Wow! What a great triathlon.  Last time I did this race was probably 20 years ago. (It was so long ago, that Joe Howell beat me that day – and that my friends hasn’t happened in a very long time!)

This race should be a staple on all SB Tri Club members’ annual calendars. It’s a great venue – and close enough that you can sleep in your own bed the night before, get up early and drive down for the race.

The race is staged at Zuma Beach – and it doesn’t get much better than that. We’re talking Baywatch here.  The swim was a point-to-point swim in very clear water. About 63 degrees and some swell – but all-in-all, a good swim.

The highlight for me was the bike course.  They close a lane north and south on PCH; you ride north up PCH, then turnaround and ride back.  A couple of good hills mixed in here and there, but for the most part a fast course.  On the way back, you’re hugging the coastline with great views of the ocean and Malibu.

The run is pretty much out-and-back with a couple of doglegs.  My only complaint today – and it’s a minor one – was that the mileage on the run course was not marked. I didn’t see a mileage sign after Mile 2, so I was never quite sure where I was on the course, how much was left, and whether to pick up the pace.

According to the race announcer, there were about 2000 racers today.  This race is very well organized and the course easily accommodated the large field.

There is another race on Sunday – the “classic” distance (a little shorter than today’s Olympic course). I think the celebs come out for the shorter race.  The only two celebrities I spotted today were Chris “Macca” McCormack and our own Jason Smith. (Macca and Jason went 1 and 3 overall.  Maybe Jason needs a nickname too.)

As I said, SB Tri Club should represent at this race: it’s easy to get to, it’s a challenging field, and it’s a classy event.

This was the last race of the season for me. I feel like I pretty much limped to the finish line this year. I’m headed for foot surgery next month. Jamie Hagar is my inspiration now – I’m going to try and heal up and come back strong next year, like Jamie did this year.

John Nelson