The Four Horseman of the Triathlon Apocalypse ride again (or something like that). More fun from the Dave and Rick(s) annual adventure at Lake San Antonio. This year, I had to double-book this weekend, however. It's becoming an annual tradition to get together with friends from my UCLA Sierra Club days 30 years ago. The original plan for that adventure was exploring slot canyons in Utah - which would have had me skipping the triathlon altogether. However, the venue changed to being at Samual P. Taylor State Park for 4 days exploring Pt. Reyes National Seashore, and I was then able to then do both: Thur-Saturday morning with Dave Wyman and friends from UCLA, and then go for the triathlon. It all went well, and Saturday morning after breakfast I bade farewell to UCLA buddies and drove home, quickly downloaded my kayak, uploaded my bike, showered, repacked, and was off to Dave Delucchi's then to Rick's. Dan - Rick's usual challenger out on these races - this year joined our trip. For the drive down, Ferrell rode with Dan, and Dave rode with me.

Dave's race bike goes on the roof. Mine goes in the back. Might've been better the other way around, as it was pretty windy on the way down and the forks kept popping loose. The disc wheel was a good wind-catcher.

After grabbing burritos in King City, we arrive at the Fort and our accomodations. Now - who was tasked with bringing the bottle opener?

Hmmm. A rare oversight. But I save the day with a pair of pliers. Ferrell does battle with his bottle...

...still battling. Dave actually accidentally broke the top of his bottle off, but drank it anyway (carefully)- he's pretty tough

At sunset I went for a run up to the top of a local hill, and then later for a walk to watch this month's extra-close full moon rise over the Hacienda.

A good race starts with a good breakfast. I couldn't ID what Ferrell was eating, but I'm sure it was appropo. I can verify that his "Mr. Coffee" was along, again.

Stretching and self-portraiting...


Repacking the bikes...

And unpacking, at the top of Lynch Hill at the lake

Dan and Rick at race number pickup

Our race shirts - not bad!

Race bag in hand, I'm about to coast down to the bike transition area

Marked and ready

Rick and I ended up not far apart, conveniently opposite the outlet for the bike leg

The swim start for an early wave. Dave, Rick, Dan and I all took off with the males 50+ age group.

After my finish, I wander back up to watch other finishers come in.

My race got off to a rocky start - the swim start at Wildflower is always tough as it's a narrow long chute and there are way too many swimmers in the age 50+ start wave. We all get the same race starting time, but many don't enter the water until 30 or more seconds after the gun. The honor system is supposed to make sure the fast swimmers are up front. I'm a pretty decent swimmer in that age group, but not lead-pack fast, yet usually I do quite well starting at the front and quickly getting off to the side so I can swim w/o interference. This year, I again started on the side, but let by a dozen swimmers determined to start ahead of me on the left side. Someone muttered to those guys "'d better be fast!". My feelings exactly. Well, they weren't, and I was quickly pinned against the left shore weeds and rocks and dog paddling like mad. Before the first bouy, I was out of breath and doomed to a mediocre race. I was fully 6-7 minutes before I could get into an aerobic rhythm and I started picking people off, but it was too late for a good swim. Next year, I'll try the dock side, and make SURE I'm on the front line, and in aerobic mode at the gun. Dan got pinned too - against the dock, and he's an excellent swimmer who also had a sub-standard swim this time. To be fair, my swim training has also been off, since most of the past year I've had one or both rotator cuffs chronically inflamed and just have not been able to swim with the intensity I did in previous years. Bummer, as my only opportunity to shine at triathlons is the swim.

Here are some race photos grabbed by the Brightroom photographers out on the course...


My bike leg was OK, but I was worried about the run as my left psoas is constantly a variable. I ended up being too conservative, and lost 4 minutes off last year's 40 km bike time. The good news was I had plenty of reserve left when the run came, and I felt strong and went fast.

and here's a video of my finish


Under 1:02 for the 10K (fast, for my post-surgery running) and 8 min faster than last year. Overall, I was 2 minutes faster than last year. With better mental prep I could have chopped another 2-3 minutes off that I believe. Losing the swim to both Dave and Rick (not happened in many years now) motivated me to get this shoulder thing finally solved and get back to stronger swim workouts.

Pre-burritos, and pre-awards ceremony. John Anderson was at the race too, broken arm and all, watching his wife race

swapping stories while we inhale our burritos, brings smiles

Dan and I made poor choices in our swims - and we both got pinned against opposite sides of the narrow chute. Dave did well in the water, beating me for the first time in years. Here, giving a little advise to Dan (who's a pretty good swimmer, actually)

Party over. Time to grab our stuff out of the transition area and schlep it up to the grass where we'll wait for the awards ceremony.

We celebrated victory in de feet! (sorry). I liked my new Brooks Pure Flow racers, minimal lightweight shoes with only a 4mm offset . They served me well in their first competition.


For his 3rd place finish, Dave scores a bottle of wine as well as the very cool medal

Congratulations to our winners.

Team Awesome - we did well!

Thanks Dave, Rick, and Dan... for another memorable race weekend. Can't wait till next year. And congratulations on the outstanding effort and podium hardware!