Team Trutane

[ NOTE: This story appeared on the Golden Gate Triathlon Club (GGTC) and Transition Sports Triathlon Club (TSTC) mailing lists on 5/17/02. ]

Wildflower 2002: Camping With Heirlooms

by Steve Trutane (formerly Chervitz)

Described below is a timeline of the journey that took me, my partner Kimberly, and 16 month-old son Russell 2000 miles from South East Texas to Lake San Antonio, CA for the Wildflower Tri (I did the MTB race), while my gear took a different route from my home in the East Bay (Albany). You might find it amusing. -Steve Trutane (formerly Chervitz)

Fri 4/19

Father-in-law passes away :-(. Must go to Port Neches,TX for funeral and other business. Bought one-way plane ticket because we may drive back to transport valuables.

Thu 4/25

Purchased used minivan from dealership in Orange, TX. Before buying, had it checked by mechanic and did a check. Looked great.

Fri 4/26

Drove across TX 12hrs to Amarillo. Discovered erratic speedometer & flakey cruise control.

Sat 4/27

Brought minivan into dealership in Amarillo. Tests show transmission trouble. Can't fix until Monday when transmission guy returns. Same situation at the other dealerships in town.

Tue 4/30

Car fixed but we can't take it because the warranty company has to approve the repair if we're going to have a chance to get them to cover the $3000 bill to replace the transmission. More waiting.

Wed 5/1

Still no action from the warranty company. They say we may have to wait until Friday! What?! Nothing doing. We've got to head out on Thursday at the latest. We must proceed straight to Wildflower given the late time. Problem: I don't have my bike and other gear. Started searching my Palm Pilot for phone numbers of Tri-buddies. Called Cathy Morgan to chat about ideas for getting my stuff down. She recommends Krag at Transition Sports. I called Krag. Said he could get my bike down if someone can get it to his shop by 6:30pm Thursday. Called Mark Dolley and he said he'd hunt for East Bay folks who might could help. Also left message with one of my co-workers (and triathlon volunteer) Alex Mayer.

Thu 5/2

Alex comes through and I give him instructions on how to get my stuff and bring it to TS. I buy some internet time at Kinkos and exchange email with Katie Verry about getting my GGTC uniform. Says she already gave it to Dave Green who's already camping at the Lake. So I just need to find him at the GGTC site. We hit the road heading out of Amarillo at 4pm with the goal of getting to Lake San Antonio by 8-9pm Friday to catch the pasta party. We make it to a town called Gallup at the west end of New Mexico.

Fri 5/3

My birthday. No time for cake. Still have to drive about 1000 miles. Stop at Flagstaff, AZ to acquire cold weather gear for camping at Lake San Antonio since we traveled to Texas with only shorts, t-shirts, and funeral attire. We're hopping around various thrift stores, tooling up and down historic Route 66 in our minivan and I'm getting antsy since we still have lots of driving to do. We bought some blankets at Goodwill that we can spread out in the car for a makeshift bed, if we can figure out how to remove the seats. I'm thankful for the two-hour time difference heading into PST.

11:30pm: We arrive at lake San Antonio missing pasta party but glad to be done driving. Pulled in to the overflow camping area, basically a field, unload all of the boxes containing valuable, extremely fragile and irreplacable heirlooms onto the field, along with the rear seats from minivan, and set up our minivan -bed. The baby awakes and I show him the stars in what is a spectacularly clear night. He seems impressed. We're in bed by 12:30am.

Sat 5/4

4:45am: Woke up shivering. Turned on car heat for about 30 minutes to warm up, but can't really get back to bed due to nerves.

7:00am: Drove car to Redondo Vista looking for the GGTC camp site. I ran into Mark and Cathy who give me clues to finding Krag and my bike with gear. Also find Dave Green who gets out of bed early to get me my uniform. Thanks Dave!

7:20am: Walk down hill to finish area. See that someone has already crashed their bike while on their way to the transition area and there's an ambulance on the scene. Bad sign!

7:40am: Pick up my registration packet and locate the Transition Sports booth which is still closed up. I can see that my bike is there! Stress release. But what if Krag doesn't open up the booth before my race starts? I figure I can break in if necessary. Visions of being carted off in handcuffs.

8:00am: Watch the long coursers start. Kind of weird to have a Christian prayer service at the starting line. I silently offer a Mazel Tov to all of the racers and move on.

8:10am: Take bus back up hill to get stuff and connect with Kimberly and Russell. Kimberly is stressed due to extended vehicular confinement with toddler.

8:30am: Running around our campsite chasing Russell. He may be small, but he gets around. Also trying to get changed into my race clothes and collect my gear together. Feels like a sporting event in itself.

9:05am: Run to catch a bus heading down to the start. Bus was moving really slow navigating around lots of long course bikers. Finally we start heading down the hill as I activate my HRM. Pulse was at 95. Must relax. But would I be able to get my bike from Krag and set up my transition area in time? Man this bus is really slow! Pulse now at 124. Jeez, gotta take some deep breaths...

9:15am: Finally off the bus. I see the TS booth and Krag. Yea! So I won't have to break in. Now the only thing separating me from my bike is the never-ending line of long course bikers, which I must cross to get to the TS booth. They were only letting people cross at big breaks in the flow, which were few and far between, and there were many people ahead of me trying to cross. There's gotta be a better way to arrange this! A race volunteer points me towards another crossing point past the finish line, which I sprint to, only to find much the same situation. Pulse is now at 145. Finally, a break! I dart across and make my way to the TS booth and hook up with Krag who announces, "Look who finally made it!" I thank him profusely, but no time to chat. I feel much relief to have my bike in hand, but it doesn't seem to be helping my pulse any, which is at 161 while I'm standing still. Andrenaline is amazing stuff.

9:30am: With MTB in hand, I head to the transition area, a full 15 minutes prior to start. Good thing I don't have a wetsuit to put on.

9:45am: I hear the first wave start as I jog over to the start of the swim. I've got 6 minutes before my wave goes. Just enough to get some easy stretching in. The race goes well for me except for the fact that I didn't even know the exact distances I was racing. I was planning on a ½ mile swim and a 5K run. Here's to better planning next time...

1:55pm: I meet Kimberly and Russ at the camp site. She pushed Russ in the stroller all way back up hill from finish area because buses wouldn't start until 2pm. Thankfully, Russ stays asleep while we load up the car until... Crash! My bike falls down right behind his stroller. Russell wakes but luckily I got him back asleep.

2:40pm: Departed the campsite, weaving through long course runners. I could feel the pain of the runners trudging up their final hill as I sat in comfy bucket seats with the A/C on. I saw some GGTC-ers (Geoff F.) and cheered them on. The least I could do. As we battle huge wind gusts heading North on the 101, I feel deep appreciation for all the friends I've met while doing triathlons in the Bay area. I couldn't have done this race without them.

Special thanks to:

Comments from Tri-Folk:

Chris Maginn (TSTC):

That is some serious dedication there. I gotta tell you, my wife would have made me sleep on the cold ground outside if I had carted her from TX to WF along with a toddler!

Tanya Grossman (TSTC):

>8:00am:  Watch the long coursers start. Kind of weird to have a Christian 
>prayer service at the starting line. I silently offer a Mazel Tov to all of 
>the racers and move on.

I agree. I've been around Tri-Cal for awhile w/ WF and Pac Grove, but never really noticed the religious slant until paying attention... is that Christian ROCK playing before Pacific Grove??? Wierd. Truly wierd.

>8:10am: Take bus back up hill to get stuff and connect with Kimberly and 
>Russell. Kimberly is stressed due to extended vehicular confinement with 

Sounds like your wife is a 'keeper.' Congratulations for finishing your race amongst a lot of stress!!

Cathy Morgan (GGTC/TSTC):

At 2:05 +0000 5/18/02, tanya grossman wrote:
> >8:00am:  Watch the long coursers start. Kind of weird to have a Christian
> >prayer service at the starting line. I silently offer a Mazel Tov to all of
> >the racers and move on.
>I agree. I've been around Tri-Cal for awhile w/ WF and Pac Grove, but never
>really noticed the religious slant until paying attention... is that
>Christian ROCK playing before Pacific Grove??? Wierd. Truly wierd.

All of the TriCal folks are VERY religious. Very.

Geoff Farrell (GGTC):

Wow, I had no idea you were living an epic that weekend! Great story!!!

Thanks for mentioning me! I need all the good press I can get!

See you out there (FYI, Mt Tam Ride Saturday leaving at 8:30am from the regular place at the bridge -- hosted by David Hover -- small group).

Laura Staub (GGTC):

ok.. you by far kicked everyone's ass in this race.. no matter what your time was.. speaking from my own experience.. indivivually we all had our own "deal" to work through while we were there.. most of our's didnt' start until we got there really.. so you kicked our asses before we even started.. and having a partner and a baby as well.. i congratulate you.. and thank you for sending this email to enlighten everyone on the true fact that someone else always has to work harder.. and for you.. .there's that guy who got his wetsuit stuck in his bike wheel and was in that ambulance.. not that that makes you feel better.. who know... anyway.. thanks a lot... take care and tell kimberly i told her thanks too..for supporting you and the babe... i bet she pretty much kicks ass too..

Copyright (c) 2002 Steve Trutane.