Three Triís in Three Weeks

 

Hey, how about finishing the season with three in a row?

 

 

ďNo pictures! No pictures!Ē says the crew.

 

After the race

 

The crew parties at Owen Nolanís Britannia Arms in Monterey after the race.

 

How the locals roll

 

Mixing bottles before the race

 

 

 

This whole thing was started by two unrelated events.

 

First, since most Triís are road trips, we wanted one that was in a cool place and on a Saturday so we could hang out after and not worry about racing home so we could drink beer. Which lead me to schedule the Triathlon at Pacific Grove earlier in the year.

 

Second, after the Tri at PG, we were all feeling chipper and wondering what to do at the end of the year. So I looked at the calendar and saw the other two triathlons, but thought, ďOh no, thatís too much.Ē

 

Until I remembered an Interview with Georgie Hincapie earlier in the year. I think it was right after the tour of Flanders, the interviewer asked him if heíd be okay for Paris-Roubaix which was only a week later, to which Georgie responded, that he would basically just rest the entire week and then he should be fine. (Which he was, although no one told his bike, which freaked out on the cobbles and threw itsí own handlebars off sending George into a broken wrist on the side of the road.)

 

So I thought, whatís to lose, itís the end of the season, why not go for it? Theyíre only International distance after all.

 

It started off with a vacation in Pacific Grove/Monterey and ended with Hop Ottin IPAs on an Amtrak train.

 

Race Reports

 

Pacific Grove

 

The swim is a two lap dealio, that makes you get out of the water after the first and run around that famous rock whose name I canít remember, Stu?

 

The first thing most people notice about this course is the kelp crawl which some people call a swim. What is a kelpie crawl? Iím glad you asked, and I wish I had an in water picture.

 

The kelp forest which covers 75% of the PGTri swim is so thick that in places you have to crawl over it. Literally.

 

I mean, seriously, you literally crawl over the top of the water and the kelp.

 

Do you get freaked out at the start of Triís with all the people bunched together? Imagine that plus Kelp grabbing your arms and trying to hold you back.

 

This was the first time Iíve ever wondered if I could finish a swim after only two hundred yards.

 

Finishing the first lap usually makes me happy, but getting out of the water and running in a wetsuit over sand takes most of that away. I still managed to give Stu a good hello slap as I went by.

 

If all that wasnít enough, they timed the waves just wrong. The faster swimmers in my wave got to jump back into the water just behind the slower swimmers in the wave behind us. So we got to fight through the kelp with other people twice.

 

My suggestion? Start the waves closer together or farther apart. But then again, I have done no scientific analysis to determine which would be better.

 

The bike ride was really nice. Four loops. The first two loops I noticed how nice a ride it was, on the final loops I knew it well enough to know exactly what gear to be in and when, when to push it, when I could rest for a few.

 

ďThis course is very flatĒ is what everyone says. And itís true, until one misleading piece. The run consists of three loops. Run a mile to the Monterey bay aquarium and then back.

 

My first mile split was almost a minute faster then I expected, ďI rock!Ē I thought, this is great. And then on the way back to Lovers Point, aka, transition/start/finish, they make you turn left and run up a hill and back. Sure itís not a huge hill, but it negated the feelings of that first great mile since I realized that it wasnít a full mile. Which made me feel dejected on loop two before I got over it for loop three.

 

And then the race was over. Good times, good food afterward.

 

Tri For Real

I consider this race to be my local race as itís only 30 miles away from my house and itís in the beginner series that I began the sport with.

 

The Swim and bike are flat and easy. And thinking of flats. This year I got a flat and thought it would be fun to see how fast I could fix a flat on the side of a road during a race, so I took a split, 6:15 is the answer.

 

The run is funny as it goes over a course that Mark calls a four clover leaf. He also says that if you get lost, ďJust run around for 30 to 40 minutes, and then come back.Ē

 

 

Bethel Island

Bethel Island Tri is a really good international distance Triathlon. Mark does a great job with this one and keeps it really low key. I think there were only about 200-300 of us so congestion was not a problem.

 

The swim is fast as itís in a channel with no current or waves.

 

The bike is fairly technical for a flat ride as you have to do about 35 u-turns in narrow streets along with other turns to cover every street on Bethel Island. Itís usually very windy there, but since you get to keep changing directions itís hard to complain.

 

The Run is made up of two laps and is also quite fast as there are some really long straight sections on paved streets. (If only they could close them from cars.)

 

The run is also where I really felt the three triís in three weeks. Normally, the first mile of six is the warm up/stretch and then itís getting into a good pace and then putting the hammer down and going faster and then faster for the last two miles.

 

In this event it took me almost four miles of running to feel stretched out and good. You could say that the third triathlon was definitely the hardest. I did my best time at Bethel Island out of all the three and thatís harder to explain then youíd think. First off, the TriForReal is not a full international triathlon, so itís disqualified. It was faster then Wildflower earlier in the year, but thatís easy to explain, Wildflower has hills.

 

I just canít really explain how I was faster at bethel Island then Pacific Grove. Maybe the run wasnít as hard as I thought?

 

(editors note: there are a lot of possible reasons for this, however, dave did not look into any of them nor his splits.)

 

After the race was over I drove back to Alameda, dropped off my stuff, and then grabbed some Hop Otin IPA for a train ride to Sacramento for a soccer tournament my son was in.

 

Boy that was a fun train ride with my feet up on the chair in front of me, bohl hornin!

 

Triathlon at Pacific Grove

 

Tri for Real

 

Bethel Island Triathlon

Sorry, there are no pictures from Pleasanton or Bethel Island as there was no support crew and no photographers.

dave at calbeers dot com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

†††