Ray's Blog

Sunday, February 26, 2006

2005 May 21: Auburn International Triathlon

Brad Kearns's "World's Toughest Half" was re-christened the "Auburn International Triathlon" in 2005 (plus the course was modified a bit). This event was great in 2004, so I had long been looking forward to it in 2005. Misha joined me on this venture for his first long-course triathlon, too; he would have driven up with me and Alex, except that he had to head back to the Bay Area after the race (Alex and I went up to Tahoe) to party hearty.

A day or two before the race, we learned that the triathlon was being modified into a duathlon. Apparently, late-season snow melt had overwhelmed the swim venue, filling it with debris and making it incredibly cold. Swimming was out! To space the racers out a bit (thereby avoiding an accident-prone bike start en masse, the swim was replaced with a short (5K?) run. I was philosophical and unperturbed by the substitution (I probably said my usual "It's the circle of life" line--possibly many times-- and of course I knew that replacing the swim by a run could actually only help my ranking). Misha was a bit bummed, since this was going to be his first long-course triathlon, but what can you do? It truly is the circle of life.

The 5K out-and-back run was a good warmup. We ran down down down into a canyon, turned around a pylon or something, and then of course had to run up up up. I tried not to work too hard, since I had never before run before biking, and I didn't want to have any unpleasant surprises. I came back into the transition area plenty happy, hopped on my bike, and headed out for the great unknown.

Oops...I once more let my website get way out of date with a half-baked trip report, so I have little other than very vague memories to contribute for the rest of the ride. To sum things up, the bike ride was nice, although I did not finish it with enough juice leftover to run a hilly 13.1 miles! So I ran some, I walked some, and I eventually finished. A great day's work, with terrific views, and a bit of inspiration to train harder for the 2006 race. Results here.

Alex took a bunch of pictures of the event.

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