Santa Cruz Sentinel Triathlon
One year after my last triathlon I headed back to one of my favorite races, Santa Cruz Sentinel. If it weren’t for the chilly water I would call it the perfect olympic distance course. Of course Heather made the water look inviting in her early dawn picture.
We spent a relaxing Saturday evening in Santa Cruz visiting our friend Gregg. Early Sunday morning we headed over the the Santa Cruz pier for the race.
I had absolutely no expectations since my season had been completely disrupted by a back flare up. I just wanted to do a race this year.
The swim: cold, but not as cold as last year. Just before our wave was supposed to start a sea lion swam in front of the starting line, about 50ft from the beach and seemed to be saying “what are all you people doing in my swimming pool”. The swim itself was “non confrontational”. Most people took a wider line around the pier, while I headed strait for the edge of the pier. It must have helped because I didn’t feel like I was in great swimming shape, but my time was pretty decent.
The bike: The bike course is up the Pacific Coast Highway and back. It’s a great rolling course except for a tiny side road section towards the end which is extremely bumpy. I’m hoping it will get paved one of these years. On the way out to the turnaround I started being surrounded by a group of riders. Every time they would pass I would back off and give them distance so I wasn’t drafting. It turns out they weren’t doing the same. After the race, Steve Chavez told me they were drafting off me the entire way out. Lucklily on the way back into town they were drafting off of Steve and the officials were right beside them on the motorcyle the entire time. I was happy to see that all the folks drafting were penalized in the final results.
The run: I really hadn’t done much running in preparation for the race except for the famous “Thursday night smackdown run”. My run was slower than last year, but partly because somehow the officials managed to make the run a 1/2 mile long….hard to figure out how that’s possible when the race is the same year after year!!!
All in all it was a great day and it was definitely great to be out there. We saw lots of friends throughout the race and Heather had fun taking pictures and cheering.
Of course I have to plug my new triathlon website. Below is a graph of my age group progress through the race. The entire summary of my race can be found here