Saturday the 10th, 7am. It appeared an ordinary San Fran morning, slight fog hanging in the air as the sun struggled through the clouds. A chill was in the air for the participants in the San Francisco Triathlon (formerly known as the Treasure Island Triathlon), but this was due to the unfortunate events of earlier in the week when the side of a tanker collided with the Bay Bridge, spilling thousands upon thousands of gallons of oil into the bay. Among the many able to claim a direct adverse impact were the triathletes who came to race that morning as, for obvious safety reasons, the swim portion of the event was cancelled. Even more unfortunate, becuase of time constraints and the priority needs of the ITU pro divisions (as this was a points qualifier for the Bejing), the amateurs' 3 sport race was mitigated to a 2 sport, bike-run only.
Below is a shot of T1, athletes prepping for the race, the mood is somber, the day's hopes tainted by the bay spill:
The Bay Bridge and the oil-soaked waters below as the sun rises...this is where the swim leg would have taken place, alas not to be:
Another shot of the transition area, flags of the international field softly fluttering in the morning's quite breeze:
For me, the race was not to be. The swim was cancelled by force majeure, but it was the bike course that truly reared an ugly head for this racer. The course, 6 loops around Treasure Island's roadways was challenging, but not in the traditionaly sense of difficutly level, but rather as a result of road dangerous road conditions comprised of old, worn concrete and uneven asphalt peppered with rocks and debris everywhere. By lap 2.5 I had my first flat! After what seemed like a never ending 9 minutes I'd fixed the flat and jumped back into the race...by lap 4, rounding what was just about the first mile in of said lap, flat number 2 put me out of the race! Most race days are packed with adrenaline filled excitment...this day was the antithesis of all that could be...but sometimes, those are the breaks.