Malibu Tri Musings

Sunday morning.  3:00 am.  The alarm BLARES.  I spring out of bed and into my tri clothes.  Grabbing my gear, along with the crew at my house and a little breakfast, I hit the road. 

Slightly more than an hour later I’m through the gate parked beachside shrouded in darkness.  The cloudless night sky allows stars to light up the beach, but not enough to see more than the outline of my bike. 

As I excitedly pedal through the darkness some trepidation, but mostly exhilaration, shoots through my body like a jolt of electricity.  Only this lasts longer.  The hairs on my arms stand on end as I bike along the beam from my trusty head lamp toward the artificial daylight of the transition area.  I feel like a kid sneaking away to the brightly lit circus cloaked in blackness.     

I quickly rack my bike and set up my space, so I could welcome the team as they arrived.  I was thrilled to see the eager faces of those who had trained so hard.  Their lively enthusiasm at 5:00 am as they readied for the race invigorated me.  For many it was their first time.  A dozen or so didn’t know how to swim at the beginning of the summer.  Now they are about to run into the 70 degree ocean shortly after sunrise on a warm clear morning.  Pride filled me as those new swimmers not only finished the swim, but aced it!

It was exhilarating for old and new alike.  One of the relay team swimmers was so excited about her experience that she went out the next day and bought a bike so she could do the whole race next time. 

I think back amazed at what started as an informational team meeting in the spring, developing through team training all summer, and culminating with the Team Carb Loading Award Dinner with a record number of members.  It was fun and a bit strange to see all the new faces without helmets or goggles, their hair down dressed in clothes and not workout attire.  It took a minute or two to recognize everyone!

As for the Race on Sunday, September 16th, the course featured a half-mile ocean swim, an 18 mile out-and-back bike course, and a 4-mile out-and-back run.

Thousands of spandex-clad celebrities, triathletes and corporate teams braved the heat and hit the white-sand and warm seas in the 26th Annual Nautica Malibu Triathlon. Aside from testing the endurance of over 3,350 participants, the event at Zuma Beach also raised over $1.17 million for Children's Hospital Los Angeles' Pediatric Cancer Research Program.

All in all, it was a great day.