Sandman Triathlon Results

dsc_1164It was the first time I had heard a race announcer say, “And in first place, from Morgan Hill, Lynn Astalos!”

In 20 years of living in the Bay Area I had never been to Seacliff Beach where the Sandman Triathlon is held. It was a perfect day at the beach. I left home early so I could drive the bike route. I’m glad I did…the Aptos hills proved to be much steeper than I had anticipated.

The water temperature at the start was an unexpectedly comfortable 62 degrees. But the surf was not nearly as calm as it appeared from the beach. I thought I was going to be sea sick a few times but I kept a steady stroke and focused on my swim. I stepped onto the beach in about 21 mins., just ahead of my plan. The run to T1 was long, and the soft sand just made it harder. The bucket of water I had seen in T1 before the race had disappeared, so I had to take some extra time to get the sand off my feet.

I felt good jumping on my bike and immediately started passing people. I knew the first three miles was a pretty good climb, and I only managed to average 15.5 mph. That just meant I would need to fly to make up some time. I hammered the downhills at 35 – 40 mph, passing lots of riders. I had forgotten my water bottles, so I was hoping the only aid station on the bike was handing out bottles. I was disappointed to find one guy standing there with tiny paper cups. I finished averaging nearly 17.5 mph so I felt pretty good about the ride coming in to T2.

I ripped through T2 but quickly realized the run was not going to be fast. Over three miles of the 4.2-ml. run is on the beach. There really isn’t any hard pack and the first 1/2-ml. is entirely soft sand. I chose to walk the steep stairs to New Brighton Campground. Once at the top, I was able to find a new gear and managed to accelerate through the second half of the run, finishing the race in 1:46. I was very happy with my time no matter what division I was in. I think I finished 78th overall.

I weigh about 205 lbs. but have never entered the Clydesdale division of any race. But J&A Productions offered no medals this year at Uvas and San Jose Int’l; there were no medals at Way Too Cool 50K, even after finishing but bonking and going to the hospital with an IV. Even after running 50 miles at American River there were no medals. Ultra runners don’t do it for the medals, but I wanted some hardware, so I entered the Clydesdale division.

When the race announcer called my name, I was offered a choice of prizes, all designed by a local artist. A plastic dolphin fixed to a 5-inch trophy covered in sand (hence Sandman?) or a plastic dinner plate with a painted beach scene, adorned with plastic seashells and other nautical items, covered with more sand. I gratefully accepted the dinner plate. My 7-yr. old son doesn’t believe I won my division. He said mom “fell for it” when I told her I won. He also said I probably bought the fancy dinner plate on my way home. I don’t care what he thinks. I proudly hung the dinner plate in my office.

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2 Responses

  1. What’s the deal with no hardware? UVAS, SVODT – my trophy wall is looking weak with swim caps, numbers, but a notable lack of medals!

    • Hey, Alex! I agree…hardware is increasingly hard to come by. The San Francisco Half Marathon didn’t even have medals this year. Sign of the times? Goodie bags at races are nearly empty these days. The good news is deep online discounts on new gear. My local bike shop just offered me a brand new pair of $1500 Reynolds racing wheels for $700.

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