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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:

The epic tale of Tritonman 2016 by Rod, Sean, and Gordon

Tim de Visser

Disclaimer: Not all events in the story below are factual.


               “So this is where Coach lives.” Rod scanned the familiar surrounding landscape as Austin nonchalantly made a U-turn with one hand on the steering wheel and the other on his cowboy hat while screaming “Yeeee-haaawwww,” gracefully parking the Tacoma truck in front of a series of quaint, mission-styled condominiums. Silence ensued. Rod turned to Austin and queried, “Ok I get the hat, but why the green speedo?” As it turned out, Austin had a speedo for every occasion. This one just happened to be his road-trip pair.

The two friends unloaded the car and looked around the quiet neighborhood, completely unsure of which residence belonged to Coach Mateo. As they walked further and further west, they began to hear the faint sound of the voice that shadows them even in their dreams. “SMASH IT; NAIL IT; BOP IT; TWIST IT.” They followed the noises until they arrived at the source. Just as the two expected, their Coach was motivating LC through her sixth workout of the day: a mean game of Bop-It. “Alright LC, good work! Now go eat the house down, you animal!” Coach turned to the boys and told them to throw their stuff in the car and come inside after for some bladder alleviation and water.

Austin and Rod sniffed around the ground floor of the pad as Coach cleaned up Luna’s poop outside. The home had everything they imagined it would: hand sanitizer around every corner, a bookshelf stacked with literature on sports psychology and training, a sink, a prized bowl from the Ironman World Championships, a framed picture of Rod running when he was 10 years old. Finally it was time to depart on the seven hour journey to San Diego that, in hindsight, could only be described as _________.

Ten minutes into the ride and Coach was starving. “Boys, I’ve only had nine eggs, two pounds of pasta, a Chipotle burrito, and six glasses of milk today. We NEED to get some Gel-a-to.” The car exited the freeway and stopped in front of a small shop. The three men commandingly entered the store and were instantly stopped in their tracks, overwhelmed by the mixture of odors of Italy, waffles, and sweetened cows. Rod was facing a deep internal struggle:

“I just remembered I’m lactose-intolerant.”

“I just remembered you’re a loser,” Coach rebutted.

“Yeah, you suck,” Austin chimed in, hoping to feel included.

In an effort to fit in and prove his peers wrong, Rod boldly indulged on three baseball-sized scoops of Gel-a-to, one of which being pistachio flavored, the “dankest” according to Coach Mateo. The remainder of the car ride was filled with intermittent explosions of flatulence from Rod’s rear-end that one-third of the car would describe as symphonic, while the rest would demand repulsive.

Time on the road was killed chattering about training, goals, teammates, relationships, and addictions. In fact, the three musketeers developed such a close trust in the few hours that they went in a rotation, each revealing their darkest addictions. Out of respect to the individuals, they cannot be revealed, but Austin’s was online speedo shopping.

Traffic was unforgiving and Coach was in desperate need of a bathroom and assigned Rod the daunting task of finding one “just off the exit.” Most people would crack under the pressure Rod was faced with in this situation, but he saw this an opportunity to make his Coach cry tears of fulfillment. He remembered Coach Mateo confessing from earlier in the car ride when the three of them were sharing their lifelong dreams, “One day I want to see the UCLA campus. Not just see it, but feel it. Feel it by visiting any old bathroom on the campus, even if it’s at a Chevron gas station, unzipping my denims, and urinating. YEAH!” Austin, of course, wanted a Speedo for every day of the year.

“Exit now!” Rod yelled so loud that he saw a drop of blood shed from Austin’s inner ear. Austin and Coach wondered where they were going as Rod navigated the car through the busy streets of Los Angeles. “University of California Los Angeles”, a sign read. Coach Mateo screamed at the top of lungs, “ROD, WHAT THE HECK!” Rod knew he made his Coach proud. The car took the long way around the beautiful campus, slowing nearby the stressed-out students for Austin to poke his head out the window at and harrass, until it arrived at the Chevron gas station Coach only imagined existing in his dream.

The car was back on the road again and the next few hours were filled with stories from Coach Mateo’s days as a Jersey shore lifeguard with a majestic head of hair who could catch any fish in the deep blue sea (innuendo intended). Austin and Rod countered back with stories of their own very recent “experiences”, reminding their Coach of what is was like to be an alpha male in his twenties. The bro-talk was finally interrupted as the three agreed it was time for dinner. Rod used his expert navigational skills to pinpoint a Whole Foods in Huntington Beach where the travelers would experience laughter of the ninth degree by using the restroom and making salads.

“Go right,” Rod ordered, as the car turned away from the Whole Foods on their left. “Okay, now make a U-turn and go straight.” The kid was known for never taking the shorter route anywhere. The car parked in the Whole Foods parking lot and Coach Mateo, Rod, and Austin power-walked quicker than their warmup shuffle pace on track days to the bathroom located at the far end of the market. Two urinals and a stall. Coach and Austin scurried to the urinals as Rod waited his turn. Austin did not know the stall was occupied by someone other than Rod and let out a ten-second-long fart that would resonate back in time and knock over a dinosaur, ultimately changing the whole course of the future. Austin looked back and saw Rod’s still face in shock. The two looked each other in the eyes and began uncontrollably giggling like first graders in love. Not that they were in love… It was just funny. Coach Mateo could not hold in his giggles either and the three of them burst into laughter in the confined restroom while an innocent middle-aged working man was left uncomfortably witnessing it all in the safety of his stall.

The laughter continued as the three mature men exited the restroom and grabbed boxes for their salads. Forgetting they had to pay for their food, the hungry squad piled the vegetables into their boxes. It was the beginning of the end when Rod spotted the densely-packed guac. He shoveled spoonfuls into his box and hardly got it to close. It was time to pay and Rod handed over his box to the cashier whose eyes became wide open as he could hardly lift Rod’s meal. The scale read 39 pounds. “That’ll be $35.89,” the tattooed cashier chuckled. Rod began to riot and created an uprising. “This place is corrupt!” he screamed. No one had his back so he ended up paying.

It was Austin’s moment of truth, although before entering the line to pay, his peripheral vision caught something he would later call “the most valuable thing in his life”, and it was not even a speedo. No one would have guessed a Whole Foods Market would carry Oakley sunglasses, but this one did. Austin found the pair he had always asked for on his birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Groundhog Day but never received. Justifying the $250 purchase, he reasoned, “The shades make the racer,” as he also paid an additional $26 for his meal. Coach threw down big bucks as well and the three complained in the car about how the salads “weren’t even that good” while simultaneously continuing to receive an abdominal workout laughing about the restroom debacle.

Just as they were about to leave the parking lot, Sophia and Julia who had left Santa Barbara an hour after the manmobile, were spotted entering the Whole Foods. They were signaled to come over and hellos and hugs were exchanged. Austin, ecstatic about his latest eyewear purchase, showed his sweetheart his new Oakley’s. “They’re okay. I don’t really like the lenses,” Sophia commented. Austin was confused, but brushed it off. The girls went inside the store and the men were back on the road.

The final hour and a half of the car ride was filled with music videos of Jay Z and Kanye West, Coach singing the entire soundtrack of The Muppets Movie, the first ten minutes of Austin’s favorite movie “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” rewatched four times, and speculation on the performances of individuals on the team racing Draft Legal the next day. Coach asked Rod and Austin how they thought Gordon would do in the field with professionals. “Gordon just needs to keep his heart rate under 202 on the swim so he won’t drop dead,” Rod joked. The others chuckled along, knowing that this was indeed a ridiculous statement. No one can survive with their heart beating that fast for that long. Austin then asked how they thought Sean would do. “BIG SEAN HARRRRRYYYYY!” Coach responded. And that was that.

The talk resumed with speculation on the girls race. “I just want Sophia to have a good race so she’ll let me wear her speedo tomorrow,” Austin inputted. Rod and Coach Mateo looked at each other and exchanged confused looks. “Okay, how about Jenn?” Coach asked. “She’s been smashing the swim and the bike lately.” Rod and Austin both agreed that if Jenn went full-mermaid on the swim, she would be in a prime pack on the bike to pull her to a great time.

Of course, there was also Konnor, Emme, and Savannah to be accounted for, but before the three travelers knew it, they had arrived in front of the Angela manor in San Diego.

“Wow. What a trip boys,” Coach Mateo exclaimed as he patted Rod and Austin on the back. “Remember my three rules. I’ll see you guys in the morning.”

Rod and Austin would never forget Coach Mateo’s three rules.



Day 1 – Draft Legal:

4:30 a.m. PST

The ring of “Carry on my Wayward Son” stirred the racers, although most were already awake. It was a restless night of sleep, yet the racers felt alert. Perhaps it was nerves, but more likely just anticipation for the race to come. Austin was slow to emerge from the cocoon that was his sleeping bag, but the smell of oatmeal reminded him that his growling belly needed nourishment. As he crawled out, Konnor noticing all Austin was wearing was his pink speedo and  asked, “Austin, do you always sleep in a speedo?”  

Austin responded, “Pretty much, yeah. But I only bust out my pink one when I need little extra luck.  It’s the best way to guarantee a good day. And I know today is gonna be a good day because I just bought these sick new Oakley’s and I’m stoked to finally get to wear them,” as he showed off his brand new $250 Oakley’s.     

Some food in the belly, and desperately needed coffee to fuel their caffeine addictions, left the racers feeling sharp and ready to go. As they stepped out of Angela’s house the chill of the early morning could be felt, but the racers knew the day would be plenty warm. Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody could be heard blasting from Jenn’s car as they peeled out towards the race. Konnor, Jenn, and Emme belted out the lyrics, “Bismillah! No we will not let you go - LET HIM GO!” Momentarily all nerves were gone, and the racers didn’t have a care in the world.  

6:30 a.m. PST

               “Alright racers, this is the draft legal race in case you didn’t know what you signed up for,” the head official started. “This a three lap race. You can choose either karts or bikes. After all, this isn’t the classic race. Only standard power ups will be allowed, including banana peels, shrooms, and shells. Good luck and watch out for blue shells.”

Mateo turned to the racers and said, “Alright team, you’re ready to go.  We’ve put the training in and I know you’re gonna crush it. Every single one of these racers are shaking in their boots, and I expect total annihilation.  No pressure. But seriously, total annihilation.”  

Coach was interrupted by banging in the distance. A line of anxious athletes were pounding the bathroom door with a fallen tree. Several hours later, Rod emerged, shaken. He said to Austin, “Dude, I seriously can’t poop...That gelato was not a good idea.”

Gordon looked over at Sean as they walked down towards the water, “Sean, I just realized I forgot my wetsuit.” Sean responded, “Ah shucks, Gordon! Lucky for you I always bring an extra. Wait no, that's just my blow up dolphin that I bring an extra of. I think it’ll work though.”

Meanwhile, while the girls were out jogging warming up, Sophia noticed that the pink speedo Austin was wearing was her swimsuit. “Austin! Why did you take my bottoms?” Austin responded, “Don’t worry baby cakes, here is some race nutrition to make it up,” as he handed her some jelly beans to stick on her top tube during the race. This only fueled her fury, as Austin should have known she hated black licorice flavor and that was all he gave her.  Swelling up in an awesome rage, Sophia grabbed his brand new Oakley’s off his face yelling, “WOINK!”, proceeded to drop them and gave them one good stomp. “Ooops, Sorry. Gotta go get ready to race…”

6:50 a.m. PST

               As the men’s crew started their swim warmup, Gordon commented, “Guys, there’s a lot of algae out here.” Sean responded, “Gordon, those are Jellyfish!”  Konnor added, “Jellyfish are a lot bigger than I remember,” as a 400 pound jellyfish could be seen gobbling up one of the lifeguards. Sean warned Gordon, “If a jellyfish comes after you, just try a love ballad. They seem to like that.”

               As the racers lined up along the start line the remaining life guards continued to try to push the racers back as they kept wanting to creep further and further forward. A faint toot could be heard. Sean looked over at Jon disgusted and yelled, “Jon, I told you not to get extra beans last night.” Jon responded, “That wasn’t me. You know I’d claim it if it was.” All of a sudden the racers realized that sound was in fact a measly air horn signifying the start of the race, and they were off in a mass of splashing and kicking.  

               During the swim, one of the swimmers could be seen riding a dolphin near the front of the pack.  Mateo exclaimed, “My god! I think that Gordon got himself a magical dolphin!” Gordon emerged from the water at the front of the swim pack having crushed the competition with his blow up dolphin. Shortly after came a wave of USA team members in wildly chasing. In T1 Gordon looked around at all the team USA kits, and momentarily believed he was racing for team Argentina in the Rio Olympics.  Mateo’s screaming voice shook him back to reality as he realized the competition was getting away.

               A few minutes later Sean, and shortly behind, Konnor and Jon, could be seen in hot pursuit out of T1.  Jon, who was so sure he’d beat Sean out of the water let out a deafening roar, “BIGSEANYHARRY!!!” as he angrily sat down to put on his bike shoes. Sean was unfazed and scurried out of T1 chasing after a UCSD guy ahead of him. Upon realizing who was ahead of him, he exclaimed, “What up, Bill Jones!” Bill Jones responded, “BIGSEANYHARRY! Did you bring dem Hamm sandwiches?” Sean replied, “Of course I’m bringing dem Hamm sandwiches, but right now, we gotta chase some chumps down,” as they proceeded to chase some chumps down. Konnor could be seen pulling a pack of 20 guys and wounded gazelles desperately trying to hang onto his wheel.  Most of them couldn’t hang, but those that could, couldn’t pull.

               Knowing the race was going so well, Gordon and Konnor decided that they didn’t need to break any pros’ hearts.  They posted up in T2 where they were serving burritos and fruity drinks with umbrella straws. Soon after, Sean came racing through, chasing after the pros shortly ahead.  As he rounded lap two, Mateo could be heard yelling, “You got them by the balls! NOW SQUEEZE!” And so he did.

8:00 a.m. PST

               A shotgun blast signified the start of the girls’ race. After a scuffle with a jellyfish, a strange sensation overcame Jenn as she sprouted mutant fins. She buried the competition with her new found mermaid fin. Savannah, Emme, and Sophia decided a racing shell (crew boat) would be faster. Savannah could be heard yelling, “Stroke! Stroke! Stroke!” as they rowed in unison. Somehow despite their team effort, they were quite separated by the time they came out of T1. Sophia was seen scolding Austin, and Emme getting her Strava going.  

               Savannah found a pack of 3 other girls as they neared the bridge to Fiesta Island. As they crossed the bridge, one of the girls exclaimed, “We’re on a bridge, Charlie!” Emme, only moments behind, was pulling a pack of 10 girls. By the end of the bike leg, all 10 girls had fallen off the back, unable to hang.

               Upon the conclusion of the bike, the UCSB girls were in terrific position. After a ferocious bike, Jenn decided it would be more fun to moonwalk the whole run. While one girl was getting passed by Jenn moonwalking, Jenn broke out in an uncontrollable laughter, supposedly at a joke she made to Gordon, but possibly at the poor U of A girl’s expense. Savannah blasted through the run, using a jet propulsion pack to get a little extra boost. After wheelbarrowing with Emme for the first mile, Sophia left her behind and began passing girls left and right. Presumably, it was close to a hundred girls, but no one can be sure.  

9:30 am

               “Team what a great effort today,” Mateo began. “I’m really proud of what you did out there. “Gordon and Jenn, way to crush that swim. That dolphin was genius, although maybe you should have saved it for Nats. Now the competition will know to expect it. Emme and Konnor, those were some great bike splits. Those other guys just couldn’t hang! Sean, I’m glad you heard me yelling at you, but it was meant as more of a figurative squeeze. That poor Cal guy’s balls really gotta be hurting now. But either way, good work out there!  Rod, you’ll conquer that toilet. Just give it some time. Maybe eat some leafy greens tonight. That’ll loosen you right up. Alright guys, get some food and rest tonight and you’ll be ready to nail it tomorrow. I can’t wait to see how you guys come back!”

8:30 pm

               The whole team was finally reunited, bellies filled with a combination of pasta, pizza, chipotle, and leafy greens. Spirits were high. During a crazy game of heads up, screams of laughter and fun could be heard resonating through Angela’s house. As the team actioned with a waving motion with their hands, making a “shooshing” noise, Nick Jones's confidently guessed “Shut the f*** up!” knowing exactly what they were doing. It was a beautiful night full of magic, love, and intimate team bonding. Only those that were there can truly understand the depth of the companionship built. The team proceeded to bed, anxiously ready for the dawn tomorrow. The racers swiftly fell asleep to the lullaby that was Rod’s and Austin’s butt flutes.   


Day 2 – Classic:


After a relaxing night of laughter and Rod’s and Austin’s belching farts, the UCSB triathletes found themselves well rested as they followed scents of omelets and chipotle burritos to the kitchen for the hearty breakfast which they all knew they would need. Not unexpectedly, Austin was found wearing a black speedo in mourning of the loss of his prized Oakley’s. In the backyard, the normally early riser, Konnor was visible through the sparks, welding together a new bike for Minsu, using nothing but paper clips, while muttering something about team bike fits. After breakfast, head of household Angela successfully directed traffic through the house and bathrooms.


Along with the first rays of sunlight, Rod’s moans of satisfaction could be heard echoing across transition as his gel-a-to induced constipation finally subsided. Meanwhile the other competitors thought this was a battle cry and shrank in fear at the grotesque sound, but were simultaneously awed as the Great Ricky Waltman pulled the bike trailer with his bare hands to a parking spot. Upon the arrival of the bike trailer, the triathletes bum rushed the trailer only to wait another half an hour as each bike was individually removed, reassembled, and handed to its rightful owner.


During warm-up Austin could be seen silently moping to himself under a tree, holding his once pristine pair of shattered glasses as Sophia menacingly towered over him. Around the same time, Rod was spotted running a marathon. Meanwhile, Savannah practiced her intense race face in the mirror and Jose bribed the race director into letting him enter the race.

Once the group was together, Coach Mateo lectured the team on always wearing mountaineering and ski clothing to stay warm in the frigid Southern California weather. Soon afterwards, Gordon and Julia found a crystal clear patch of water amid the dark brown and green ocean to practice open water swimming and warm up in their wetsuits while Coach was saying something about washing your hands after swimming in that filth. The rest of the team was probably doing something else dreading the fact that they would have to swim.


In the chaotic frenzy at the start line, Logan shrieked thinking a shark had rubbed up against her, only to realized that it was actually the girl next to her lining up at the in water start, but then shrieked again when at least three jellyfish harmlessly bobbed to the surface in front of her. Celine found her inner demon and attacked the swim fists first literally pushing competitors off course, exiting the water with one of the fastest swim splits on the team.

During the bike leg Coach Mateo was seen dressed as a Gaucho lassoing a golden bear to let Gordon pass him. Just after the fact, John Frey, never one to take short cuts, was heard muttering “too easy” as he barreled into his fourth lap on the bike course. Rod on the other hand, daydreaming about Ironmans and other endurance challenges, settled into his 112 mile bike pace. Ricardo and Benton, deciding to work together, devoured a whopping forty bananas and threw all of the peels onto the racecourse sending UCSD, UCLA, and Stanford athletes alike into Mission Bay.

During the run everybody noticed that practice makes perfect as Savannah’s race face looked the same as it did on the bike: intense, frightening, and determined. Sophia, on the other hand, lost total control of her facial expression, mouth open and eyes squinting, as she dug deep to pass nearly all of her competitors and run a personal best 5K. Sean ran to a fourth place finish in a clearly well-used race kit, as can be seen in a number of race photos. Jose stoically ran the team’s second fastest 5K while Rod, still daydreaming about marathons and running himself into the ground, ran past Austin, who was sullenly thinking about how much he needed sunglasses in the blinding morning glare, when he noticed Rod as well as a painstaking cramp in his side (which he would complain about for weeks after).


After the race Emme, concluding that cheering was not enough exercise for the day, decided that she would swim “really far” and climb “a lot” as she set off to find the tallest mountain in San Diego and then do hill repeats on it. At awards, somehow to everyone’s amazement, Taylor had successfully weaseled herself into a first place win. When the team was finally together Coach Mateo repeatedly exclaimed “YOU GUYS KILLED IT” with the undoubted joy and excitement of a four year old receiving a lollipop, successfully pumping the team up for future races.

The triathletes would fall asleep that night with blissful thoughts of Coach Mateo’s quotes resonating in their minds: “YOU GUYS ARE ANIMALS! YOU GUYS ARE GUNNA KILL IT AT NATIONALS!” Suddenly really tired from all of the excitement, the teammates had to wait for the cars to come pick them up and begin the long haul home.


               On the drive home in Sean’s car, Austin found himself wearing a red polka dot speedo for no particular reason, but wishing that he had worn his more appealing zebra striped speedo in order to appease an annoyed Sophia, who took the whole glasses thing very personally. Not far into the drive, the team concluded that it was time for food. Having lost track of time, they were unsure whether to find breakfast, lunch, or dinner but finally decided on french toast. Rod with his expert navigational skills found the cheapest possible IN N OUT and took them on an inward spiraling route until they arrived at the classic Californian fast food restaurant.

               Once the starved athletes entered the IN N OUT they ordered as many animal style french toast servings as their debit cards could handle. Rod, forgetting to order his french toast without bacon bits, carefully inspected each slice only to realize that french toast doesn’t actually have bacon bits. The unspoken rules of eating at IN N OUT suddenly kicked in for each of them and the french toast eating challenge began. Sean, thinking he would win, ate 21 slices in 21 minutes only to realize that this was more of an Olympic rather than a sprint race and ran to the restroom hoping that he could keep it all down. Austin again regretted wearing the polka dot speedo and wished he had worn his brown eating contest speedo and dropped out of the contest 3 slices in. Rod knowing that his size was a disadvantage was not going to let Sophia beat him and his marathon training kicked in allowing him to pace himself and eat one slice every twenty minutes. Sophia on the other hand didn’t care at all and nonchalantly ate 16 slices, coming to a tie with Rod. Gordon, somehow finding extra room in his stomach, put down an incredible 24 slices for the win and still got a shake to go.

               On the road again, the group came to the consensus that they were in need of a pee break, and again, Rod expertly navigated the group along the most parkour possible route to the nearest gas station. To the surprise of everyone, the restroom was out of service so, logically, they crossed the street to the 7-11. Again, the restroom was out of service and the now disgruntled group made their way to some other random stores only to find that all of the restrooms were out of service. Only then, overwhelmed with their desires to urinate, Gordon relieved himself on the nearest bush and the rest of the group followed suit on their own bushes. Even Sophia found a good bush!

               Only then were all of their desires satisfied and Sean, Gordon, Austin, Sophia, and Rod were able to make their way home rather uneventfully and still arrive last of all the cars.

UCI Zot Trot by Anya Kamaraju

Tim de Visser


UC Irvine Zot Trot is a fun triathlon race season opener. For the UCSB triathlon team, this is the race where a lot of newbies (myself included) race their first triathlons! Rookies and veterans arrived early to the race course, chattering nervously and complaining about how cold it was. After setting up our transition areas, the nervous chattering moved to the pool deck as the race start approached. The UCI Zot Trot swim is unlike most triathlon swim courses—it takes place in a pool! It was a little chaotic, but it was a great way for newbies to orient themselves and become acquainted with the kicking, splashing, and grabbing that can happen during the swim portion of a race. A short while later, we hobbled out of the pool and began to run to the transition area to prepare for the bike. I gave the team a good laugh when I fastened my helmet on backwards and proceeded to bike like that for the first five miles of the course. However, after hearing the shouts and giggles of my teammates, I realized what was going on and fixed it. Too bad there are still pictures to document the debacle. After the bike, we threw on our running shoes and went to smash the 5K. It started with an uphill, but that didn’t discourage any of us. We all blasted through the finish line, and I know everyone else can agree that the post-race endorphins had us feeling amazing and proud. Overall, it was a super fun race to start the season with, especially for the rookies! It was a great way to see the payoff of our hard training and acquaint us for what will come in the future races. I’m really glad I signed up for this race, because now I can say I am NOT a rookie anymore!

Rod's Epic Eggnog Mile

Tim de Visser

“How was your break?”


The responses to this question are usually duller than watching paint dry. Asking the bland question itself is a social tick of sorts, however one must accept that its asking is to be expected, usually in abundance. Is it the question that makes this brain numbing salutation so boring? I argue that it is actually the habitual response that incriminates “How was your break?”  It is rare that to experience a reply that doesn’t start and end with “Good…”–which devalues the entire conversation to a predictable game of catch– a sequence of syllables that we are so familiar with that it hardly provokes the firing of a single synapse.  


The sad truth is that the fleeting days of winter break can pass by in a few bites of Grandma’s cookies and a season and a half of House of Cards.  For many, there is hardly more to say than an obligatory one sentence quip about being excited to start classes. The rest of us, however, seized the opportunity winter break gave us to devise the most enticing response to the notoriously unavoidable question as humanly possible.


I, personally, had the honor of competing in the most highly acclaimed holiday-themed event in the country: The USATF Egg Nog Mile National Championships. Just kidding. It was just an eggnog mile put on by a handful of washed-up, ex-track/cross country, shadows-of-their-former-selves, can’t-let-go-of-the-past high school alumni. Nevertheless, it was a race for the ages.


For those of you who do not know, an eggnog mile is the pinnacle of the sport of track and field. The Olympic committee banned it from the games because it was literally too grueling of a race for athletes to compete at the highest level in. Just kidding again. But it is hard, trust me. The race is run around a 400m track and concludes after four laps have been completed by the runners. The rules of the race state that 12 ounces (not 11.999!) of eggnog must be consumed before each subsequent lap is started. So, to put it in simpler terms, drink, run, drink, run, drink, run, drink, run… Vomit.


At this point a lot of you may be wondering, “But Rod, what IS eggnog?” To be honest, I don’t know. So I am going to turn to Wikipedia for a second.


According to the most trustworthy encyclopedia in our advanced day and age, “Traditional eggnog is made of milk or cream, sugar, raw eggs, and spices, often vanilla or nutmeg. Some modern commercial eggnogs add gelatin and other thickeners, with less egg and cream. There are variations in ingredients, and toppings may be added.


For those of us like myself, who have fallen victim to the unforgiving veracity of natural selection, these ingredients pose a serious threat to our feeble, enzyme-deficient intestinal tracts. One can only imagine what 48 ounces of a lactose-infested beverage could do to our genetically inferior, lactose-intolerant bodies... I’ll just finish that thought there.


Now back to the race. There I was, toeing the line with twenty other fine-tuned, equal quad-to-calf ratio'd, aerobic machines, who have also probably spent the majority of the last few years off the track and on the couch throwing back soda after soda, conditioning their gastric stretch receptors instead. This had them equipped with all the perfect attributes needed to be a true Eggnog Mile Champion. Among them I was just a boy with a weak stomach, and a dream.


I quivered in my track spikes as I peered around observing the size of some of my competitors’ bellies. “There is no way I stand a chance”, I kept muttering to myself. I tried hard to visualize the last time I chugged a glass of milk, but before I could conjure up the memory, the official called us to the “drink zone” that still haunts my dreams at night. Each one of us walked up to a red solo cup filled to the brim with the pungent off-white cow juice. A racer turned to me and longingly whispered in my ear, “Pick your poison”, winked, and gave me a light yet assertive tap on the rear. I cried. Finally, the official raised the gun in the air. I felt the glare of the spectators’ eyes pierce me. For a split-second I felt as if my legs had no strength at all. But then the pistol cracked and my heart nearly exploded as I downed the cup of eggnog in under four seconds without even knowing what had happened.


I bolted out of the drink zone in fourth place belching my insides out. As the turns around the oval passed, I found myself on the heels of third place just as I entered the drink zone for the second time. A volunteer shoved a red cup in my hand and before I could catch my breath, 12 more ounces of nog was traveling down my esophagus. I left the drink zone and started the second lap now in third place and 15 meters behind second. 200 meters in and second place grabbed his side in pain. I saw this as a sign of weakness and made a surge. We entered the drink zone together and he took some time to recompose. I nearly hurled as I tried to chug my third cup. I still, however, managed to leave the zone ahead of him with my eyes set on first place 20 meters up.


As a miler in high school, I was always taught that the third lap was the lap to push. The fatigue really starts to kick in and it is easy to fade if you lose focus. The last lap is all heart: you won’t remember it but you will get through it. On this day I found out that this principle does not apply in the Eggnog Mile.


The instant I left the drink zone on my third lap I made an enormous surge I would soon regret. In thirty seconds I had caught first place and held on for dear life until we entered the drink zone for the final time. “GIVE… HEEEEE… ME… HEEEE… A… HEEEE… CUP… HEEEE” I wheezed. I grabbed for a cup; dropped it. I grabbed for another; dropped it. Another; DRANK (it). I looked up and first place was already out 10 meters in front of me. I took off and the rest was a blur.


All I can remember next was that I crossed the finish line, immediately went to my hands and knees, and regurgitated 48 ounces of eggnog. But I was a champion. I won a Garmin Forerunner 220, which I ended up selling to second place for $100 anyways. But. I. Was. A. Champion.

PDR recap!

Tim de Visser

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This weekend was a huge success! It was our first race of the season and many of our rookies' first triathlon ever. We had two olympic relay teams, three sprint relay teams, one person do the full olympic, and four people do the full sprint. And of course everyone killed it!


We had several cars that drove down leaving through out the day. The first two left early enough to reach packet pickup at Triathlon Lab in Redondo Beach. From there we went straight to our favorite pre-race restaurant: Chipotle. 

We spent the night at team alumni Monse's house, who was a fantastic host. A few team members went for a super easy shakeout run as the sun went down while Tim and Gordon went for a quick spin down to the beach and got a chance to check out some of the bike course. The later cars still needed dinner, so they went and grabbed dinner at, you guessed it, Chipotle! It was time for bed soon after they got back as we had a very early morning the next day.

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We woke up early to a symphony of 5 AM alarms. People quickly got ready and we were packed up and out the door on the way to the race site within 45 minutes. We arrived to the race site and started to unload the trailer in a slight drizzle. It continued as everyone got their transitions set up and did their warmups, but stopped just before the first wave was scheduled to go off. Unfortunately, there was a slight delay in starting the race, but soon we were underway.

Our first racers were in the second wave, the womens olympic and olympic relay wave. Travis and Josh were both doing the swim in just speedos for their relay teams, while Logan did the whole olympic race on her own! In wave three, the mens sprint wave, we had Chris and Gordon. In wave four were Celine and Kaylyn doing the womens sprint, and in wave five, we had Nick, Julia, Kenton, and James for the sprint relays. Travis was one of the first out of the water in his wave and the first relay out of the water. Logan and Josh came out of the water together and both went on to do the bike. Julia and Kenton killed the swim and were the first two out of the water from wave five. Gordon was also first out of the water in the sprint wave by 30 seconds. Travis passed his timing chip to Matt who then took off to take on a fast, flat, and surprisingly wet bike course. Matt held Travis's lead for the whole bike and finished the bike in just over an hour. Tim, just like Matt, was the first sprint relay biker to get on to the bike course and the first back into transition. Gordon came off the bike still in first place as well. Jack, the biker for the 1st place mixed sprint relay team, "DLG made me do it", finished the bike in board shorts, a Hawaiian shirt, and on a flat tire! Matt passed off the timing chip to Rod who ran a 36 minute 10k. He had the fastest 10k split of the day by 4 minutes! Gordon had the 5th fastest run split in the individual sprint with a time of 18:41. Elijah also ran a blazing 17:31 5k, good for 3rd fastest 5k of the day. 

When the results were posted, we could see just how well the Gauchos did. All in all, we ended up with nine people/teams on the podium and plenty of PRs. Travis, Matt, and Rod's olympic relay team was the fastest olympic team and Josh and Sam were the third fastest. On the sprint side of the relays, we ended up with the three fastest relay teams. Kenton, Tim, and Adam had the fastest mens and overall sprint relay with James, Eric, and Elijah coming in second place in both the mens and overall categories. Julia, Jack, and Andre were third overall and the first place mixed sprint relay. For individuals, Gordon placed second in the collegiate division and second overall in the sprint! Kaylyn and Celine both finished 3rd in their age groups to earn spots on the podium, while Chris ended up in the top 5 for the collegiate division. Logan won her age group and was 4th overall female in the olympic distance race.

All in all, it was a hugely successful first race of the year which was capped off with a stop at our favorite post-race buffet: Souplantation. Now its time to train hard and start to get ready for the winter race season. 

Full results can be found here: