Wednesday, July 20, 2011

TriSports $50 Winner (Jaclyn's Amazing Race...Literally)

Going into Vineman there was an overwhelming majority of people who were fairly certain Jaclyn was going to crush me in our bet. I figured it could be very close. Good motivation for both of us. Because Jaclyn started a bit after me, I figured post-race I would have time to get my bike out of transition, then head back to the finish to see Jaclyn come in.

While taking my bike out of transition I saw Jaclyn in T2 and actually thought "Oh no, I missed her finish & she crushed me!!!" I yelled over to her and she gave me this look that said a million things as she ran out of T2 and yelled "I double flatted!" over her shoulder.

So I'm fairly certain she should get an award for keep-on-keeping-on-trooper-of-the-day. And she has also used up all racing bad luck for several years...

Jaclyn exiting the swim - right on schedule - fairly uneventful race at this point. (Blogger does NOT like photos captured on phones for some reason - so just tip your head to the right and this picture looks amazing...)

Everything was going well until around mile 30, when Jaclyn got flat #1. (It should be noted that Jaclyn apparently uses awesome tires because in her two years of riding, she has only had two flats prior to this on the road! Tire changing skills might be just a tad longer than the average cyclist.) However, even with her lack of tire changing experience, she knew exactly what needed to be done and set to work fixing the flat.

As she is pulling out the spare tube and taking off the donut threaded metal thing that keeps the stem tight on the wheel, the core of the stem comes out as well. She searches around for the core, finds it, puts it back, inflates the tire with her C02 cartridge, pulls off the adapter and the core flies out and the tube goes flat. (Insert bad words by Jaclyn here!) She finds the core again, screws it back in, and a friendly cyclist out for a ride comes by with a hand pump and helps re-inflate the tire. Several tries and finally it works. But wait, the chain is off the front and somehow has become stuck below her chain catcher. A mechanic finally shows up and adjusts the chain catcher, gets the chain in place and sends her on her way. YAY!

But the bike is really hard to ride. Jaclyn figures she is just a bit frazzled, so decides to just settle down and it will get easier. People start cheering and tell her to "Keep at it, you can do it!" but she's not even on a climb. So Jaclyn pulls over and sure enough, the brake is rubbing. At this point there may have been some shaking of the bike in frustration, which I'm pretty sure we have all done at one point or another. In Kona frustration often ends up with throwing bicycles into the lava fields. Jaclyn thankfully refrained from hurling her bike into a vineyard...

Sometime at this point something goes shooting out of her wheel and the tire goes flat again. (More bad words.) The core had come out of the tube again, except this time she can not find it. She is out of C02 cartridges, 650 tubes and nobody is around to help. She walks back toward the mechanic in her clippy shoes. The mechanics fix the brake, change the flat, and send her on her way yet again.

Jaclyn just signed up for her first Ironman two weeks ago and quitting was not an option. A bit of plantar fascitis had flared up last week, so that added to her comfort on the run. In her words "The run was slow and sucked, but at least I did not cramp, die or chew off my foot!"

Thankfully post-race Jaclyn spent the final few days enjoying CA, rolling around the city on her awesome city bike her boyfriend built her, swimming in Lake Sonoma, and eating lots of yummy food. Oh, and she even took time to take the nice bike mechanics who helped her on race day a 6-pack!

So next time you think you are having a bad race, or maybe feeling a little sorry for yourself, think about Jaclyn and how she kept-on when one thing after another was being thrown at her. She just might inspire you not to give up!

Congrats to Beth (who was also racing Vineman and had a great race!) - your vote of 78:21 was the closest to the 151:67 time gap between us at the finish.

As I was typing this, Jaclyn's package of Sift Cupcakes (our bet) arrived for me. I'm fairly certain we need to have a re-match between the two of us where there are no mechanicals. Meanwhile, I am enjoying my cupcakes. Thanks Jaclyn!!