It was amazing.
After dire predictions of huge storms threatening to cancel the swim we awoke to this beautiful morning…
This may be the calmest I’ve ever seen San Francisco Bay. Certainly the calmest swim conditions, in my somewhat limited experience.
I got to do the race with Charisa Wernick who is not only a pro who placed 6th in this crazy fast race but a super nice person who made my first Alcatraz experience wonderfully smooth.
We boarded this boat:
And I sat next to this guy – Andy Potts. Now 6 time winner of the race. My plan? Follow him. Right. That would require swimming really really fast. Which I’m closer to doing than ever with my awesome Zoot Prophet wetsuit! Here he is exiting the water and on the run.
Thanks to all my prep work with the awesome coaching team of Water World Swim I made the crossing in record time (for me). And I enjoyed the swim! Felt 100% comfortable the whole time and hit the beach right on target.
See the zig-zag pattern of the swimmers? That’s one seriously strong current right before we reached shore. For a few minutes there at the end I felt like I was never going to break through that bad boy.
After stripping off the wetsuit I finally located my transition bag with shoes for the half mile run to my bike. Then I saw Bert and smiled for the first time! He tracked me the whole race which took a long time – 4.5 hours – and took his usual fabulous photos.
From there I hit the bike course. Hilly as predicted. Fun too. Pretty much went exactly as my trial ride the weekend before though the legs were definitely more tired. My friend Feyna and her son Freddie were out at Sea Cliff to say hi as I cruised by which was a nice pick-me-up.
The run was hard but then I knew it would be. Not enough training. Thank goodness I’d done the course the weekend before with Harriet so I didn’t get discouraged. That’s me in the green top. I found a couple guys who had my stride 🙂
A bit further along I hit the Sports Basement aid station staffed by my awesome friend Clair. She had the biggest grin on her face which just made my day. Clair’s mom died suddenly a few weeks ago so a big hug was in order. Thanks for being you Clair!
I just had to show you what real running looks like. My running is downright poky compared to Charisa’s blistering pace:
The run is tough but that’s what makes it fun. Running along the cliffs with sweeping ocean views. Running through a forest trail. Running up and down World War II bunkers. Running on the beach – deep sand on the way out and packed sand on the way back. Running up a sand ladder.
And then the end was in sight. Coming down the chute I had very little left in the tank but the cheering crowds made me smile…
An overwhelming sense of euphoria as I crossed the finish line.
I do these things for the bling. Well, not really but they are nice to have. And in my delerium of crossing the finish line I realized I didn’t have a medal around my neck.
So I went back to ask. They ran out. Promised to mail me one.
Charisa, being the coolest person ever, gave me hers. That’s a true friend.