Saturday, August 13, 2005

Dateline, Soccoro - The Chili Harvest Triathlon

I started my new year of teaching Friday. I've got some good kids, I think, this year. 90-some-odd wiggling 8th-graders in various stages of maturity and self-consciousness. My first period class is the Honors students. They are very funny: all tense and serious and ready to learn on the first day of school. Out of all 90+ kiddos, I asked them all to fill out information about themselves, and one girl told me that she had done two triathlons and wanted to do more. Then the school day was over, and I went to pick up Husband and take off for Soccoro, NM, the 10th (I think) annual chili harvest triathlon.

I'd been sort of dreading being there in August. However, a cold front blew through that day and it rained and cooled things off.. I'm still speaking as a spectator, since my first race is 4 weeks away. It rained like crazy (a real "frog strangler", said the coordinators). For some reason, there seemed to be more tension, but maybe that was my imagination. It does seem that there are people who are new to triathloning who skip the pre-race meeting, don't read anything about rules, and then get penalties when their spouses and kids come into the transition area and help them out during the race, or they cross the center line, etc. Penalties are the worst that can happen, though, when crossing the center line. (shiver). Luckily for them about 99% of the people involved in this sport are super nice, super supportive, and super helpful! And we all have to start somewhere, right?

Soccoro is only an hour or so south of Albuquerque on I25. It's a small New Mexico city, a little old and rough-looking in spots, home to New Mexico Tech. Friday night, we were driving the bike route, but the street names didn't match the directions. Luckly, there were arrows. Bumpy, bumpy, bumpy. Water running over one part in the road. I think there was some anxiety about what tomorrow would bring, because it looked like it might drizzle all night. We grabbed an umbrella and walked from our hotel over to the Socorro Springs Brewing Company, which had what appeared to be tons of different kinds of beer - I'm not a beer drinker, so I'm just going from the menu - wood-fired quisine, and an espresso bar. Frommers refers to it as a "little pocket of sophistication" in Socorro. Most of all, they had lots of pasta for the pre-race meal.

The next day, however, it had dried up some and they cleaned up the route. After the race, I took some pictures of the little-bits who ran in the children's tri. Very cute. I'll post them when they get developed. After I take them to Wal-Green's. Of course, I'll blur any baby faces so that everyone's safe. It was cute to see moms and dads in the kiddie transition area tying their shoes and giving them a good push as they took off on their bikes. They all got medals for finishing.

Favorite shirt there: "Triathlon Virgin. Be gentle" tied closely with an "Oscar the Grouch" cycling jersey worn by a guy whose name happens to be Oscar.
Dog count: 13. All on leashes, although it was rumored that there was a pit bull running loose. Some barking and fighting. I'm keeping track of this to prove my point that there is will be an increase in the number of dogs being taken out to public places.
Friendliness count: 100%. As usual!
Looking forward to trying this one next year!

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