I consulted with a talented triathlete I know named 'Jim' who recommended a local race held by 'Wolf' in the San Pablo Dam area, Orinda, CA. I knew the area was hilly, beautiful and given the next race was a month away jumped at the chance to race it.
I signed up for my USATriathlon membership, for the race (Thanks Forward Motion for the race discount) then got serious about training. I know how to run, I've biked in the past but racing where you are supposed to transition quickly from run to bike to run was a totally foreign concept. I was told to work on my 'bricks' in a comparable area as the race so choose : Palomares.
Palomeres for me is a nice ~25 mile out and back with 1500' elevation gain - dubbed an 'intermediate ride' by most. So, to train I would ride Palomeres first then pop over to my garage and transition to my running gear in as little time as possible then out to the nearby Sports Park for a 4-6 mile run.
The first time I did my first brick I couldn't run in a straight line and had a hard time controlling my legs - very embarrassing. By my fourth brick I was getting pretty good at transitioning and keeping a decent pace on tired legs. Which is the point I guess.
After reading the pre-race briefing I arrived an hour early to help rid pre-race jitters with a nice jog around the reservoir. Also met an energetic guys running around setting things up and turned out to be the race director : Wolf himself.
|Pre-run along tranquil San Pedro Reservoir|
|Arrived early enough to be the second to rack my bike (#337)|
|Myself on left with veteran Jim 'The Beast' triathlete|
I don't have a picture of the start/finish table but had coffee and bagels for breakfast there then at the finishers table Pizza, fresh fruit and drinks. Wolf, volunteers and 'competitors' all had a great time with very comfortable weather. Wolf goes out of his way to make sure everyone feels welcome and celebrates all accomplishments (first ever DU, youngest/oldest finishers, etc). I definitely plan on doing another 'Wolfpack' race in the near future!
|Luckily not many showed up in my age group and squeaked out AG 3rd place!|