19 years ago, I did the first Skippy's Triathlon. Somehow, it fell out of my mental list of races to think about. Still is, but 2 days before, Dave Delucchi reminded me about this race and it fit into my plans - I am considering the Wildflower Olympic Distance Triathlon in May and am worried about downhill running on hard surfaces. This race would allow me to do a 5 mile very hilly race and be able to do the downhill also on gravel or grass if necessary.

The bike course belonged in a mini X-terra, especially with the soggy overgrown vegetation. All effort went into overcoming rolling resistance instead of forward power.

Racer #1, baby!

Skippy (yellow cap) instructs the troops. That's local tri gadfly Ken Hales on the right doing the quad stretch.

Lane 1; me and Ken.


Except for us, it's all strapping young guys. Do we have the right stuff? (hint: 2nd place went to the guy on the right) So anyway, if I weren't so busy posing, I'd have gotten my goggles on in time.

The swim went OK, except my goggles didn't get on right and I only saw a waterfilled view. Still managed to beat half the "kids" out of the water. Nice! But before the end of the first bike lap, they'd caught me. The bike course was insane - biking through piles of ancient oak leaves a foot deep, through virgin wet weeds and soggy bog, riding straight up muddy eroded channels, off rocky jumps. I was totally anaerobic by the end of the first lap. It was was an eye-opener. I'd called out my number to the desk on each bike lap (as instructed). I also called out when I first got on the bike and that had the desk figuring that I was a lap ahead of where I actually was. Nice to get cheers for a while, including a car of cheering young co-eds following the course. Well by lap 4 they'd apparently figured it out because instead of the desk guys shouting "yeah, you ARE #1", they were saying "keep it up, Rick". But it was all good and my bike splits were improving as I spent more time in the saddle, having figured things out. Then the run. Felt reasonably good doing the first 2.5 mile lap, but starting the second lap I felt my left hip area hurting.I figured it was muscles around the joint who'd run out of fuel, and kept going (slower!). And when the race was done...

swim: 17:40 transition 1: bike: transition #2: Run: Total: 2hr 24m


7th place! A top 10 finish!! - Oh....MY...GAWD!!!!!! (out of 8).

FIRST in my AGE GROUP!!!!!! (of 1)

And my award - an OFFICIAL UCSC banana!! (19c at TJ's)

Ken, always game for another tri for Taco Bell!

Finished the day with a trip to Mt. Diablo with Viktoria for photography, adventuring, and science - all good!

PS - the next morning at 3am I awoke with great pain in my hip, and spent the next 6 hours nervously anxious about possible damage to my new metal hip... but Xrays were good and after a solid day of ice packs, I'm good as new. Tendonitis?