The Wildflower Triathlon - Olympic Distance Race

May 7, 2006

Rick Ferrell and I piled into my car Saturday afternoon and drove down to Fort Hunter-Liggett, where (through special connections!) he was able to secure us a night on base housing, only 18 miles from the start. We stayed next to the old hunting lodge built by William Randolf Hearst, and not far from Mission San Antonio. This time I drove, and I had to listen to Ferrell's commentary on my venerable RAV4. Wheel bearing noise, washer blades, a car wash... yada yada yada.. you get the picture! But it was OK. My car survived the entire trip without complaint, despite the trash-talking. After only a half hour of clueless wandering around the based, we managed to find the secret key, then finding the secret mailbox, where the secret magnetic entry card was located, and then finding our room. Rick, to his credit, had found the perfect accomodations - with a view of William Randolf Hearst's original hunting lodge and the Big Sur mountains out the window. I loosened up my bum hip with a short ride to Mission San Antonio while Rick prepared a dinner of asparagas ravioli. Then, some TV, and an early lights out. In the morning, my not-quite-fully cooked hard boiled egg needed a bit of time in the microwave. My keen physics mind deduced that if I peeled half the shell off first, it would be safe to microwave. I was feeling self-satisfied as the microwave whirred... until a massive explosion occured. Were we being shelled by errant mortar fire from raw recruits? No, my egg had detonated, and I spent the next 20 minutes cleaning gooey egg off of all 6 inside surfaces of the microwave. Bummer!

I'm spending so much time on the night before, because my $80 worth of batteries for my camera, freshly charged.... were all dead after just the 4 pix you see below - no race pictures. Double bummer! We parked out on the main road where it intersects Lake San Antonio road, and biked the 4 miles to the start. It was a good race for both of us. 3,000 racers were there, and Ferrell came in 4th in his age group, beating last year's time by substantial, and having what he called "the perfect race". Congratulations! Me, I did just the swim as per usual. 67F water temp, and only ~80 in our age group ( I jumped into Ferrell's 45-49 wave), so it wasn't too crowded a swim, although the course wound all over the place and my navigation wasn't perfect. Rick came in at 24:00. I came in at 28:31 for the 1.5km, 24th out of 50 in my age group. Temperatures were warm - in the low 80's. Rick's final time was 2:24.

Behind Rick is Hearst's old hunting lodge, at Fort Hunter-Liggett

Our comfy room

Dinner time

In the morning, pump those tires and get on the road.