UCLA Race Report
My race morning began earlier than any other race I’d ever participated in thus far: 2:30 am. Why? Because I was driving to the Santa Fe Dam from San Diego, and I had to pick up Andie and Jason along the way. First, I got some gas, after learning that not all gas stations are open 24/7, then went to pick up Andie at their place. I got a little lost, so it took a while. We also got a little lost on the way back to UCSD, until Andie decided to navigate us the rest of the way there lest we never make it. We finally made it to UCSD and picked up Jason, who was waiting with his roommate, at 4 am. We were off to the Santa Fe Dam!
Luckily, we only had to switch freeways one time, otherwise we never would’ve made it. As it was, I still managed to make a wrong turn, but we made it! The bikes were okay, and we checked in and put our stuff in transition. Everyone else had magically made it at the same time we did (around 6 am), so we just hung out until it was almost time to start. We all got in our wetsuits and went down to the water. I regret not bringing a second pair of socks or shoes, because my feet went numb in 5 minutes. It was extremely uncomfortable, and I was freezing. We listened to them explain the course, then they let the collegiate men start. In a nice change of pace, the women had to wait until all the men were out of the water until we could begin our 400-meter swim. About 15 minutes later, we were off! The water was extremely cold. I thought it was going to be kind of warm, but my hands went numb before I was out of the water. My face physically hurt because I was so cold. I was never more glad that the swim was so short, and that we got to swim in a straight line, because I didn’t have to sight the first part. However, I still managed to overshoot the diagonal we had to swim back in, hit a lifeguard, and had to be redirected slightly. It was a horrible day for my navigational skills.
Then I was into transition, getting on the bike! I was so cold; it was hard to get my socks on my feet, but it was worth it. I started biking and was amazed by the fact that wind makes one colder. I wanted to stop moving because it was so cold, but I forged ahead! There were guys passing me on my way out. They were so fast! The bike course was fun, and really pretty. I loved looking out at the lake and the dam and admiring the scenery. I didn’t like all the U-turns we had to make, because it meant I never knew how many miles I had left in the bike. I could tell I was out of shape, because 10 miles felt long. Anyway, I finally finished the bike and headed back into transition for the run!
I couldn’t feel my hands, so changing shoes was really hard. I kinda just shoved my feet into my shoes and hoped for the best. Then I was off! I got to run with Ethan for a couple minutes before he finished, while I sadly had to keep going. Even though we just had to run in a straight line, I forgot where to go and asked Torin to make sure, who told me to go straight. The course wound around the lake. I saw some geese, ran on some gravel, passed a couple people, fell a couple times, and had fun. It was a chill run that I thought was also way too long, but that’s because I was out of shape. Finally, I finished, and they had Oreos and orange slices! Food is the best. Jason’s mom also brought us cream cheese danishes from a bakery and Spam musubi, which was really nice of her! We all chilled and waited for the Olympic athletes to come into transition, pretty much one at a time because there were so few of them. We saw Sean, then Liezl, then Jason. We directed people on where to start the run because the volunteers had pretty much deserted their post by that point, and it was fun. We cheered on the Olympic athletes, discovered an awesome playground with a spider web of fun, ate some Girl Scout cookies, and had a fun time. We made tunnels for all our athletes at the finish. It was a blast! Although, at some point, someone backing out managed to put a hole in Torin’s bumper with their bike rack, which sucked. Sorry about your car Torin!
Then we had to leave, because Andie had to be at work by 2 pm. It was only 11 am, so we were doing good on time, but I didn’t want to get lost. After we ate at Chipotle, I had Andie navigate because I knew we probably wouldn’t get lost with them at the helm. We made it back to Road Runner with 10 minutes to spare! It was perfect timing. We went in, and Jason bought some socks, since he’d been wearing socks with cotton in them on the run and got a blood blister. Now he was all set! I dropped him off and went home. A great race day was now over.
Article By Jasmine Stansil