Let's put it this way: These temperatures are not fit for human consumption. On Friday and Saturday I spent my entire time in the relative coolness of the Holiday Inn atrium where the expo for the race was located. Thanks to race organizer Marti Greer I've had a table here for years, selling some of my eclectic bike part inventory and wrenching on athletes' bikes. Over the years I have developed quite some following, with people patiently waiting in line so I can rub a little magic on their machines—or simply massage the gears that their hometown mechanic can't get adjusted just right. Friday had been a long day, and Saturday I spent a full 13 hours on the expo floor, leaving me physically spent. I finally hit the rack at 11:30 p.m.
The alarm clock rang at 3:40 a.m. on Sunday. It was not only the alarm that was sounding, but the wind-chimes on the porch made a hellacious racket, too. The wind had never died down and stayed steady at 25 mph or more. Transition opened at the ungodly time of 4:30 a.m., so not much lingering at the casa. But race day is always exciting, wheter one is the athlete, the organizer, or the head referee. A steady stream of cars made their way to Buffalo Springs Lake just a few miles east of town, attracted by a skyward-pointing search light. Yes, this is my hometown race, and I am proud to be able to head the officiating crew for this one. This year we were joined by a new volunteer, Ryan, but otherwise we were all old hands at this event, all "good folk," as we like to see around here.
|RD Mike Greer, a legend in his own right in the world of triathlon|
|The lake right before the 6:25 a.m. start|
I won't bore you with who raced or who won—I hardly ever know that myself. But I do want to tell you that all those preparations in anticipation of the heat paid off. Just look at this picture of the finish line, right before the arrival of the overall winner: All those blue shirts are nursing students from Texas Tech who had a first-hand crash course on how to handle a triage situation.
|Medical personnel at the finish line|
|A scene from M*A*S*H*|
|Cooling off in Buffalo Springs|
|4:00 p.m. on my back porch|