Solana Beach Tri Weekend

Last weekend I headed down solo to the San Diego area for a little SoCal weekend, some time with my teammates, a sprint race, and to say hi to friends.  It was a 4-day whirlwind and I wished I'd stayed longer... I've already told Jason that next year we'll be going for a longer holiday.

I packed really light... if taking a bike qualifies
as packing light!

I actually got the Scicon bag into the trunk of my rental car.
Took me a bit of wrestling at the airport, but once I had it
figured out, it was no problem.  I was being cheap and didn't
want to rent an SUV, and turns out I didn't need to.  Now if Jason
had come and we'd had 2 bikes....

Friday night happy hour at Kristin Mayer's (creative genius behind
Betty Designs - far left) house.  Hope Jenni, Misty & I didn't overstay
our welcome, it was later than I realized when I left!

Sunday was the Solana Beach sprint tri, which several Betty teammates signed up for, but only 3 of us ended up racing, and superstar Julianne was there to cheer us on.  It was a short, but really fun, race - ocean swim with a surf entry & exit , 2-lap bike along the coast, and 2-lap run.  I knew so many people there, and met several others that morning, that it really did feel like I was racing at home with friends.  I'm so glad for connections I've made through Betty Designs, and through my local friend Heidi as I felt a part of the Groove Tri family that weekend too!

I was 2nd out of the water in my age group.  The swim ended with a heinous,
long run up a ramp and down a block into transition.  Kristin said we
had to run the whole thing, so I did... and I can't believe no one passed
me there.  I actually had one of the fastest T1 times in my AG,
I did not see that coming with the amount of running in there!
(Thanks Julianne for the encouragement and pics!)

Friends Heidi & Matt biked to the race to watch,
and Heidi got some good photos & this video of me riding by.

When I put my bike together when I arrived in San Diego, my rear shifter wasn't working properly - it wouldn't shift into all the gears.  I took it to a bike shop, they didn't have the same shifter in stock to replace it with, and couldn't fix it, so we "fixed" it by setting it to shift smoothly into only a few gears.  The race was flat along the PCH so I figured that would be ok, and hoped it would hold for the race.  It wasn't that big of a deal, I missed having a couple of the gears but it wouldn't have made a difference overall.  Had it been a longer race, I definitely would have taken the time to chase down a new shifter.

Running past Heidi & Matt

Seriously, I had A LOT of fun at this race! I came
off the bike in 3rd, and finished up in 8th.
Not bad, as there are a lot of fast women in that area!
Julianne was such fun and was all over the course - we'd just
met that morning and became fast friends.

Heidi and I rode along the coast the next day.
Always one of my favourite routes.

My last night there, I went traditional touristy and went to
Mission Beach to watch the sunset, capped off by wandering around
Belmont amusement park.

I'm already looking forward to my time there next year!

Team Every Man Jack in Whistler

We headed up to Whistler a couple of weeks ago; Jason decided to race the 70.3 and of course we both wanted to cheer for friends racing Ironman.  Jason had several of his EMJ teammates racing as well, and they pretty much dominated both the half and the full.

Watching Team Every Man Jack, it seemed like they were putting on a clinic on how to race triathlon.  Each guy executed their race perfectly, and the best part there was no hint of arrogance or attitude from any one of them.  I've watched a lot of elite triathletes over the past couple of decades, and these guys are first class all the way.  Hard working, talented, and awesome human beings.

Some of the 70.3 guys before the start.

John from Team EMJ was first out of the water...
and then the rest came rapid-fire following him.

Jason on the run around Lost Lake.

Ryan flying.

Jason won his age group.  A bit of redemption
from Vineman 70.3 two weeks prior.

The best part - they're all so supportive of each other
and other athletes on the course.  Chapeau.

For some reason this was the only
photo that came out of the EMJ after-party!