Saturday, August 15, 2009

STP and CDT 2009

“It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you don’t stop”- Confucius

That’s Seattle to Portland in one day (late entry-July 11, 2009) and 2nd annual Central District Triathlon (Aug 15, 2009).

“I have the sickness” said Guth, about 3 days after STP. That is how long it took him to forget any discomfort related to riding 204 miles in 1 day and actually start thinking about doing the same thing next year, only faster. For me that period is about 30 seconds (

Didn’t know if I could finish STP in one day, only 1 week after my bike crash. Still had a purple 3rd love handle and couldn’t lift my left arm above my shoulder. Hadn’t done a shred of exercise all week, still got short of breath just walking down the hall or trying to get out of bed. But after months of mental preparation and pacelining, no possibility of backing down.

5/7 of the team checked into Casa Safeway night before. Plan is to get out the door to meet the Canadian contingent at 4:40 AM so we can get to the U ready to start by 5.

Team STP’s first official event in team jerseys
L to R: Kadlec, RAD, Spiz, Gerald, Crash, Guth, C. de Ventoux.
High quality and artistic photos from Spiz’s dad, a professional photographer.
Here is the start in B/W and in Sepia, at the buttcrack of dawn.
More photos available on

Rarin’ to go, but first Guth had to fix a flat on his rental from Montlake Cycle. Then got about 2 miles then… stop for the bridge.

Finally on our way, me huffin and puffin, feeling every pothole in my ribs, struggling just to go fast enough to draft off the boyz. Thankfully, Team BRS philosophy was the inverse of real cycling teams, i.e. the team captain slowing down to support the lanterne rouge, rather than the slow and steady (me) being the domestique. Fairly early on my jersey developed a fascinating Rorscharch pattern of salt stain. Must say, the jerseys caused some murmurs. "BikeRunSwing?" no, SWIG. why swig? because we don't waste our time swimming.

Being part of Team Parkinson’s meant gourmet food stops (spanikopita anyone?) and chatting with the illustrious Bill Bell of the NWPF.

Reached Centralia fairly fresh, guess the adrenaline was kicking in. . The 2nd half was a whole lot longer. Rejoined the Canadians for 2nd half, lot of stops, would eat 1000 calories only to be hungry 2 hours later. Crash & Ventoux peeled off 50 miles from the end, having planned to do it in 2 days. Another stop in the middle of a road just so Guth could tweet that his butt was sore. The last 20 miles were the best, like mile 24 of the marathon, the end is in sight, you know you will finish and beer is coming soon. Finally rolled into Portland before dusk. Very lucky to have fantastic support crew (Jess and Kelly) with serious bike racks meeting us to take us to hotel.

Next stop, MS 150 with the Swedish Smyelin Babes

II: CDT: 300 yrd swim Madison Beach, 15 mile bike to Seward Park and back, 6 mile run up Madison Hill, down 23rd hill to Montlake, and back. 2nd annual event, enrollment up 25% this year (up from 4 competitors to 5)

I really planned to do some swimming this year. Really. Just like I really planned to drop the extra 17 lbs before Jungfrau. Or curb the swigging. Or keep my apartment clean. Or dictate charts on time. Didn’t happen.

What were we thinking? I could tell I wasn’t the only one dreading the CDT, swim portion in particular. Kudos to last years champ Guth, who decided to swim even though he swims even less than I do, and with both bikes out of commission borrowed Spiz’s commuter.
The water was actually calm and warm this year
Still the swim, which was roughly 300 yards, hurt. Getting out of the water, still vertigo despite not being hung over this year.
Bike portion was incredibly hard. I was pedaling my guts out and being passed on Lake Washington Blvd by little old ladies and BWBs on large mountain bikes. Stopped at the top of the hill at midpoint to realize my brakes had been clamped on my back wheel the entire time. I had decided to choose this morning to change my tires to the fab purple wheels that perfectly match my hair which I bought at STP, and had been very proud that I did it myself with only 1 pinched tube, but apparently I didn’t set the brakes properly.

Starting on the 2nd half of the bike ride, was extremely relieved to realize that I didn’t suck as badly as I started to think I sucked on the first half of the ride, suddenly 20 mph was easier than the 13 mph I struggled to attain in the first half.

Ventoux was the early leader and regained his lead on the run, and I believe I was last place again, though Spiz who passed everyone on the bike but enjoys running nearly as much as a good 12 year old scotch, was meandering leisurely around Madison beach in his street shoes and cargo shorts (ala First Class at Eugene Half) and may have been edged out for the Lanterne Rouge. Scotch definitely beats tequila. 2 polar bears and a crystal bowl for the winner, a bottle of rose for 2nd place. Thanks to Mike Davies for excellent photos and being one-man support crew.

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