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Posted by on Aug 19, 2014 in Blog |

Tri Santa Cruz

Last Sunday I lined up at a race in Santa Cruz. They were offering a small prize purse and I figured it was a great way to get in a good workout and hopefully win some prize money. Truth be told, the paycheck I wanted to earn was first place.

Swim Start. Luckily, they moved the fence out of the way.
They set the buoys and all of us watching from the beach knew the course was going to be a bit short.  We ran into the water and started swimming. I did not have the greatest first loop and felt a bit blah. I was just behind the first woman when we ran up on the beach. Honestly, I was surprised about that. It was one of those moments where I was sure I was way behind everyone.
Dancing around the buoy on the beach. I almost bit it slipping on kelp.
Getting out, running on the beach, and then diving back in always makes my arms burn quite a bit. This feeling usually goes away relatively quickly so I kept telling myself it was going to stop shortly and continued swimming hard.
My dad has captioned this picture “scary shoulders.”
I exited the swim just behind the women’s leader and caught up with her as we got to transition after running 1/3 of mile from the beach. When I take off my wetsuit I often get the left leg stuck around my ankle but I had made sure to put the timing chip under the wetsuit and it made removal much easier! Clasping my helmet strap proved to be a little more difficult and took me five tries but I got it done. I hopped on the bike and moved into first place determined to put time into those behind me. The course was a four loop course. It was flat and straight except for a few slightly technical turns as we rode along the coast on West Cliff Drive.
4 loops on the bike meant some work on cornering. I still could use some improvement.

I came to a right turn on the far end of the course during the first loop and while I was fairly certain I was supposed to turn right I questioned myself as I approached the intersection. I looked at the cop standing there, slowed down a bit and asked if I was supposed to turn. She watched me go by and then screamed “it’s not my job to tell you that.” Ummm..okay, but you are standing there in an official capacity and have seen a few other dudes make the turn….

I stopped quickly, went back around the median and continued riding. I lost my lead for :10 while trying to get clipped in but then I got rolling again and moved back into the lead. I quickly forgot about this little mishap and was happy I realized my mistake and only lost a small amount of time. Plus, now I knew the course for the final three loops.

The course was pretty clear the second loop and then started to get more crowded the final two times around. I rode hard but was also conscious of what was going on around me. I did want to screw anyone else up or do something stupid and be unable to finish the race.

It is always nice to stand on the top step.
I made it to the run with a lead and ran out to the turnaround at a hard, but controlled, effort. I still had a lead so I continued with my pace and crossed the line in first place. I had a fun morning racing in Santa Cruz! It was truly an enjoyable way to get in a solid effort and earn a paycheck. Next up is Pacific Grove. A little (well, maybe a lot of) kelp and draft legal action–should be fun and challenging.