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TRITONMAN 2018 BY JARED KLISZEWSKI

Iris Wu

Friday, February 16th - 12:30 PM

   It had finally arrived – the weekend we had all been waiting for since we first saw those socks they gave out last year. Tritonman was finally here. And it came to an exciting start as half the team sat in the wreck cen parking lot waiting for the bike trailer to arrive, eyes glued to Ethan attempting to change a flat he got on his way. This proved to be an excellent form of entertainment, and by the time the bike trailer arrived most of the team hardly realized that they had been waiting for almost an entire hour. Except John Frey - he knew damn well how long he had waited for that bike trailer to show up. After dealing with the inevitable hassles that come with transporting thirty people, their bikes, and all their gear two hundred miles down the coast, the team finally hit the road at two in the afternoon – LA traffic prime time. Traffic had already slowed to a crawl at downtown Santa Barbara. It was going to be a long ride.

    Four hours later the team stopped for dinner at Chipotle. Traffic was brutal – not even the LA natives had seen it this bad. It was going to get worse before it got better, so everyone took their time at dinner and decided to hit the road again in an hour. Time was passed wandering through Trader Joes, discussing how one might transcend the barrier between mind and body, and arguing over how to pronounce “Dinah’s Fried Chicken” (it’s Die-Nuhs). Coach caught Jared handing out ibuprofens out of an old prescription bottle behind the van and was worried some seriously shady stuff might be going on. After dinner it was time to hurry up and wait some more. The traffic didn’t let up, and the team was forced to get more and more creative with how they would pass the time on this seemingly endless drive. Thea and Ethan watched one of the live action Scooby Doo movies until they were sure the CGI animation of Scooby dancing would give them nightmares, epic tales of Nicaraguan strip clubs were told, debates got heated over which one of the United States should be erased off the face of the earth, and Suds’s heart broke when he found out the Sierra and Blake were not in fact dating. But the hours dragged on as the van crawled across the 405 southbound.

Just as all topics of conversation had been depleted and the athletes thought they might go stir crazy, two shining red beacons of hope glimmered in the distance. It was them – the two and only – the San Onofre Nuclear Boobies*. In an unspoken language that all men are fluent in from age thirteen onward, the boys exchanged brief glances and knew it was time to release the middle school sense of humor that still held a special place in all their hearts, yelling “NIPS!” in perfect harmony. All this commotion woke Nick from a deep slumber. As pulled off his headphones and opened his sleepy eyes, he stated in pure awe, “my god those are some perky titties.” Thea, stuck in the back of the van with the boys, looked like she was ready to shoot herself.

After seven and a half hours of travel time, the team finally arrived at Nicole’s house at 9:30 PM. With a 4:30 AM wake up call looming, there wasn’t much time for fun and games, although everyone did take a few minutes to say hi to Nicole’s many fun pets. Jared, Jonathan, and Iris said a quick prayer that a freak rain storm would roll through overnight raising the pollutant levels in Mission Bay to dangerous levels thus forcing the swim to be cancelled, and everyone went to sleep.

Saturday, February 17th – 4:30 AM

    The athletes woke to the sound of every iPhone ring tone every created sounding simultaneously and a killer array of breakfast goodies, many thanks to Nicole and her family. It was still pitch dark when the vans rolled into Mission Bay for packet pickup. Much to the chagrin of athletes everywhere, there were no Tritonman socks distributed this year, although the beanies were still kind of cool. The team proceeded to unload the bike trailer and set up their transition areas. When Dane saw Jared changing into his favorite unmarked team wetsuit, he declared war. Whoever finished first would gain custody of the suit. A few minutes before the race was set to start, the team got into the water for a quick splash to warm up. Jonathan realized he had forgotten his goggles and asked Iris if she had an extra pair. Iris is usually the one to ask if you forgot anything tri related, but alas, five minutes before the race start not even she had spare pair of goggles laying around and Jonathan was forced to sprint back up to the transition area. Seeing that no freak rain storm had arrived to pollute the water, Jared and Jonathan said one more quick prayer – this time only asking not to drown.

    The gun went off and the race was on. Thea and Sierra got out fast on the swim, Gordon took off on the bike for the fastest bike split in the whole race, and Ricky and Iris finished strong with the run, earning them both spots in the top twenty-five in a very competitive field. Sarah crushed the bike for the 8th fastest bike split in the women’s race along with a sixteenth overall finish. Suds put out an impressive performance in triathlon debut, and even came out with the fastest T2 in the whole race. James put in a respectable effort, finishing the race strong after being hospitalized with the flu only two weeks earlier. The crowd went wild watching Sierra and Kelly battle in a true sprint finish in the last fifty meters of the race, and despite Jared’s gut wrenching effort on the run, Dane managed to edge him out, earning back the rights to his favorite wetsuit.

    The mood after the race was pleasant with sunny skies and warm SoCal weather. After ample sunbathing was done and exaggerated stories of race carnage were told, the team gathered for a picture and hit a local restaurant for some real Mexican food (not Chipotle). The trip home took just as long as the trip there, with traffic being unusually heavy. But the race was over, and everyone was a little more relaxed. The boys broke into commotion once again as the van passed the San Onofre Nuclear Boobies, this time in broad daylight. Close examination of the structures sparked a good deal of debate in the van. Coach Matt stated that they couldn’t be real, and Ethan said, "it never hurt a man to dream." Thea, Iris, and Sierra just rolled their eyes. The rest of the drive was passed with frequent fast food and bathroom stops. Sierra woke up to the soothing sight of Coach Matt’s face pressed up against the van window at a gas station, and Nick managed to awaken from his slumber just in time for every fast food stop. At a Micky D’s in Carpinteria, Coach Matt and Ethan were sure that Jared was occupying the stall they were waiting in line for and proceeded to throw spitballs and tell rude jokes just outside the door. Jared turned out to be outside the van in the parking lot the whole time, and a very angry old man emerged from the stall.

*The San Onofre Nuclear Boobies are two reactors within a formerly active nuclear powerplant on San Onofre State Beach. The shape placement of these two reactors in close proximity to each other lead them to indubitably resemble boobs. If you don’t believe me, google it.

 

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ZOT ZOT BY JARED KLISZEWSKI

Iris Wu

Saturday, February 10th – 12:30 PM

The weekend of the first collegiate race of the season had finally arrived, and the UCSB Tri Team was ready for it. Half an hour before scheduled departure, Gordon showed up decked head to toe in USA Triathlon gear with the towing SUV, Ricky procured the finest mom van in Santa Barbara County for the weekend, and Coach Matt rocked jeans with running shoes like only a man on the eve of his thirtieth birthday could. Jonathan, Bella, and Jared almost crashed out of the race before it started in their attempt to ride their bikes from the dorms to the wreck cen parking lot with all their race gear balanced on their handlebars but managed to make it in one piece. Once all the bikes were loaded in the trailer, it was time to hit the open road. Those in the van driven by Coach Matt quickly realized the error in appointing the only person who didn’t own a car as the driver, white knuckling their seatbelts as several hard, fast stops were blamed on the van’s “bad breaks.” After about fifteen minutes of breezing along the beautiful Pacific coast and an hour and a half crawling through LA traffic, the gang decided it was time for a bathroom break. Most everyone was glad to get out and stretch their legs for a few minutes, but Ethan was just pissed that there was nobody working the register at Carl’s Junior, robbing him of a golden opportunity to get in a pre-race double western bacon cheeseburger.

Before long, the team had arrived at the eerily utopian city that calls itself Irvine, California. Iris’s blood began to boil as the van crossed the city limits, spitting fiery insults at suburbs with streets named after prestigious east coast universities. After packet pickup the team decided it was time for dinner and headed to a local pizza joint that Dane used to work at. Coach Matt was delighted to see that his pizza did indeed arrive - a drastic improvement from the previous year. Patrick enjoyed one small sized pizza and two large pizza-sized cookies. Ricky wasn’t so pleased with the service. “Those bastards. They brought me two plates.” He said through gritted teeth as a waiter delivered a large pizza topped with two pigs worth of sausage.

After stuffing their faces, the team headed to Dane’s house to post up for the night. It took some time to find it, in part due to Ricky’s subpar navigational skills and in part because all 79,000 houses in Irvine look exactly the same. The team set up camp in the basement and the day came to a close with half the team nerding out in preparations for midterms they had on Monday while Gordon amused himself by throwing starburst at people. By 8:00 PM, most everyone had fallen into a restless sleep in anticipation for the next day’s events.

Sunday, February 11th – 4:30 AM

Alarms chirped and phones buzzed at the ass crack of dawn the next morning. It took most of the athletes a few minutes to recognize Ray as they rubbed their sleepy eyes clear – most couldn’t remember the last time they saw him without a helmet or baseball cap on and forgot about those luscious locks of silky black hair he had hiding under there. As soon as kits were on and oatmeal was eaten, it was off to the race course. The next couple of hours were spent unloading bikes, inflating tires, and setting up transition. Some of the veterans got a warmup in, while the rookies were preoccupied with figuring out how to use the bathroom in their new race kits.

Sunday, February 11th – 7:00 AM

The team was gathered on the line five minutes before the race was set to start. The nerve was there, but everyone felt ready. Coach Matt was busy curating his snapchat story, mumbling the occasional word of encouragement when the gun went off. Sean took the field out hard from the start, with Ricky, Jared and the Wattslayer gang breathing his dust. Iris took the ladies out fast while Bella and Nicole showcased their running skills on the long, sloping downhills that made up much of the 3.7 mile run course.

Transition from the run to the hilly, 12 mile bike went smoothly for most aside from the fact that many of the rookies drastically underestimated how hard it would be to locate their bike among 200 others. Sean widened his lead, while Ricky ate up the lead Wattslayer almost as fast as he had eaten that large pizza the night before. Gordon sandbagged the run but jumped up to the lead pack on the bike, setting a course record in the process. The spectators’ jaws dropped as they saw how fast the race leaders were flying down the hill on the descending portion of the four-lap bike course. “My goodness! How fast are they going?” exclaimed one lady standing near Coach Matt on the sidewalk. “I’m not sure, but the chubby kid on the red bike’s probably going around fifty,” he replied as Gordo flew down the hill at a top speed of fifty miles per hour. Iris was dancing on the pedals through the first lap of the bike course, and looked like she was ready to pull a “reverse Gordon” by the last.

The finish line was literally in sight as the athletes approached the swim leg of the reverse triathlon. Sean won the race handily, as most of the men’s field was pretty strung out by this point. The women’s race on the other hand was a nail biter. Iris got into the pool in first place with around a ten second lead on UCSD’s top girl. Things heated up as the UCSD girl flip turned her way to the front, edging Iris out with just 100 yards left. This brought up a bit of controversy since flip turns weren’t supposed to be allowed, but the refs let the SD girl have it after she said some things that probably shouldn’t be repeated here. Sticks and stones will break your bones – but words will mess you up. Lindsey and Ethan hopped in the pool and did what they do best, gliding through the water for two strong finishes.

The mood after the race was light as the nerve was finally gone and everyone could relax. The athletes feasted on free snacks and rehydrated with every flavor of kombucha. Sean was bombarded by local kids asking for his autograph, and Jonathan - GQ model of tri kits - had a post-race photoshoot for his Instagram on the pool deck. Meanwhile, Nicole staggered around the finish line confusedly asking the race officials where the other forty six miles of the run course was. After the award ceremony, the team gathered for a picture with Gordon poised on Iris’s back. “Holy crap! How is Iris carrying Gordon?!” exclaimed many. “What do you mean,” replied Gordon to what was possibly the stupidest question of all time, “have you seen Iris’s legs? They’re ripped!” All in all, it was a solid day for the Gauchos with Sean outclassing the entire men’s field, Ricky coming in second, and Iris taking second in the women’s race. Gordon, Jared, and alumni Jon Waltman also rounded out the top ten. Congratulations to Bella, Nicole, Jared, Jonathan, Ethan, and Patrick for completing their first collegiate triathlon!

The ride home was relaxed after a much needed lunch stop at Chipotle. Jonathan ate a burrito that was clearly larger than the capacity of his stomach and apologized in advance about the extra stop his van would need to make on the way home. Patrick was pronounced an honorary California-native as he ordered his first Chipotle burrito on the west coast and proceeded to complain about how expensive it was and how they had the audacity to charge extra for guac. Everyone had different ways of passing the time on the drive back. Ray passed out as soon as he got in his seat, Bella listened to music, Iris was already formulating her plan of attack for Tritonman, while Jared and Ethan engaged in some good old fashioned class warfare over who would get to buy Sean’s TT bike next year. Coach Matt occupied himself telling embarrassing stories about Ricky and Sarah to whoever would listen to him.

“Ricky was stone cold. I mean he wouldn’t say a word to me, or anyone for that matter, except for Sarah,” Coach recalled with a grin on his face. “Then he held her hand, and he was a changed man. Suddenly, he was just oozing with self-confidence. Ahh, now that’s a wedding I can’t wait for.” Ricky spent the rest of the ride home sweating bullets.

 

TRICK OR TRI 2017 by Sierra Moreno

Iris Wu

Boy oh boy what a tremendous Halloweekend we had!! For the past few years, our go to race to kick off the new school year has always been the Playa Del Rey triathlon. Unfortunately this year, that race was cancelled and for a while we seemed lost without our beloved race until Coach Matt found “Trick or Tri” in Irwindale, CA. So on Friday, a group of 11 of the finest triathletes UCSB has to offer, packed up and got ready for the long car ride out to Torrance where we would stay for the night. After 3.5 hours of sitting in bumper to bumper traffic and listening to the Beastie Boys, the Dodgers lose (tragically), and…cat podcasts??? we finally made it to our destination where a FEAST of Olive Garden awaited us. Sarah was ashamed for getting seconds, Ethan woke up with “the meat sweats” at 1 a.m., and my grandparents had a look of concern when they saw everyone’s plates but all was well. With bellies full of delicious pasta, we got a good nights rest and woke up the next morning bright and early at 4 a.m! I can guarantee that, at this exact moment, all the newbies told thought, “This is not what I signed up for.”

 

After getting to the race site, we were reunited with Coach Matt, Emme, Iris, James and most importantly…BOULDER! After getting our transition spaces ready mostly in the dark, it was a waiting game. The sun decided it was ready to come out, only to reveal the heavy fog over the lake. It began to clear up and we thought the race was going to start so we started warming up and putting on our wetsuits only for the fog to get even worse than it was before making it nearly impossible to see the buoys that were not even 100m out. All events ended up getting pushed back an hour in an attempt to wait for the fog to clear and while it cleared a bit, it didn’t clear enough for the half and olympic athletes to swim their normal distances so everyone swam a 300. At this point, the swimmers doing the olympic questioned their existence but were troopers and pushed through anyways. After the waves of the half were sent off, the men’s olympic waves were sent off which included Ryan, Gordon, Ricardo and Cole. The girls, Emme, Sarah, and myself, all went after. Then it was time for the sprint! Super excited for this race because all of our first timers were in it! So excited to see Bella, Ethan, Paige and Adrian out there discovering how great our sport really is with some of our lovely veterans, Nicole, Adriana, Iris, Ray, and James right beside them to help them out. 

 

What a crazy race our team had! Gordon was first off the bike with a HUGE lead, injury free Emme happily ran her heart out, Cole didn’t crash, and Nicole had some trouble with her shoes in transition but don’t worry Coach Matt was there to offer her support (just kidding, he just sang the jeopardy theme song.) James and Adriana did not let their nerves get the best of them and showed us what a stellar performance looks like! Our first timers weren’t too shabby either! Ethan out there completing the race in a speedo like a champ, Paige getting into the Halloween spirit with the best lion mask I’ve ever seen, and Bella and Adrian coming in with times that definitely did not show their rookie status. 

 

And what can I say…our team CLEANED UP. Gordon taking first for the Men’s Olympic distance with fierce competitor Ricardo right behind him taking second. Excited to see these two battle it out through the year! Not to be outcompeted by the boys, Emme came in to nab the first place time in the women’s Olympic distance and while not placing on the official podium, Sarah came in 5th with a tremendous race!! Iris won the women’s sprint and despite the run being on a dirt trail, Ryan won the para race and the battle within himself when finishing the race early seemed like the better option. While it was almost a full sweep of first place by UCSB, we couldn’t quite get our hands on the men’s sprint, but don’t count us out, we still took third with a snazzy time from Ray who’s going for number one next time. Our accomplishments are almost too much for one blog post as most of us made top 10 in our races. WOW. 

 

We have so many people to thank but we will start with the Trick or Tri race director, Thom Richmond, for welcoming us with open arms to his race. Everything from giving us discount codes so more athletes could afford to go to giving us a special place in transition made us feel so special and like we’ve been coming to this race for years. All of your hard work did not go unnoticed! Big thanks to my grandparents for hosting a whole flock of us and feeding us YUMMY food!! HUGE thanks to Dane for waking up with us at 4 am just to cheer us on! From helping us with bikes to screaming at us on the course, this race would not have gone the way that it did without you. Also quick thanks to our bike shop sponsor, Velo Pro, for getting our team bikes to us before the race, we LOVED them! And of course, always thank you to Coach Matt for giving us so much and more to prepare for this race and for supporting us. Whether it be through sarcastic comments or stressful moments, you’re always there for each one of us! 

 

Our work began early and the Gauchos are hungry for more wins and PR's. If reading everything that happened this weekend isn’t enough for you to figure it out…it’s going to be a GREAT season and THIS. IS. OUR. YEAR.

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Tritonman 2017!

Tim de Visser

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Our first race of the year came a month earlier than normal this year, but a solid fall quarter of training set us up perfectly. 30 people traveled down to San Diego to race Tritonman and to cheer on our teammates. Despite some car troubles, everyone made it down to Nicole's house safely. After playing with some cool chinchillas, a really plump cat, a dog in a tutu, and an adorable bird, it was time to settle in for the night.

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After a 3:45 AM wake up call, we headed over to the race site . There was some more car trouble, but with the help of Chris and Nick, all of us eventually made it. Unfortunately, one of the biggest storms in the last few years had just rolled through resulting in poor water quality and a cancelled swim. The race was changed to a duathlon with a 1.7 mile run, 13 mile bike, and a 3 mile run. Even though the winds were still howling and the bike course was so flooded that it essentially was a swim, our badass members weren't fazed. Our team killed it! Jenn got 4th in the women's collegiate race despite heavy complaints about extra running and no swim, Emme basically just stepped off a plane from Thailand and still got 12th, and Katie got 15th in her first race for the team. Sean got 3rd in the men's collegiate race even though he had to run the last 3/4 of a mile of the bike leg since he got a flat, Rod got 5th, and Gordon got the fastest bike split (surprise surprise). Ryan also completed the run portion on his normal wheel chair. It was so inspiring to see his determination to finish. And of course a huge shout out to all the people who did their first race ever! 

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All in all it was a great weekend, which was capped off by no car troubles on the way home. A huge thank you to Nicole's family for hosting our team, Jenn's parents for providing a lunch to us on the way home, and Chris, Nick, and Brendan for helping with everything to make the weekend go smoothly. Thanks to Brendan and Nicole's father for the pictures! Results can be found here.

Playa del Rey 2016

Tim de Visser

Sorry this is late (3.5 weeks isn't that late is it?), but here is a quick recap and some pictures from PDR! About 20 of us traveled down to LA for PDR. We stayed at Jeremy's house in Santa Monica (a huge thank you to them for hosting us!). Once we got to LA, we picked up our packets and then went to Jeremy's house to do our pre-race shakeout before dinner. After a scrumptious dinner at Panera Bread, it was bedtime to make sure we were all well rested for our races the next morning. 

The race went extremely well! Gordon won the men's collegiate and men's overall divisions in the sprint distance race, Logan took the woman's collegiate division and 3rd woman overall in the sprint with Sarah in 3rd for woman's collegiate as well. Despite flatting with a mile to go of the bike, Bree pushed on to finish her first Olympic distance race and won her age group! Our relays were also well represented on the podium with 1st and 2nd in the mixed division for the sprint and 1st in the mixed division for the Olympic. Other highlights include several people completing their first triathlon, including Nick who did the whole thing in a speedo, Matt who narrowly missed the men's collegiate podium with a 4th place in the division and 6th place overall, and Coach Matt's first race with the team! All in all, it was a very successful race and we can't wait for our next race in January! 

Results can be found at this link: http://playadelreytri.com/results.htm