo and picked me up from my office as "All College Day" was ending. It'd be a competition to see if we could get to the check-in on the beach in Santa Barbara before it closed at 6pm.

We scored a room at the most expensive Motel 6 on the PLANET; but very nicely only a short block away from the beach and the transition area. Only $215 per night! I remember the days when a Motel 6 cost $6/night but then, that's why I've got gray hair I suppose.

Made it to Check-In, w/ 10 minutes to spare!

A fine shirt was our reward

Now, to deal with our carefully and artfully packed stuff at the Motel 6.

Then, a carbo-load at a nice little Italian place on State Street.Ferrell opted for a plain-jane cylinders and spaghetti sauce, while I went for a delicious spinach cheese pasta. I had to keep a sharp eye out for the dancing "Ferrell Fork" to make sure none made it into the wrong mouth.

The ceremonial mixing of the cytomax. Also, Rick wanted this shot as proof of the remodelling of this place since the last race in '08 (and perhaps to justify to the family why we had to shell out $215?)

We put ourselves to sleep using an old re-run of the TV show "Monk"

At the transition area, a rising moon among the palm trees in the dawn sky

Bike safely delivered, we walk the block back to our motel room

Rick starts his race prep with a jolt from "Mr. Coffee"


I wasn't run-ready and was 'unofficial' - so my transition area was the motel room

A PB&J sandwich for the long bike

Stretching my problematic left hip flexor and psoas, and my ankle while we're at it, too.

...still stretching...

arm's length self-portrait again

making sure every little thing is placed just right

Time to put the camera away and get down to business. The swim for this race is more complex than most. The course is a modified "L" shape, and the first bouy is only 50 yards off shore. I don't swim well when immersed in flailing swimmers and this time, I made the mistake of hitting the first bouy too close, and ended up in a serious jam. Ultimately, I had to turn over and gasp on my back for maybe 10 seconds before resuming. I got hacked by kicking feet and grabbing hands more on this race than any I can remember. I swam wide for the longest leg of the "L" and eventually got into a good rhythm and swam pretty well for most of the rest of the race. But, I didn't have that great mad-dash swim that I've had on the other races this summer, and guessed (correctly) that Ferrell would beat me this time. Indeed, as I ran up the sand and then along the transition fence, Rick was on the other side of the fence heading towards his row. He'd beaten me by about 15 seconds or so. That darn first bouy mistake... Ferrell said he navigated pretty well and felt great on the swim.

We commiserated a bit at transition, but he got out pretty efficiently. I grabbed my towell, shoes, camera, and ran the block to the motel for my transition. Then off for the bike leg. The course followed the beach for a few miles, then crossed the Hwy 1 freeway and wound its way eastward through Montecito and into the hills, eventually climbing up a long hill lined with avacado groves before circling around the other side, and working our way back, taking another spin into the hills on Toro Canyon Rd, and finally back towards the beach. 34 miles and 1847 feet of climbing, which took me 2:20:00 to accomplish. I then transitioned to the run, and did a couple of miles, hoping to run into Ferrell on his return towards the finish. I was only able to do 1 mile before my hip flexor/psoas issue forced me to turn around. Rick passed me as I jogged back towards the finish line.

The finish was on the sand, in front of the old bathhouse

Ricks and Fred M - local triathlon club president and always a tough competitor, this year especially.

Fred and friend - veteran of UltraMan Canada: a 3-day 320 mile triathlon race in Penticton, BC

Results, on big computer screens

. A last bit of clowning around, after my shower


Tri fans

a fellow competitor, from LA, staying also at the Motel 6

Fun's over - time to stuff the bikes back into the car before 1pm checkout

The drive home started with a hunt for some protein - ending at a burrito place about a mile from the motel. A couple chicken burritos apiece did the job. Then on the road, I let Ferrell get some napping while I drove to his favorite cookie place in San Luis Obispo where lots of sugary treats were bought for the wife and kids. The rest of the trip home we swapped stories and listened to guitar work of Joe Bonamasso. A nice cap-off to my summer vacation!

Here's the link to the race results online. Ferrell did well - taking 5th in his age group.