This would be my first full triathlon of the season, and first full Wildflower triathlon since my hip saga began 14 years ago. The plan was for me to drive my trusty RAV4, stop in King City to our usual Mex place to grab some burritos, then continue on to Fort Hunter-Liggett and stay at the base visitor's apartments, relax, get some sleep, and get up early to drive the last 30 miles to Lake San Antonio.

First stop was Dave's.

With wheels on the roof, we could comfortably (sort of) get 3 in my sporty RAV4.

The two Ricks - Packed up at Ferrell's and ready for another Wildflower Adventure. This would be Ferrell's 19th Wildflower triathlon - pretty impressive!

At the Fort Hunter-Liggett base housing. Arrival safe and sound, and armed to the teeth with burritos!

Hey. Where's my second burrito? Doggone that Ferrell! (he inhaled it)

At King City's Safeway, Rick got one more essential for a good carbo-loaded pre-race dinner...


...Possibly explaining why Dave and Rick are all smiles.

Studying the course map.

Some sort of misunderstanding about a 2nd roll-out bed.... so Rick and Dave end up getting to know each other better than planned. And I get the lumpy single roll-out.


Packing transition bags after a toss'n'turn night of sleep

My messy transition bag. Note the essential banana.

It was a gloriously perfect race day morning.

Rick's new Cannondale, w/o a scratch. Yet.

At the race check in; numbers, swim caps, swag bag.... the usual

The race volunteers are always terrific at the Wildflower

Racing together for 25 years - our loyal crew...

Delucchi lent me an old oversized shoe to help me deal with my swollen toe - fractured 10 days ealier. Note the artistic superposition of the pavement crack across my cracked toe.

Getting marked

Relax, Rick; this won't hurt a bit

Before the race, it's time for...


The 40-45 age group goes off

Delucchi, ready

Race is done - We're ready for some Exciting burrito's all around

These shots are from BrightPoint - official photographers, starting from thumbnails so resolution isn't great

Get the watch on it, Rick


It was a 1.5k standard loop swim, 40k bike with 2220 ft of climbing, and 6.2 mile run which started with small rollers and then went uphil for the rest of the race, except for the final km which was steep down Lynch Hill.

No camera during the race. Just as well - I suffered. Big time!I started with a pretty good swim. There was a group of about 8 guys who broke fast to the front and weren't going to be overtaken, a few others who passed me during the first couple of bouys, but I passed them back after catching my stride. The bike was so-so, and my run was tough. That broken toe I knew was going to be an issue. Fortunately it seems the body has a limit to long-felt pain and tends to numb it out mentally when it goes on too long. But that wouldn't make me go faster. The run course is almost all uphill for 5 km, and then the last kilometer is all steeply downhill. That last km down Beach hill is always painful, but triply so today, with that toe. Don't think I've ever suffered as much in a race as during that last km. I was able to sprint in, despite (or because I was totally endorphined).

Post-race protein repleneshment...

...we take...

...very seriously!

Re-filled with carbs and beer, we're all smiles once again.


The party's over. Exit straight ahead.

YouTube of our finish line effort (I'm the guy in black and red, Ferrell's in blue and white, Dave's in white): Nolthenius, Ferrell, Delucchi . Below are the times we posted. "place" is within our 5yr age groups; Dave 45-49, Rick 50-54, me 55-59.

  Swim Place T1 Bike Place T2 Run Place Total Place Overall Place
Dave Delucchi 26:36 40th/73 2:26 1:16:03 13th/110 1:32 43:20 7th/110 2:29:57 11th/110 95th
Rick Ferrell 26:07 22nd/73 3:37 1:17:07 5th/73 1:40 45:38 4th/73 2:34:09 6th/73 123rd
Rick Nolthenius 25:22 8th/37 5:28 1:46:20 26th/37 2:26 1:10:40 25th/37 3:30:16 23rd/37 1170th

So what's the take-away from this matrix? Rick and Dave are outstanding athletes, for one. and for another, I clearly can work on those transition times. Granted the broken toe didn't help. But I'm giving away ~3 minutes unnecessarily.