Lake James, May 2016.
The most striking aspect of this race was the rocks all over the bike course. In fact, these were massive like boulders! They were everywhere and impossible to avoid. Of course, I didn’t hit any of them. Actually, I was going so fast, I didn’t even see them! But my partner, Cody, was not as fortunate and I chanced upon him pushing his steed beside the road merely a quarter into the bike course. Naturally, his race wheels were tubular (yes, he had gotten the cool-looking, fancy wheels from Coach Dave), and thus he finished his race early.
With no one to catch, I felt a little discouraged, but was soon swept away by the dams that the roads of this course led over with clear lakes reflecting mountain tops on one side and sheer drop off giving way to valley and forest on the other.
In transition, I noticed that Cody had evidently decided to still complete the run and happened to be starting at exactly the moment I had strapped on my shoes. We also happened to be going exactly the same pace. Occasionally, he would whisper secret information, like that he knew (I don’t know from where) that I would catch that man who had stopped for water (you see his weakness! He is dehydrated). But I wouldn’t let him bully me and finally I sent him a glare that meant some of us biked the other thirty miles and shut him up. I did eventually catch that man, though.
The finish line was beautifully situated on the beach of Lake James. I had mistaken it earlier for the thirty yard section of the beach that we were SUPPOSED to cross in between swim laps. In reality, the volunteers never actually let us out of the water, but shewed us right back in for lap #2, shouting at our dizzy faces, foggy goggles, clogged ears “keep going, just get you feet out of the water, that way (where we had come from), go go!” My mind was racing faster than I was sand, knees, stand, lap two, beach, lap two, thirty yards, beach, thirty yards, shouting people, that way, thirty yards?, belly flop, stroke, lap two, lap two, last lap, stroke, belly pain, stroke, stroke, stroke, sight…–buoy!, stroke, stroke, ouch, stroke…
It was a great day. I’ve told many people about the water they hand out at that race. It has multiple dimensions and depth and flavor. I would race any day to get that water. (I actually saw that Kerr Lake Triathlon had the same brand, but it was not the same water! There is something special about the Lake James 50.)