Saturday, August 20, 2011

It's about time ...

... that I post this long-overdue update about last weekend's race in Lake Stevens, WA. But believe me, the life of a retiree ain't easy. I don't think I've ever been busier than now. After five days in the Seattle area I made it home on Tuesday afternoon, and since then it's been non-stop—dealing with some of the penalties and the paperwork from the Lake Stevens 70.3; writing untold e-mails in connection with upcoming races in Costa Rica, Syracuse, Augusta, and Angel Fire; and working on close to 10 bikes for customers who are feverishly awaiting the Dumber'n Hell Hundred ride next weekend in Wichita Falls. And you can add 196 miles that I've ridden since my return to the overall mix. No wonder that I collapse into bed after midnight and still have not updated the blog. As Smitty said, I wouldn't have any time for a J-O-B!

So, here we go, a short recap of the Washington weekend. Jenny and I met up at SEATAC on Thursday and drove up to Everett, about an hour north of the Seattle/Tacoma airport. Jenny is developing into quite the triathlon referee, and since she has in-laws in the area she thought that the Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens would be a good addition to her palmares. Well, and I think along the lines of "I am thankful for every extra draft marshal I can put on a moto." Win-win.
The finish and awards area from the other side of the lake

Lake Stevens is a beautiful community about 20 minutes east of Everett, nestled into wooded hills on the shores of a gem of a lake. Judy and I worked all editions of this race, when it was still owned by Bill B., who also owned the New Orleans, Syracuse, and Augusta races until WTC bought him out this year. The new race director, Keats M., is equally easy to work with, and we had a good weekend. Many of the crew are traveling the WTC circuit (circus?), and I call them "carnis" because they are just like a bunch of carnival workers: one day here, the next there. It was especially nice to see my old friend Roberto L., the gallant Spaniard who also is co-RD of the San Juan 70.3.

Race day was sunny and pleasant
We had a crew of five, and five motos were all that showed up. I wouldn't consider this enough for a race with 1,200+ racers, but that's all we could muster. Lake Stevens has always had a dearth of officials, motos, and volunteers who could possibly be trained as draft marshals. Oh well. Nobody of the crew got hurt, which on the tight and twisty two-loop bike course is not necessarily a given. My usual driver, Steve, once again steered us through the mayhem in one piece. Jenny and I had to hang around until the awards (starting mid-afternoon), but at least the day had turned sunny and pleasant, and it seemed that everybody was happy.
Another race done...

Enough of the race. In our spare time (late afternoons and evenings) and our extra day in Seattle we went to a few nice brew pubs, enjoyed dinner with her in-laws, and spent a nice long afternoon in the heart of the big city, which has become immensely accessible thanks to a new light rail link from the airport (where we had a hotel for the last night). If you've been to Seattle, you know how attractive the place is. If you haven't, go! But choose a time of the year that carries a reasonable chance of good weather, because all the greenery in that area comes with a wet price. Here are a few pics to close out this installment. Enjoy!

One of many works of art that adorn Seattle

Totem poles are part of the city's heritage

Man, I'd go nuts buying fresh fish here!

The "flying fish" monger at Pike Street Market

Artsy stuff all over ...

Elysian Brewing Co. has some fine, fine IPA and steamed mussels
The best use of an empty beer keg I've ever seen! (Diamond Knot Brewing, Mukilteo)
And that's all for today!


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