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The SpudMan might be my last triathlon for a while (never mind that the end of summer in Idaho is approaching anyway) because I am getting kind of sick of people that I crushed in the swim and bike just zipping by me on the run, which is always last for some stupid reason. I probably wouldn't enjoy it if the run were first, either, come to think of it.

Which brings me, in a roundabout way, to my report on the Sun Valley Sprint Triathlon this past weekend in, you guessed it, Sun Valley.

I drove over there and picked up Dad at Sun Valley Aviation, where numerous LearJets, Citations, and _two_ Beech Starships (the world's most expensive turboprop - very snazzy looking) were sitting around waiting to be used by all the idle rich with nothing better to do than live in Sun Valley for the summer or all year. Dad was excited to have parked his Bonanza right next to a Starship. I was more interested in getting to the mandatory pre-race meeting, which actually happened about 45 miinutes after it was scheduled. What, a race event started late? Couldn't be. Anyway, we saw Andy and Vince, fellow Idaho Falls tri-geeks, at the pool. Dad gleefully informed them (and me) that according to his altitude-indicating watch, Sun Valley is a thousand feet higher that Idaho Falls. I dutifully started gasping soon after the start of the swim in the Sun Valley Olympic Pool. My lane-mate, who was the overall winner, and I heard someone say the NCAA cross-country champion, got out of the pool three laps before I did, but I was sure that he only lapped me once. When I finished, at 14'something, three minutes behind the best time, Dad said that Carl VanCarl (or something) had indeed gotten out early. But the nice organizers just added two more average laps to his time. Gee, could I just swim a 50 and then multiply that time by 16? Now that _would_ be a sprint, unlike a half-mile.

Since I was in the first bunch to swim, we then waved goodbye to Vince and Andy, drove the bike course (14 miles, out-and-back with a few hills, strangely enough), and headed back to the airport to fly home for the night. The lengths I go to in order to avoid paying for a Sun Valley hotel room! Not that there were any available, according to Vince and Andy, who considered themselves lucky to find a $40 room in Bellevue, 20 miles to the south.

Got up Sunday morning at 5, in order to get everyone there in time (Mom and cousin Trey were flying over with us) - heck, I could have driven over there again if I had my car in IF, getting up that early. But Dad and I got to the bike start in plenty of time, over an hour before the clocks started. I got my bike and shoes out and he went back to the airport for Mom and Trey. I shot the breeze with Andy a bit and then went to peruse the swim times. Turns out I was going to start the bike in 17th place, out of 39 individuals (along with ~11 teams who of course had much faster swimmers). Not too bad. The starting procedure was explained multiple times, and I think I even remember it: time starts; your time is called; you run, in socks, from the start line 100 feet to your bike and put on shoes and helmet, then take off; go out and back (really two turnarounds); come back and ride through the transition area and dump your bike in the grass where your running shoes are; take off on the run. Or slow jog, in my case.

So I started the bike in 17th. Apparently I am a better climber than the runner types (go figure) so I passed about eight people on the ride. Bikes in attendance: several beam/boomerang type bikes, three Merckxes, a Serotta TT bike, a couple Kestrels (Andy has a Kestrel with dual Tri-Spokes). Passed one Merckx on a downhill at 40.5 mph - mass does have some advantages. He turned out to be a solo; I had thought all the Merckxes were team riders. Anyway, he had passed me on the uphill, and came by me again on the turn into the transition area. Surprise, he was a faster runner. So as I was plodding along, wheezing, maybe a little slower than usual (it's hard to tell), people started jogging by. Like Vince, who I had quite a bit of time on at the start, and don't think I lost much to on the bike; he ended up winning his 30-39 age group. The last half of the run was on mountain bike trails and game paths, which sullied my previously pristine white shoes. Bummer.

Sitting around at the finish, waiting for Mom to come back from the airport so I could load my bike and leave, it looked like I was in 21st overall (solo, men's - two women ran by me and I re-passed another at the finish) and next-to-last in age group; Carl was naturally in my age group, and he won overall, but at least I beat somebody. That's what it's all about, right? And then as I was eating some of the free cookies, my name was called for a raffle prize. A whole hour of free massage, at the Sun Valley Athletic Club. Like I am going to drive over to Sun Valley just to get a massage. Vince cracked that the masseur would be some guy in spandex. Just what I need. But the certificate does not have an expiration date, so _if_ Sun Valley gets good snow this year (which hasn't happened in a while) Dad said we cold go skiing there since I haven't been to the world-famous Sun Valley Ski Resort, home of grossly inflated real estate values. And pick up the massage from Sven on the way home from skiing.

So now I am sitting around waiting to hear the news on my newly-ordered bike. Does this mean I still have a raging bike-aquisition woody? Or will I endure blue balls until it arrives, the tease.

later, hah