Yesterday was my third race in three weeks and I ended up with a win! To be fair, I didn't have much competition, BUT, I still had to starting line and push myself. I won this race in 2010 and have wanted to come back since because it's such a fun event. It has a big charity component (over $1 million raised for the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles) and has a division and seperate transition area for tv and movie stars racing, but still retains a competitive vibe.
I really couldn't pass up the chance to race only a few miles up the coast in Malibu, and I have to thank Nautica for the entry and the VIP Parking pass - very important! It was quite a change from the vibe at Hy-Vee the prior week ("world championships" vs. fun race), but I tried to use it as an opportunity to practice the details. Unfortunately, things went wrong when I left home 10 minutes after I planned. I blame the dogs who followed me to the car and wanted to come and had to be coaxed back inside. This resulted in an hour long traffic jam! 3500 people and a two lane road... I listened to a full episode of Little Steven's Underground Garage trying not to think about missing warm up or the race. I ended up arriving 15 minutes before the start and had to talk my way into transition because I had no packet! I also had no chip but found one on the sand and 3 minutes before the start got it reassigned to my number. So, instead of practicing the details, I practiced what to do when things don't go to plan! Fortunately, there was a bit of a delay in the start because a special guest (Bret Michaels!) was introduced to sing the national anthem. Also, I was very happy to have my ROKA wetsuit because it goes on so easily and doesn't require the 10 minutes of tugging some other wetsuits do.
The race was an hour and a half of pushing myself as hard as I could go and imagining the guys around me were the likes of my competitiors. I really wanted to get in a fast run and took off way, way, way too fast. Maybe the fastest mile I've done all year. It felt great, for 1 mile - until I was gasping so hard for a breath that I thought I might have to stop. Oops, won't try that again! By the time Max Longree, former triathlete, passed me in the last half mile I had no gas left. I actually thought he was an actor (looks like one) and was mad that an actor was beating me (no offense actors!!) , but was happy to find out it was a real athlete! Turns out he was in a supergroup relay with sufer Sunny Garcia swiming and Levi Leipheimer biking. Also competing in relays were Chrissie Wellington and Olympic gold medalist breastroker Rebecca Soni. So, there were athlete celebrities there as well as the Hollywood stars. And one more note, it seemed like the entire cast of The Bold and the Beautiful competed. They even had their own kits. That's a pretty fit show!
Thank you to Nautica for inviting me to race and for raising so much money for The Children's Hospital of LA. Before any of the awards, they brought up two kids who are patients there and gave them medals. It was really awesome to see them honored for beating their cancer and to give them a happy moment they will remember forever. This race was a good reminder that triathlon and sports can really rally people to support a good cause, and I'm very happy I was able to participate.
Thanks also to Rich Cruse for the great photos and to all the fans out there cheering for me. I loved seeing my friends from the pool along the race course. I think I smiled the whole way. Congratulations to all the finishers - it was amazing to see you all out there!
Now it's time for some recovery and preperation for Rev3 Branson.