Featured photo for Wildflower Long Course

Wildflower Long Course

Here are photos from the Wildflower Long Course Triathlon, “The Woodstock for Triathlon. It was my first half-Ironman distance tri, and a hilly one at that. It started at Lake San Antonio, northwest of Paso Robles, California.

Race Data

Distances: 1.2 mile swim / 56 mile bike / 13.1 mile run
Swim: 48:28 (26:22/km)
Swim overall rank: 1692/1738
T1: 3:15
Bike: 3:18:47 (16.6 MPH)
Bike overall rank: 931/1738
T2: 1:55
Run: 2:10:48 (10:13/mile)
Run overall rank: 557/1738
Overall time: 6:22:13
Division rank: 108/204
Overall rank: 757/1738

Photos not created by Felix Wong may be subject to copyright.
Sharon and I went up to Wildflower together with our bikes on a nifty hitch-mounted bicycle rack.  Which was good because her Escape was filled to near-capacity with our (or rather, mainly her) camping stuff!
This "stuff" even included... a doormat!!! "So that I don't track mud into the car, like last year," Sharon explained.  LOL, it's hard not to love this gal...
Phil, Danita, Lawrence, Laura, JC and Phil were already there and their campsites set up.  I stayed in my blue Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight tent in the back.
For lunch, we had Sharon's macaroni-and-tuna specialty and some (unintentionally soupy) brown rice I made the night before that was certainly not my specialty.  Oh and grapes...
For dinner we made colorful salads and bbq'd some stuff on a portable grill.  All of this seemed really luxurious compared to my typically barebones camping style!
In the afternoon I went out to a swim clinic to get a 2-minute swim stroke critique by a dude from Finis (who was *really good* about recommending a whole bunch of Finis products to everyone in his critiques) and to meet Peter Reid, last year's Hawaii Ironman champion.
Bikes and laundry
Our entire group hung out together on Friday evening before the big race.  Here's Danita and Mike...
... and Felix Wong and Laura...
Photo: Jose Cortez
... and Sharon and Phil.
Now comes race day.  Here's Phil, Tanya, and John all set to go to the start.
Photo: Jose Cortez
Meanwhile, Sharon (whose wave started 1 hour after mine) was coming out of the water.  Her swim leg was only 4 minutes slower than Heather Gollnick's, the winner of last year's Ironman Coeur d'Alene.
Here she is coming through the transition...
Photo: Jose Cortez
with Phil being there at around the same time.
Photo: Jose Cortez
Meanwhile, the top professional women were receiving their awards.  The winners were Switzerland's Natascha Badmann (who smoked everyone on the bike!), 26-year-old Kate Major from Australia, and Wisconsin's Heather Gollnick.
Photo: Jose Cortez
After we returned to camp there was quite a bit of commotion as numerous Cal Poly/San Luis Obispo co-eds decided to run a few laps... in the nude.  Needless to say, despite the scorching heat, a good time was had by all.