Sunday, Jun 19th, 2005 was the Victoria Half-Iron Triathlon. I got to play fanboy for two relay teams for a day.

Seeing as how I was a fanboy, I decided it wouldn't matter if I was wrecked on Sunday morning. So I spend most of Saturday night hanging out with an old friend and turning the air blue with geek talk.

Indeed I was wrecked on Sunday morning. When my more athletic companions were preparing themselves for the trials of the day, getting up at 0500h to eat bagels before their 0720h swim start, I was loudly snoring. I got up about a minute before we left, and woke up several hours later.

The triathlon was run out of Elk Lake, and of the half iron distance (2km swim, 92km bike, 20km run). My companions had taken the slightly more sane approach of signing up to do the course as a relay team of three. Typhanie and Kai were doing the swim, Steve and Emlyn were doing the bike, and Tam and Kristi were doing the run. Steve injured himself in the Oliver half-iron and dropped out, to be replaced by Kathy (the announcer mentioned this as Typhanie crossed into the transition zone). This made for a all-girl relay team (Typhanie, Kathy, Kristie), and a mixed relay team (Kai, Emlyn, and Tam).

The winning time was just over 4 hours. The cutoff was 8 hours. That's a long time.

I managed to wake up on the way to the race site. Which is good, because I got to park the car. Seeing as how there is parking for about 1/2 the athletes, I elected to park on the other side of the lake (the turnaround point for the swim, incidentally), and walk 15 minutes. That 15 minute walk gave me ample time to reflect on how far 2km is to swim (just over 23 minutes for the top male, apparently).

The race started on time, and Kai and Typhanie started in the relay wave, about 30 minutes later. Kai finished in 31:41 and Typhanie finished in 44:31. The swim to bike transition is pretty quick for relay teams, as they just have to hand off the timing chip.

The bike portion of the race is pretty long, so the rest of us decided to find a spot on the bike route and cheer on Emlyn and Kathy. So we all piled up in Kai's car, and found a spot on the route. The bike route was an open route, which means that there were still cars on the road. We were on a downhill section of the course, and the cyclist were probably cruising at 50-60kph (in a 50kph zone, no less). This made for interesting traffic hazards as the slightly clueless and incredulous locals who were trying to get to the church up the road. We didn't see any wrecks, but there was plenty of opportunity.

We cheered on cyclists at that spot for almost an hour. Enough to see Kathy go by twice, but not Emlyn. It is hard to recognize a cyclist going past at 50kph, but one of us should have seen him. Kai deduced that he must have had a problem, which turned out to be true. At the end of the hour, I drove Kristie, Tam, and Typhanie back to the race site, and Kai elected to run back to the site.

I dropped off the girls at the site, and drove back over to the rowing centre on the other side of the lake to park. When I had walked back (noting again the length of the swim course), Emlyn was waiting. Apparently about 17km into the course, his chain came off while he was shifting. Then somehow his rear derailer got caught in a spoke and locked the back tire. Emlyn wasn't hurt, but the bike wasn't going to finish the race. The upside is that Emlyn got the fastest bike time overall (1:31), completing the course in the back of one of the event support vehicles. The downside was that the relay team got listed with a big fat DNF on the penalties page, sandwiched between the disqualifications for nudity in the transition zones, and penalties for drafting.

Kathy finished the bike section in 3 hours 5 minutes, and entered the transition zone to hand off the timing chip to Kristie. Except that Kristie wasn't in the transition zone. She had run off to the washroom for one last time, and Kathy finished the course faster than Kristie expected. As a result the bike-run transition time for Steve's Sexy Bitches (Typhanie,Kathy,Kristie) was about 2 minutes longer than any of the other relay teams.

The rest of settled in on the beach and waited for Kristie to finish her first lap, which happened 41 minutes later. Another 43 minutes put the all women relay team in at about 5hours and 15 minutes. This netted them 3rd place for the women's relay teams.

We hung around so that the women could grab their prizes, and then dashed madly off to catch the 1700h ferry.