Race Coverage

"The Warning Lights Came on Again and Again"...


By Ted Treise

Santa Cruz 70.3 Highlights – First off, the race is probably one of the best race locations I’ve traveled to. San Francisco is close and easy to fly into, the town is not a tourist trap and feels like there’s a sense of community, and finally the race course is just amazing. Only downside might be the housing situation. Dani and I got a dirt cheap AirBnB (hotels were $500/ night) that appeared to once be a 1 story home and has since been converted into 3 rented areas separated by plywood in a, ah, developing neighborhood. We kept the bikes close by and doors locked. 


Santa Cruz is a typical Ocean swim course being 3/4ths of a rectangle from the beach.  Ocean swims are my bread and butter – wetsuit legal, salty water helping with more flotation and typically a beach start with a run in. On race morning at 6:50, I lined up on the far outside of the start line behind Eric Lagerstrom and Matt Sharpe. TO was a few guys down but my hope was if I could get in there on the swim, catch their feet for as long as I could, then hopefully be a part of a pack with whoever also thought that plan was a good idea. At first, it worked like a charm. The run in created some natural separation right away making it less of a brawl once we all go horizontal and I was able to get on Erics feet. Of course, he gapped the group pretty quick, but I found myself in a good group on some feet and I was PUSHING to stay on. A little gap opened up with the swimmer in front of me and another swimmer was able to slot in. Unfortunately, said swimmer also lost the draft and we were in no mans land quickly. At the halfway point, I split a sighting Buoy with him and a few others, then put in a serge to swim solo knowing the pack I wanted was about a minute up. ...

calted.jpgAfter getting out of the water, T1 was LONG. I’m all about more running in this sport, but a ½ mile on pavement running barefoot was tough on the feet. Once out of T1 and onto the course, I needed to make up time and catch that group ASAP. The best place to do it without burning matches would be on the curvy section along the ocean before we entered HWY 1. It was a little uncomfortable, but I hammered those corners and on a slight uphill before HWY 1, I saw the group - A big sigh of relief. Once I got into the group, I took a breather at the back and got ready for war aboard my Dimond bike. 

Over the next 30 minutes my goal was to separate that group as much as possible. I didn’t want anyone hanging around who could blast me away on the run and if they did hang around, hopefully my surges would blow their legs up. Additionally, a few others within the group like Ernie Mantel and Ben Deal were also taking pulls up front. However, the surges were unsuccessful. My power was getting up past 350 watts on average, the group was still there, and I knew it was time to back it down. There was one more attempt to break away at the turn around, but again everyone stuck together. After that I went into group mode trading pulls at the front. Aside from riding away into the next pack on the course, I think we did OK. A B- grade for the group. Not everyone contributed, but for the ones that did, we made up OK time. 


I felt like on the last couple miles of the bike, I got my stuff together under control and added some fuel in the tank ready to run. After putting in some sub 35min 10ks during local tris, I was excited to unleash what coach Nate and I have been building for. I got into T2, put my Asics on and rushed out. The only person in sight from our massive group was Mr. Deal. His Gazel legs came up to me and cruised by as I checked my pace at 5:30. No way was I going with him. He slowed a bit about a half mile in, I closed in again but as soon as I did that, the internal warning lights came on. Every athlete knows what this is. The ‘Nope, we cant hold this pace for what you’re trying to do here distance wise, SLOW DOWN’ feeling. I obliged and backed it down to 5:45s. I felt pretty solid until about mile 7. Those warning lights came on again and well, they didn’t come off for the rest of the race – maybe too many surges on the bike adding up here. Just a pure torture to get to the finish line which thankfully included a mid-race high-five from Dani as she was on her way out on the run course. A couple people got by – Ernie and Ari, however I was able to pass some others earning myself a 11th place on the day. SOOO close to a top 10, but one of my best races in the end.   

ED. Ted's time was 3:58!