The first race of the season for Rick Ferrell and I - the Olympic distance race this time. The Santa Cruz Track Club gang, including Dave and Diane Delucchi, Jonathan Crockett and Maria, went down for the long course on Saturday and stayed at the Hacienda on Fort Hunter-Liggett. Rick and I did the same, arriving Saturday late afternoon just after the SCTC gang had packed up after their race and left. Dave Delucchi had an incredible race, finishing 8th overall in this very large, competitive international field. 5hr 10min beats his career best, and this was after 20 years of racing. The man's clearly still got it.

The Hacienda at Fort Hunter-Liggett. Our room was on the right.

Me and my trusty steed, night before the race


Ferrell starts the day with a PB & J sandwich and a serious mug of coffee

Packing up my fine vehicle

My running has not quite gotten off the ground after my hip surgery in June '07. Each time I try, my knee and hip hurt. More rehab needed. Doctor said it'd be ~year before I could expect to run. I wanted to interpret that as "next year" so on January 1 I did my first run... but my joints and muscles clearly needed much more rehab. I've been doing a lot of weights to help bring it back, but I was not ready for road racing. So, for me it was another swim, followed by photographing Rick's race.

We biked down from the park entrance to the race. Ferrell gets his race number and a spare swim cap.

The first wave - the collegiate team division - goes off at 8am

My swim training has been spotty at best this season, due to many factors but mostly just being very busy with Cabrillo work. It showed. Whereas last season I had made a good go at staying just behind Rick in the water, this race I was a full 3 minutes behind. Going anaerobic after a jackrabbit start didn't help, but basically I felt good and thought I had a good swim, so I was disappointed to see the numbers. 27:35 for my swim, while Rick got out at 24 minutes. But good for my own division... missed top 10 by just a few seconds.

Shirt looks a little plump. It's that wetsuit, I swear!

That's better... my swim was 27:35 and JUST missed being in the top 10 in my division. 11th out of 46 still sounds good to me.

Go Mom!

I had to elbow my way in to secure a good place at the bike-in and wait for Ferrell.

Cal Poly college team did well

Ferrell comes in off the bike - looking focused, strong, and in command of his race

Racing requires mental strength - Rick is clearly honed.

Rack that bike, Rick.... Rick?

Hmm. Maybe my stuff's over this way....

Bike eventually racked, and Ferrell heads out.


Rick dogged the division leader all the way on the run

Pete Kain finishes well ahead of the rest of his age group

A finisher picks up his daughter before crossing the line - I like those moments!

Rick ran flat out at the finish, in his bid for 1st place

the man is spent...


Our two heroes. Yes, that's my paper windbreaker circa 1987.

Fred, Santa Barbara Tri Club ex-prez, kept one step ahead of Rick during a tough run, right to the finish. Rick offered congratulations for motivating his best possible race

Rick's 2nd place division award came at the very end of the awards ceremony, which was delayed by 2 hours by various snafu's. Few people remained to cheer and so...

...OK, we're outta here.

Rick and I had been eating healthy and proud of it... but someone let slip that on long road trips, he'd been known to stop for a fast-food chocolate malt. Well, suddenly that's all we could talk about. I just happened to know of a Burger King in King City and all pretense at healthy foods now blown, we drove straight to it and pigged out on cheese burgers and chocolate malts.

Congratulations, Ferrell, on an excellent race and helping orchestrate a throughly enjoyable weekend.