Saturday, August 15, 2009

A backwards post for a mixed up triathlon: Los Alamos Sprint Triathlon 2009

So, after the the triathlon I stood in a long line where they had post-race donuts, bagels, cream cheese, cheeses, and home-made potato chips. Twice.

My diet guardian angel lighted gently on my shoulder. She looks and sounds, a lot like Glenda the Witch of the North. She said very sweetly, Oh, but you know sweetie this isn't diet food, but I just slapped that bitch away.

I checked before we left for coffee, and found out that I got 2nd place Athena. I don't feel too bad about that because the 1st place Athena was an ex-pro cyclist.


The run was disappointing. Not because it wasn't well marked, it was. Not because it was hot, because it wasn't; the swim had made me nice and cool and I enjoyed the mountain air and piney scent. There were cars all over the road, which was surprising since it was listed as a "closed course". Most of the volunteers were doing their best to direct traffice with the exception of one volunteer at the corner of 8th street who stood, motionless, reading a book. She was doing that on my way out. She was doing that on my way back. The rest, though, were working hard.

No, what was disappointing was that on the way out, I didn't realize it was slightly downhill. If I had, I might have picked it up a little. When I'm above 7000 feet, though, it all feels hard to me. It was the longest 5k I've ever done, and when I finally turned around, I realized that it was uphill most of the way back. THAT was disappointing. No idea what my time was. I didn't wear a watch. I didn't care; I just jogged it out.

I came into the finish line, which was slightly uphill, to find that I'd taken nearly TWO HOURS to complete this triathlon. Holy hell, that was hard!


The run to the swim from the bike, I swear, had to be a quarter mile long. The swim, in the middle, was nice, but I could feel my slowness. More people from later waves passed me in the water. I got out of the pool, and headed to the T2 transition area, which wasn't on the same sided as the T1 transition area. I wiped off my feet, took off my goggles, put on my hat, and shoes, and headed out.


I was a bit nervous about the mass bike start, but they did it in waves. I was in the first wave, charming referred to, by Tina, as the "geriatric wave," and it had its good points and bad points.
BAD: when you're in the first
wave, you get passed. A LOT.
GOOD: if it's an out-and-back course, as this one was, you can see all the people behind you and pretend that they weren't in later waves; you just rock that much.

Now, I didn't travel all the way to Los Alamos, New Mexico, with that thought that this wasn't going to be hilly. I knew what I was getting into, alright. The way out was mostly uphill, or felt like it. Then it was rollers for a while heading gently down, and then you climbed up after the turnaround, and came screaming back downhill. Which sounds like fun. Unless you've seen unexpected potholes, haven't driven the course, and don't know what to expect. In any case, on the uphill parts, being as it was so high up in elevation, I was moving incredibly slow. So slow, in fact, that I got off my bike at one point to see what was wrong with it. Nope, that was allllll me, you betcha. I worked very hard to pass a girl on a mountain bike, becuase I can't stand being chicked by racewalkers or mountain bikers, but it was a moot point since she passed me easily on the run. Meh. Whatever.

Well-organized, and the ONLY RACE IN TWO YEARS THAT ACTUALLY WEIGHED ITS ATHENAS AND CLYDESDALES! Yes, when I went to step on the scale, instead of actually weighing you (it was a balance scale) the woman set the scale to 150 pounds, and then if you were heavier, it was obvious when the metal arm tipped over and hit the other side. She set it for me. I stepped on it. CLANK!! She set it for 200, for Sweet Baboo, and he stepped on it. CLANK!! and then she checked us off.

I wasn't sure what to think about the format: the race, supposedly the oldest triathlon in North American, was bike-swim-run and had always been that way. No reason to change it.


I got up at 4 am this morning to drive to Los Alamos with Sweet Baboo for the 35th annual Los Alamos Triathlon.



  1. Oh well. These days finish eventually, and at least you got bling. And food

  2. I'd have smacked that angel upside the head, too!

    Well done!

  3. Good for you! Those angels don't know when to just let you be sometimes.

  4. Love the report. Great job on getting it done.

  5. Great post! A few doughnuts and bagels are well deserved for a job well done! I've never done a tri but I would love to someday! *highfive*

  6. Love your race reports !


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