Tri Santa Cruz.This is the other Santa Cruz Triathlon. I didn't want to sign up for this one, because the bike course is 4 tight loops through city streets with traffic, and seems unnecessarily bike-unfriendly. However, it's Sunday morning and I like to do a 1 mile swim around the wharf when I'm in town Sunday mornings. Not easy today, and instead I decided to jump in and join the swim competition, as I've sometimes done in the past. The excitement of competition! It turns out the swim course was not at all the 1.5k advertised. It was much closer to a 1.2 mile swim, as they simply tied their big orange inflated bouys to the existing 1st and 3rd bouys which head from the main beach out towards the cliffs. The sprint course was one loop, about 0.6 miles, and the Olympic course was two loops, with a short out of the water and back in, in front of the Dream Inn.

It was a run/swim/run/bike for my morning. I ran from home to the transition at Depot Park. Set up at the edge of the transition, took some photos, met Dave Slothower...

Sloth, ready to head down to the sand

Dave thought ahead, and brought his shoes down to the swim exit. Wish I'd done that...

After the swim. Sore foot and all.

I saw Joyce at the start, on the beach, there to root on her son Justin. He took 15th in his 30-34 age group Sprint, nice work! You had the choice of joining whatever wave you wanted, and the Sprint and Full racers were all mixed together. I went out with the first wave, the fastest swimmers (intended for sub 24 milers). I figured I'd trail most of them, but stay ahead of the congestion of the later waves. That all went fine, I was middle of the 1st pack. But damn, I wish I'd remembered how hard on the feet that long run from the sand to Depot Park is. I stepped on a rock on my right heel early on which hobbled me, and nags as I write this tonight. I exited the water on the first loop at 18 minutes flat, and at 37:12 on my watch at the end, and my chip time (if I'd had a chip!) was 40:58. Nearly 4 minutes of barefoot running from water to Depot Park where the timing mat was. I also got thrown back onto the beach on my second loop entry into the water, as a big wave broke right in front of me before I could get deep enough to get under it. Made it up though, as the 2nd loop I was fully at optimum pace and just flew, with a negative split. I felt pretty strong. My time was best in my age group, by a full 2 minutes over Phil Furniss, which surprised me. Phil took #1 in our age group for the entire race, of course. Wish I'd seen him there, but it was a bit chaotic. Congratulations, Phil!

The bike start, same as for the Santa Cruz Triathlon next month. I snapped a few shots

Michael, recently retired from the UCO/Lick engineering staff, and devoted SCTA member, photographing the team

I had my own tri plan - hoist my tri-pack, run home, and ride up the coast to Davenport, driven by a raving desire for one of their big oatmeal raisin cookies

Here's the race results for the Age Groups.