The Beast Exits The Water

Kickball & Kelp – UCSB Sprint Tri – Kendra's Race

UCSB 3/31/12

I had an awesome day yesterday at the UCSB Sprint Triathlon. The weather ended up being nearly perfect after some minor predictions of rain for the previous two days, and, as always, I learned a few things from the experience.

The UCSB Sprint Tri, aka Kendra’s Race, is a 1/2 mile swim, 16 mile bike, and 3 mile run. The most unique part of this race, in my opinion, was the swim. The bike and run routes were great- fast and mostly flat. But the swim start from Campus Point had three unique elements that some may not normally think about-

  1. It has about 50-60 yards of 3 feet deep water to run through before you can actually start swimming
  2. It was high-tide with noticeably big waves coming in (the volunteer paddle boarders were surfing in-between wave starts)
  3. Kelp, kelp, and more kelp.

It’s the final race of the collegiate season, so naturally, there were a lot of “kids” there from all over California; UCSB, USC, CAL, Cal Poly, etc. In addition, it’s one of the few races that you’ll see a large group of high school athletes. There was an even an 8 year old racing that day- very, very cool.

What’s also cool is that I figured that....
  1. With the amount of training time I have..
  2. The fact I don’t have to sit in class from 8:00 am – 2:45 pm,
  3. That my only time to run isn’t called “recess” or “P.E.”, that I’d have  the upper hand on 100% of all triathlon elements. Probably a fair assumption, right? *****

Nope! I got smoked at the sprint start of the swim. Unofficially official- they were the fastest kids on the planet. They were fearless of rolling their ankles or twisting their knees- almost a reckless abandon. I’m not even sure they were dealing with the same current, water conditions, and beach holes that I was. In fact, now that I think about it, they might have been running on top of the water like one of these:


30 yards into the 60 yards of knee-high water sprinting, it was clear that the high school athletes had divided my wave start into two groups, with myself leading the slower one- “Damn, I need to go back to playing kickball, packing Luncheables, and playing video games”, I thought.

The kelp played an interesting role for the swim, too. Every once in a while, you’ll get an element of the sport that you’re only going to learn to overcome by doing it. It’s not like I’m going to say to a client, “Hey, today for your workout, we’re going to go swim in kelp”. Now, one may experience kelp in more ocean practice- I get that, but yesterday’s kelp-ness is significant for one simple lesson:

-Zack Bertges (Editor Note: He's known as "The Beast" but I am still not sure. He's a really nice guy! But when he races... he's a beast!  Zack's insightful, humorous, adventures can be found online at Zack's Blog. He's on a journey this year to race his first Ironman in Canada with his father, who's done the race 8 times...)

Results in finishing order: For full searchable race results go to Kendra's Race 2012 Results

Sprint Triathlon - Updated 4/2/2012

Taylor Hemming 1:13:29 1st Overall Open Men, 5th Overall and 1/19 Men 25-29

Matt Klonowski 1:20:32  2nd Men 40-44

Sean Sullivan  1:21:20  2nd Men 19 under

Jon Martin 1:22:32

John Herzog  1:26:02  3rd Men 45-49

Jerry Jackintell  1:28:20  3rd Men 50-54

Zack Bertges  1:30:10

Karl Weis 1:30:44

Andrea Stouffer  1:33:09  1st Women 40-44

Joe Sullivan  1:33:38  1st Men 60+

Brian O'Connor  1:34:37  2nd Men 55-59

Mike Sgobba 1:36:20

Alex Clenet  1:37:25

Greg Russell  1:37:41

Telli Foster  1:42:53  2nd Women 35-39

Marisa Weaver  1:44:34  2nd Women 20-24

Cyndi Aghayan  1:46:04  3rd  Women 40-44

Bill McMillen 1:46:06 

Jarrett McFarland  1:54:07

Andrew Duncan  1:56:48

Irwin Teichman  16 stitches and sprained ankle..a noble finish

5K Run

Christina King Ekonomi 24:48 2/19 Women 

Eileen McMillen 30:18 13/19 Women

Helen Roberts 32:33 16/19 Women (nice Sandy, don't forget your boss, hope you like the couch-Mike)

A very nice SB Tri club showing.  I may have missed a few that did the Relay Teams.  One of note is the all heart Relay team of Tri Tri Again featuring club member Paula Waldman and first timer "soon to be a member" Paul Avolese.  Like the rest of us they showed their type A on the course with an all-out effort even though they "were just doing it for the fun."  Another amazing triathlon finisher was 8 year old Jacob Mansbach with great form at the finish line.  I saw UCSB Tri coach Mateo hand little Jacob's dad a 2021 Application for Admission.

Please send in your race reports to Mike Simpson soon!  He will be glad to send them off to the cloud via race dashes and dots..........Sandy

UCSB Triathlon Photo by Presido Sports