On September 30th I raced the Mission Bay Triathlon near Sea World in San Diego. This was the 13th time I have done this race, but the 1st time in its new location at Ventura Cove. 2 years ago I volunteered at this race to be a Swim Buddy. Some of the local races that are especially beginner friendly offer swim buddies to help the people who are deathly afraid of open water swimming. It felt great to give back like that 2 years ago, but I wanted to race this year.
The 1K (0.62 miles) swim course was in Ventura Cove. The water temperature was in the high 60’s so we could wear wetsuits. I had a fair swim as I came out of the water in 15:19, good for 4th place.
The 38K (23.6 miles) bike course was horrible. 90% of the field should have been disqualified and that includes me. The course was 4 loops of 9.5K each. Each loop began and ended on West Mission Bay Drive where there was a 250 meter no passing zone in each direction. That is 8 no passing zones that added up to 1K during the entire bike course. That is not a race! It was an accident waiting to happen as really fast cyclists were trying to co-exist with a bunch of beginners on a very narrow piece of road. In defense of the race director, the city was doing some road construction and that was the cause of the narrow road that was made available to the race. I was very patient and nice to people in the no passing zone, but I did pass a few people when I thought it was safe. As far as I know there were no crashes in the no passing zone. My bike split was 1:07:14 which was 4th best and it kept me in 4th place. Yes, the bike course was a disappointment, but I don’t think it had any impact on my final finishing place.
The 9K (5.6 miles) pancake flat run was 2 loops. Each loop took us along the boardwalk next to the beach and the finish was near the roller coaster. I was pleasantly distracted by the sight of the women playing beach volleyball and some other people who contributed the smell of pot smoke in the air. There was a lot going on at 8am on a Sunday morning! I had the fastest run on the day as my split was 33:40. I finished in 1:59:55 to place 3rd out of 13 men in the 55-59 age group. 1st and 2nd place went to my friends Andy Seitz and Troy Cundari, respectively. I was 16th out of 268 overall finishers.
To see my pictures, click on this link: https://photos.endurancesportsphoto.com/f177309155?eq=1279
I was so disappointed by the bike course that I decided not to stay for the Awards. Instead, I drove up to my church in Carlsbad (Daybreak Church) and enjoyed the Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast. I organize the Parking Team and was initially saddened that the church picked the same day as my race for this breakfast. But it all worked out. Nothing puts a smile on my face like free food!
Living the life…