Add another to the list …

My wife and I were in between yard sales this morning when I realized we were missing the Rexburg Rush Triathlon (it was actually just a brilliant excuse to get out of ‘yard saling’–as my wife calls it). This race holds sentiment for me and my woman since it was two years ago that the Rush was our first date. So, you understand, we couldn’t just miss out.

We drove up the hill (the roughest, toughest part of the bike route), rolled down our windows and started cheering on the riders as they wizzed by hunched down in their aero tucks. And yes, some were using those aero bars on the climb. I don’t know why either.

We drove to the transition station for the run, and it was there that I saw what appeared to be a familiar face crossing the parking lot to the transition area. Sure enough, it was Barb Lindquist, the woman who still holds the record for spending the most successive days ranked number one on the International Triathlon Union’s rankings. She went undefeated for an extremely long time in ’03 and ’04, and there she was walking right in front of us. This is the woman who was representing the USA in Athens when she saw a competitor who was having some problems and waited for the competitor to run with her, sacrificing a higher placing on the final stats. Yep, cool woman.

Of course I had to go introduce myself.

And let me be the first one to break the story about what she’s doing in her retirement. Yes, she coaches (for a fee) private individuals, and, yes, she’s coaching the U.S. U-23 triathlete team, and, yes, she’s headed to Switzerland with them in a few weeks. But more importantly, Barb’s pregnant with twins. And having a family, she said, was her reason for getting out of the international racing circuit last year. May I just say that I think that’s really noble. Just my opinion.

The really really cool part was when she congratulated me after I told her my wife was due this week.

Enough of that. I actually saw a bunch of people there who I knew, and that was kind of fun. My riding buddy Dave, who built his own triathlon bike, was racing the sprint division, and actually did okay despite having not trained on anything but the bike for the past few months. I saw Thatchmo there cheering on his 10-year-old, who was racing the sprint division and winning his age group. Incidentally, I guess the same kid won the 10-11 age group at the state time trial earlier this summer. By Thatchmo’s description, the kid may have me beat on speed. I saw Tony, our cycling group’s own fat cyclist, at the transition, and I (assuming Tony to have just done the bike portion for a relay team) congratulated him on a good ride, to which he answered, "I’ve got a long way to go yet!" Instead of running the rest of the route, though, I saw him later walking his way up the run route while holding his wife’s hand. The ol’ smoothie.

But when I tried to picture myself doing this sport later, I must admit that the picture was fuzzy. Somehow, images of me on a mountain bike make more sense to my psyche. Perhaps it’s because triathletes dress funny–something my wife kept pointing out to me: because they have to swim, a small portion of the racers appeared in speedos and tri suits; because they all have to ride, a larger portion were wearing bike shorts and jerseys; because they’re all runners, a bunch were also wearing loose, flappy running shorts, even during their bike rides. Weird.


3 thoughts on “Add another to the list …

  1. Jay

    AlpineCoug here.  This windows live thing is a piece of crap.  I rode today in the ULCER (Utah Lake Epic Century Ride).  105 miles of the flattest terrain in Utah…two climbs, 100 and 300 feet.  We were riding along at a good clip of 21-22 mph at about 35 mi when the Franklin Covey team passes our group of 20 going 25-26 mph and then they pass a group ahead of us and we come to a stop and all are together…bottom line: the largest peleton I have ever been in is formed and we all start into about 15 miles of 25-27 mph and it was fun…but oh so dumb was I.   As you can imagine, the stringing out effect meant that every 90 degree turn we all had to sprint to catch up…the pattern took it out of my legs without me thinking about it  and the last turn broke the peleton and I was left in the middle trying to catch up…big mistake.  5 miles later I had just cruised the rest stop and I cracked…big time…I was seeing double and legs were gone…I was probably suffering from electrolyte deficiency too.  I was at the next rest stop and I was toast (mile 52).  My cell was not working out there and I thought "what am I going to do?"  I was envsioning 13-15 mph all the way back and I was not having a good time with those thoughts.  Then Randy, a nice guy who was there with me at the beginning came by and I told him how I was feeling and he said "hey I know how you feel, I will tow you in".  I rode his wheel for the next 53 miles and I made it…final result 105 mi, 5 hr 35 min ride time.  18.6 mph.  My first century since 1991.

  2. Zed

    Wow! Thank heaven for tugboat riders, eh? Congrats on the final time (and the average speed–that sounds pretty good for a century, even though I have nothing to compare it to).
    Don\’t tell anyone (especially my local riding group), but I hate rides that stay on the flats for 50-100 miles. That\’s like torture or something (maybe I\’m meant a little more for mtb, eh?).
    What\’s your next goal? You should aim for Lotoja next year or something (assuming you\’re not signed up for it this year). My Lotoja-veteran friends say the toughest part of that race is the headwind through the Wyoming valley at the end (it\’s either considered part of Swan Valley or Star Valley, I don\’t remember). I\’d bet that ULCER ride would be the perfect preamble to it.
    I have yet another blog entry to write about my Saturday activities, but I think I\’m going to save it until Monday … as long as we don\’t have the baby by then …

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