Santa Barbara Long Course Aquabike
This is just an awesome race right here at home! Huge thanks to Joe Coito, his crew, and all the wonderful volunteers. J Race day started with overcast skies and moderate temperatures. The ocean was warm and calm, which made for a comfortable swim and easy sighting of the buoys. The surf, however, still had not gone down completely from the big waves earlier in the week. That was no problem at the start, but coming back in to shore I was not watching the waves very closely (as if that would have helped), and one broke over me, bouncing me off the bottom. I caught my goggles as they were pulled off in the turbulence and managed to get upright and regain my balance to exit the water before being taken out by another wave. Glad that was over and on to the bike. Windshield wipers would have been handy for the drippy fog in places, but otherwise it was a great tune-up ride for Big Kahuna coming up in 3 weeks. It is so fun riding a course where you know all the bumps and sharp turns with lots of your friends cheering!! Thanks SB Tri Club!
Big Kahuna Aquabike (1.2 mi swim + 56 mi bike)
I did this race 3 years ago and really enjoyed it, so signed up again. This year the water was considerably warmer at 63°F with calm conditions (no surf) or wind chop and no encounters with sea lions. Met some great people in transition and waiting on the beach for my wave to start. After the swim exit, you have to run a ways to transition on pavement and across some RR tracks, so I wore my neoprene socks to protect my feet (good decision). The bike route is through neighborhood streets for a short way and then north on Highway 1 to the turnaround near the Pigeon Point lighthouse. The wind was reversed from normal so we had a headwind part of the way back (uuugh). My goal was to see how close I could come to my previous time, and I finished in 4:00:04, about 1.5 minutes slower than in 2011. This is a well-organized race with a great venue, and the race pictures were free this year! One more race to go, HITS Olympic Aquabike in Palm Springs on 7 December, for my season finale.
Go SBTC, Rosie (Badass) Thompson