Monday, August 8, 2011

I am an Ocean(wo)man!!!

After the morning Kits Challenge we barely had time for some quick oatmeal before we had to drive from Kits Beach to Jericho Beach to sign in for the 2011 Jericho Oceanman race. We had registered a team when our friends Pete and Linda told us they had their own (separate and competing) teams ready to go. Matt and I decided we had had enough of competing against one another so we joined forces with Eric and Andrew to make up the team "Sore Losers".

The team is, from top to bottom, Eric (6km Run), Andrew (5km Kayak), Matt (2km Stand up Paddleboard) and me (1km swim). This is us before the race, ready to rock and roll.

I was first up with the swim. It consisted of 2 x 500 meter loops in the water, coming out to run around the triangular marker in between. The chop had been steadily growing since we signed in and by the time the horn went for the start of the race there were white caps, so I swallowed more than my fair share of seawater during that swim. Here I am on the turnaround.

At the end of each leg the competitor has to run over the logs and tag the next team member. You can see Andrew ready and waiting for me on the other side.

Tag, he's off and I am free to enjoy the rest of the race as a spectator!

Matt and Eric helped get Andrew off on his kayak and are now anxiously waiting for their legs.

Matt handles Andrew's kayak while Eric waits on the other side of the logs. Andrew has to find his legs after focusing on his core for the last half hour or so. Apparently the swells were still growing during his paddle giving him quite a workout.

...and he's across!

Eric takes off like a shot. He's a strong runner and we know he'll buy us some extra time. Now there are two of us relieved and relaxed and only one left anxious.

Eric crosses the logs before we expect him, cutting several minutes off our combined time.

He tags Matt and then immediately submerges himself in the ocean to cool down.

Matt at the beginning of his first leg with the City in the background. He's right next to the boat, wearing the red PFD.

Eric, cooled and rested, and Andrew. Now all we can do is wait.

Matt coming in from his final leg, looking strong!

Go Matt! Pull!!

Eric grabs his SUP so Matt can race to the logs.

Over and across, smiling and still wearing his sunglasses and his lei. He ain't gonna do it if he can't do it in style.

The "Sore Losers" after the race, feeling good and looking forward to the live band and BBQ!

This race is an absolute blast! Beach boys music blaring and fantastic commentary. Organizer Gary Parsons does an incredible job of combining a challenging race with fun and summer goodness. It's open to everyone from hard core competitors completing the race solo to more relaxed teams. Anyone interested in signing up next year should visit the website. Matt and I definitely plan to do it again.

Thanks to Pete and Linda for letting us know about the race! Here are some photos of their races:

Pete coming in from the swim.

Resting while his teammate kayaks.

Pete taking off for his second loop of the SUP leg.

And finishing strongly!

Lina decided to come out in the afternoon and cheer us on. She's already a bit of a water baby and comes from pretty great freediving stock so I'm sure we'll see her out here racing in no time!

Linda coming in on her SUP! Both her and Matt said it was rough paddling out there.

Linda's all girl team should get extra points for hotness!

Oceanman and Oceanwoman, together at last.

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