(By the way, Beth ended up 6th in her new 30-34 age group and 9th overall amateur among a pretty tough field)
My day went something like this:
* Get up at 3:45 am (not too bad since it was like 6:45 in PA)
* Eat bagel, muffin & apple
* Drive over to the course and help Beth get set up (BOY was it cold--in the 40's)
* Before you know it, the race kicks off and Beth is on her way.
Earlier waves swimming in the harbor with the 'Oceanside' on the side of the hill (kind of like 'Hollywood' up the I-5)
Beth's waving getting started
* After this, I saw Beth get out of the water and then take off on her bike. She was in around 12th place coming out of the water.
* Now, I've got some time to kill since most of the bike was on Camp Pendleton (restricted access to us non-military and non-competing triathlete types). So, I figured I'd scout out the run course. So I get in about a 6 mile run to eat up some time.
* I position myself then back near the finish by the run turnaround (also where the bikes come in) to scout things out and see if I could snap some pictures (I'm not so good at remembering to take pictures when I get into the cheering). I got some decent ones of some of the pro's like Andy Potts and Mirinda Carfae. Also, our friend we met at Marit's, Courtenay, making her pro triathlon debut.
Then, after moving over the bridge, I mapped out the plan to catch Beth a couple of times on the run even though it was roughly an out & back. It made a one street jog over and they had to run about 1/4 of a mile on sand (boy did THAT stink for the runners). I figured if I made a straight shot and booked it, I could catch her 8 times on the run (true spectathlete caliber cheering). See map below:
The problem was, I needed to BOOK IT to get to the far point for cheering (on the right on the map). I was busting in and running parallel with Beth. All of the streets between Pacific and The Strand were closed and had police barriers (those 'horses') and a sign saying 'Street Closed.' Well, at about the second or third intersection, I decided to split between the horse and the sign since it was a straight shot off the sidewalk. What I failed to do is recognize that the temporary signs had 'legs' that came out just about to the horse. My toe caught this metal leg and WHAM-O down I went in a heap! I was carrying my water bottle in one hand and my camera in the other, so my knuckles got scraped up pretty good.
But, I got up quickly, dusted myself off and made it out to the far point to cheer. With my knuckles bleeding pretty good, I needed to wash the gravel out of the hand and get the bleeding to stop. Well, I had my water bottle, so that flushed it out and I used some kleenex to clot the bleeding. No worse for the wear, so back to cheering. All in the line of duty of a spectathlete/equipment manager.
Beth came back past again, so then I booked it back to catch her again. She did the turnaround and came back through. I cheered her on and then back out to the far cheering location. She comes back past (running out of gas a little) and I ran back to the near point one last time. To be completely frank, I'm glad she slowed down a little because I was starting to get a little tired myself.
If you're keeping score at home, my 'workout' today was:
6 miles at a moderate pace to scout out the run course
4 x 1.2 miles at probably a little under 7 minute pace (plus the spill)
Other various walking around which probably totaled another 2 or so miles.
All in all, it was a pretty fun day. Beth and I got our photo on the beach, she found out she got a Clearwater slot, and we went out in a party of 10 (Me & Beth, Marit & husband & mom, Chad & Jen, Jen & Jerome, and Courtenay) to a restaurant with GREAT BURGERS!!!
We've got a fun & relaxing day planned for Sunday including visiting the zoo and getting ready for our return home on Monday. I hear there may be snow on Tuesday for our track meet. Uh oh!