Today two Kittys, who shall remain nameless, mounted a challenge of the original BI tri course. Accompanied not by a chase boat, but rather by ziplock bags holding their shoes and duct taped to their suits, these hardy souls set off across the channel at Great Salt Pond (we left from the east side of the jetty, not the west, in a prudent move aimed at preventing washing out to sea, a legitimate concern). It was a quick and clean crossing - they did not even get hooked by the bewildered and slightly cross fishermen, nor did they get nabbed by the Coasties.
Once ashore, they took their sweet ol' time putting the shoes on, in one of the longest transitions in triathlon history. At that point, the compass was set due north. Clip clopping along, they were not making good time but were discovering teams of Pequot Museum scientists looking for artifacts in the layered dunes, an urgent FEMA initiative. They also discovered that the transfer station is eroding into the sea, and that erosion in general is making this circumambulation more difficult than it was 15 years ago.
At north light they relished the 25 yards of smooth pavement in the parking lot. At that point, a curious decision was made. These boys here opted for the high road, taking Clayhead trail up onto the bluffs and into the Maze, leaving the rockiest 2+ miles of beach as a sweet view to be taken in from above. Like the prolonged transition, there is concern that sanctions or chiding on purity will come forth from Chesticles, but one of the Clydesdales was really struggling on the rocks. We hope the reader will take solace in knowing that the high road's zigs and zags must have lengthened the route.
Once back on the sand north of Mansion beach, they fell back into the steady rhythm of beach running - 1 step forward, 1/4 step back - and plowed on down into town. Their helmets locked securely away in the car back at Coast Guard beach, a quick sub-one-minute transition ensued. (It should be noted that another transition awaits, and it's not the one you think it is, and it was not pretty.)
Riding their well-tuned (read: untuned) machines - a 1978 Peugeot two sizes too big, a Ross prototype designed to withstand nuclear shock waves, and both equipped with potential goring ibert saddle posts - the cyclists ascended toward SE light. They took turns at the front like true pros - the fat guy led the downhills, the skinny guy the ups - all the way around to the southwest corner where Cooneymus meets West Side.
You may now be sensing the excitement of nearly being done, both with these Kittys' fantastic undertaking, and with this god awful email, but you would be wrong. Dead wrong. Well, they swung it down on Cooneymus, missing the turn on West Side. Deliberately so. And one said, "Hey, let's go pick up the wife and kids."
30 minutes later, shivering, hungry and now a team of two iberts, one trail-a-bike, and two eager but cantankerous if not thoroughly packed mom wifes, the nine wheeled caravan made the turn for home to Coast Guard Rd. The story ends with the slow moving group walking their bikes down the road to the beach. Thud. Total time: 2h 11m. Swim transition included; wife pick up not.
The post-mortem into why the hell we were so slow is still being investigated by the FEMA researchers, our children, and the waitress at the Oar. But we have the soggy toes, sand-filled socks, and sunburn to prove that the BI tri is still alive, and one damn tough and crazy race.
Reported by Brandon Kowloon and Madge
One Tri Guy, and childrens, loaded for bear.