This was the 25th annual Grizzly Triathlon. Somehow, the weather in April, in Montana is cold, rainy and cloudy, but on Grizzly Triathlon day, it’s sunny and beautiful. This year, the forecast was abysmal, snow, rain, wind. It t...
This was the 25th annual Grizzly Triathlon. Somehow, the weather in April, in Montana is cold, rainy and cloudy, but on Grizzly Triathlon day, it’s sunny and beautiful. This year, the forecast was abysmal, snow, rain, wind. It threatened to rain several times in the morning, but it held off. As always, the sun ended up coming out, but it was unusually windy. Claims of 40 mile and hour gusts blew straight down the canyon where the bike portion took place. This made for a screaming fast ride out, and a brutal struggle back.
This is the first year in 10 years I did not race. After the Great Divide mountain bike attempt, I was left with a numb hand and numb feet for 4 months, and a somewhat numb motivation to train. Skiing this winter helped quite a bit, since it was a good break from the same routine of swimming, biking and running, but I just can’t seem to get into the pool. I love swimming in open water, and got a chance to train in Hawaii this winter, where the water is warm enough, one doesn’t need a wetsuit. Until the river warms up enough to be tolerable to swim with a wetsuit, I’m focusing more on riding and running, and didn’t feel prepared enough to jump into a pool swim triathlon. I will wait until later in the year, and find open water races.
This just means that this is the first time I’ve ever watched the Grizzly Triathlon. After racing triathlons and never watching them, I found that they are more boring that I thought. But maybe I’m jaded because I have been lucky enough to compete in them, which is way more exciting than watching. The transition area was the most exciting thing to watch, where racers jumped out of the water and onto their bikes, then off their bikes and onto the run. I saw just how important practicing ones transitions is. The potential winner hopped on his bike, looked down to put his foot in his shoe, swerved into an oncoming biker, and crashed. He quickly got up, put his shoes on, then started off again, costing him about 20 seconds. Sure enough, at the end of the race, he finished about 20 seconds behind the 1st place racer. It would have been a great finish if it wouldn’t have lost those 20 seconds.
I was honored to be able to hand out Mountain Khakis Gift cards to the overall and age group winners. The racers were very excited about such a nice prize. Attached are two photos of the MK banner at the transition zone, with the canyon that the racers run and ride down in the background.