Angels Camp triathlon 2007
This is our third annual trip to Angels Camp for a short, fun triathlon. Last year, Heather and her brother did the race and I was a spectator because I was having trouble with my back. This year I was the only one in the family racing. Angels Camp is about a 2 1/2 hour drive from the Bay Area in the Sierra Foothills. There’s nothing like getting up on a Saturday morning at 4:30AM to drive to a race! 🙂 This year Heather and I carpooled with Conrad and his friend Kevin. At 5 in the morning there is little traffic, so we made good time (except for all the bathroom stops for Dave) This is one of my favorite races (thanks to Conrad for telling us about it).
The race is short, it’s a very low key race…less than 100 participants, well organized and great food after the race! After getting all the usual stuff together in the transition area, I grabbed my wet-suit and headed down the long boat ramp to the water for the beginning of the race. Mark, the race organizer gave an entertaining pre-race talk about how the first 5 runners would have to make sure to scare all the rattlesnakes off the trail for the rest of the runners. After that, with little fanfare, the race started…I don’t think there was even a gun, just 3, 2, 1…go I forgot to mention yet another reason I like this race, only a 1000 yard swim! I actually felt pretty good on the swim and I came out in the top 10 and not to far down from the leaders. I passed a few more people in the transition area and headed out onto the bike in about 5th place. The bike is 16 miles long, but has a one nasty hill about 3/4 of a mile long. You get about 10 minutes to warm-up on the bike before you hit the hill. During that 10 minutes, 4 people passed me on the bike…and I knew everyone of them. The last to pass me was Kevin Kennedy. He always plays catchup after the swim, but he’s such a great cyclist that it usually works out for him. After the hill I manage to get into a rhythm and pretty much maintained the gap on everyone that had passed me (except for Kevin). Coming back into transition I could see the leaders heading up the hill to start the run. It’s pretty easy to tell where everyone is as you come back in on the bike.
The run is a fun single track trail. The hard part is in the beginning, you have to run up a pretty decent hill to get on to the ridge trail. If you can recover from that initial hill, things get better. I passed a few people on the run and ended up coming in 6th overall and 1st in my age group.
After the race, Conrad and I decided to ride our bikes some more, so we rode 6 miles into Angels Camp for the post race barbecue. The barbecue was great as usual but we were all anxiously awaiting our trip to Blondie’s Frosty. Heather said that was her main motivation for coming along to the race! We were in for a big surprise…
Blondie’s closed sometime in the last year. The big sign was even torn down. The picture to the left is from last years trip. We improvised and stopped at Coldstone on the way home, but it just wasn’t quite the same as Blondie’s. Nevertheless, I will probably still be back next year for the race.