Wildflower Triathlon. When you talk about Wildflower you talk about hallowed ground. One of THE great triathlons of all time. Sure it’s a great race, but it’s also a logistical pain in the ass. You are in the middle of nowhere. Literally ~ 50 miles from the nearest hospital. Which, btw, is in Templeton, not that I would know that normally. But now I do. Why? Because I’m a great, good Samaritan.
So onto the race. It’s no secret that I’ve not really been training much nor did I really care if I raced or made the trip. Being the Genius I am, I racked my bike the night before. Even though the rules aren’t 100% clear on if you can or can’t. If you ask that is the best way to get a no. If you’ve already done something, well then people tend to figure out how to make it work. Anyway, wet suit on, ready to go, warmed up the micro-climate in my wet suit, around my feet, swam a minute or two and lined up in the front. Hey I may not be training much but I’m still a better swimmer then 90% of all triathletes. Gun goes off, a few guys get away from me. There is a line of guys on my feet. All of them except one guy defected to the feet of the guy to my right. Bad decision dudes. I’ve been doing this a long time and I’ve got some skills. So the drag race to the far turn buoy begins. I slowly, and I mean slowly eek out about a body length and a half lead on that train. It’s like two great cycling teams setting up their sprinters and I’m the lead out guy (probably not the position you want to be in when you are only 15min into a 4.5+ hour race). As we get closer to the turn I start looking around and doing some math. Those suckers to the right never see it coming. Since they are slightly behind me, and off to my right and there is a group of people from a slower wave in front which I should catch just before the turn and they will be between me and the other guys, a good idea pops into my head. An idea of pure, evil genius. I start angling into the turn and herd the wave before towards the apex of the turn. The slower swimmers, the guys from my wave and the buoy all converge in one spot and all those bodies and buoy just won’t fit. Either they have to stop swimming or the buoy has to start swimming. The guy on my feet, who I hope appreciates my move of pure genius, treachery and superior swimming skills, and I slide right on by. My little maneuver got us about a :20 gap on those guys. So lets see, I can swim harder or swim smarter? Hmmmm? Give me smarter every time.
The guy on my feet pulls on through, I push the pace a bit to make sure he keeps it honest then slip onto his feet. Damn right he should be paying me back! We exit the water, get to the bikes, I hop on my more or less reliable Specialized and roll out of transition. About 2 minutes into the race I realize I’ve got about 50psi in my front tire. Hallelujah! Day done, no flat kit and I’m out of the race! Best freaking news I heard all weekend.
Walked back to transition packed up and that was that. End of race, beginning of the beer drinking, after a side trip to Templeton to take someone to the hospital of course.