San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island

Currently sunburnt and sore, dreading my red-eye flight back to D.C. Yesterday I raced my first full swim-bike-run where the swim wasn't cancelled or the race wasn't a strange distance or I didn't get a flat 15-minutes into the bike. How is it that I've done four Olympic distances before now, yet this is my first one where my time was semi-legitimate?

I flew out to San Francisco early Thursday morning, but ended up spending most of Thursday and Friday catching up on work (aka posted up in random coffee shops and then in our company's West coast office). Friday afternoon, I tracked down the random packet pick-up location by way of trolley, cab—and then on foot because my cabbie couldn't find the location. Once I got there, I was pretty much stranded, with no cabs in sight, so I ended up walking the three or four miles back to the closest bus stop, where it took me another hour to bus the remaining two-three miles back to my hotel. I really regretted not biking it, like I saw a handful of other participants doing.

Overall, I think the out-of-the-way packet pick-up for out-of-towners might be the one thing that would keep me from doing this race again (that is, unless I move to San Francisco, like I really want to!) As a result, didn't get in my pre-race swim or bike, and only managed a measly warm-up jog.

Race morning was also a little out of the ordinary, thanks to San Fran public transportation. I was a little stumped on how to actually get to race site, since it was located on Treasure Island, accessible only by the Bay Bridge... which prohibits bikes. Luckily I tracked down a 5:45am bus, biked to the bus stop, racked my rig on the front (LOTS of prayers were said that it didn't fly off and into the Bay!) and bussed on over to the island.

When you’re a triathlete in San Francisco, it’s easy to spot the out-of-towners. You’re lined up to race, about to hop into a San Francisco Bay so frigid that you can feel the cold air misting off the water, and you’re the only one in a sleeveless wetsuit. I nervously looked around, rubbing my arms as my wave prepared to get in. It was my first in-water swim so when we got the okay to get in for the warm-up, I took my time and was probably the fifth to last of women under 29 to enter.

Call me a wimp, but it took my breath away. I put my head down and tried to take a few strokes. Still, I couldn’t help but swim with my head above water. That was when I decided that it is NOT natural to be swimming in water this cold.

Once it was time to go, we lined up at between the start buoys, teeth chattering, for the two lap swim

Best part about the TriCal races? The finisher feed... haha didn't realize this was there until I got the email about it. Coming in at the 0:45 min mark! Goofy, goofy...


The award ceremonies were especially fun, mostly because one of my idols, Julie Moss, was helping present the awards. I was practically beaming as she called me up to the podium (which was, for real, a legit three-tier podium) and made a joke, referencing my last name, "Well she must have been in a Rusch!" Usually I cringe at the all-too-frequent last-name joke but when it comes from an Ironman Hall-of-Famer, you can't help but love it.