Myrtle Beach Club Championship Triathlon

posted Oct 8, 2010, 12:41 PM by Team Psych Triathlon   [ updated Nov 22, 2010, 2:14 PM ]

Medals and Pedals – Myrtle Beach 2010

Things appeared to be going according to plan as we began our trip to Myrtle Beach on Friday at 5:30. Bikes packed, car packed. Left nothing behind. Little did we know, this was the only aspect of our trip that we had control over. The tone was set at about 7:23 am, two hours into our ill fated trip – when a block (?..yeah...a block) in the road met the front tire of Sharon's mini cooper. Immediately and all hopes for this trip starting out the right way. Thank God we have roadside assistance and tire warranty – who is able to assist us by towing Orlando? Nicole's trusty iphone located a tire place just 1 mile away off of the next exit. Welcome to Ocala, home of 326 Tire and Automotive; which appeared to be an abandoned roadside garage. Fortunately it was occupied, by someone who had a handful of teeth. The removed tire revealed a bent rim in addition to a gashed tire. “So you're saying we cant patch it??”, we ask. They laughed as they explained they don't get too many pretty girls in here too often....great. Now at risk for abduction. We tried to ignore the suggestions to “shop” for tires in the nearby parking lot that we think may fit, and the junkyard that we can get a rim from if all else fails. We could not help but notice how busy this one stop shop really was – as he answered the same cell phone with “sherrifs office” and “ABC insurance office”. Talk about multi-tasking.... We continually tried to ignore this man's suggestion to so kindly take Sharon's car title – for free! How thoughtful of him to offer...We begin to formulate plan B – as we realize that time is quickly passing. Confidence was building as we finally located the only SUV available for rent immediately. Plan B activated. We inform the “automotive technician” that if the tire is not fixed within 15 minutes we will have to be moving on, as we are now crunched for time. Sure enough, in just a few minutes, a man (who we now believe may be the local mob boss) showed up with a brand new tire – who only takes cash. As Nicole was held as collateral (literally), Sharon went next door to the convenience store that had an ATM – when Sharon asked where the ATM was located – the clerk advised her that she needs to go a convenience store for an ATM. (No, you didnt read that wrong). $130 later...were on the road with a hammered out rim, but as we were assured we could get to South Carolina, it was going to have to be good enough.

As our 9 hour road trip passed the 12 hour mark, our sanity was hanging in the balance as we began to become increasingly concerned about the 7pm check-in deadline, which was quickly approaching. The last few hours began to work at our mental decline; endless red lights, erratic log trucks threatening our safety, and two rush hours. Nicole's threats to Baker Act us were beginning to sound like a good idea. Everything began to become a conspiracy, the homeless man on the road, the roadside basket stands, the block in the road – paranoia sets in. 6:40 marked our arrival and check in. We figured that if we were meant to make it, stellar races must be in the cards for us. With our bikes were racked and all was looking good through the glass of a dirty martini at Ruth Chris! A delicious sushi dinner in our Team Psych “Walk the plank” shirts and an early bedtime instilled some much needed optimism.

Race morning approaches! To our benefit, we arrive to find out that we will be able to wear wetsuits on this chilly morning! Score! In the background, I continually hear the race director calling everyone over to where he is. He is incessant – I get that feeling in the pit of my stomach that tells me that whatever he has to say may not be good, because I can surely hear him over the speakers. He begins his speech, “this is very emotional for me, it has been a rough few days...” (tell about all about it...please...) he continues, “were going to have to cut the swim out”. As Sharon lets out a laugh out loud, thinking this is a funny joke, she quickly realizes there is no punchline, and indeed she is the only one laughing. Nicole, refusing to leave her transition area to face what this man is saying, hears this announcement and for some reason, that mentally instability from the drive up is quickly returning. Sharon comes to check on Nicole, because we both realize at this time that we drove 13 hours for a brick. Sharon points out that we have driven one hour for every mile she will be racing – couldn't we have just done this at Suncoast? As Phil Findley sends us an impeccably timed good luck text – his words resonate with us and we realize that this race, today, will indeed be ALL OUT. If we made it out of 326 Automotive and Tire, checked in with 20 minutes to spare and managed for the voices to stop..we WILL tear the legs off of this race. I. Dare. You. To. Stop. me.

As sharon's race starts positively (with a swim PR of 0:00), she swiftly approached her transition area to find the entire bike rack missing. the bike rack??? “Why is my bike on the ground???”. A man calmly tells her to put her shoes on while he gets her bike. As she is ready to ride out of T1, she realizes this man is putting the wheel back on her bike. Trying to push the questions out of her mind, she continues on with her race, taking advantage of the fast, flat course and wheels by AOR....

Time for Nicole's race to begin. With the energy of everything past driving to race hard, her bike begins swiftly. ON. YOUR. LEFT. No prisoners taken. Just as the pent up energy is being put to good use, disaster strikes yet again. “ARE YOU F***ING KIDDING ME?!!” Nicole reacts, as she looks down to find her crank arm attached to her left clip. Of course. “Maybe its a snap on piece...”, as thoughts of DNF next to her name start to swirl. After some bargaining, “what if's” and “maybe's”. Reality sets in...its over. Time to start the walk of shame. Just so everyone knows, there is nothing you can say as you pass that person walking their bike back to console them. It's unclear what stings most out of the sound of leer jet-esque carbon wheels flying by, the comments from other passing racers, or having to look people in the face on the walk back. Maybe its the DNF, even though I feel that I DNS'd. At least a deferment would be easy to argue with my crank arm in my hand. On the walk back, Nicole desperately hopes that Sharon does not see her walking her bike back. I dont know if she can handle that, and I dont want that for her race. What to do now? The options were clear: Run or Rum. Being my father's daughter, I knew the right thing to do.

Sharon flies into the finish chute to find Nicole cheering her on. As Sharon sits down to recap her workout, she confronts Nicole about her race. At which point, Nicole pulls out her crank arm. Lets go to the bar.

As Sharon goes to check race results, Nicole detours to speak to the race director about a deferment after the most expensive 1.5 mile ride ever.

With my crank arm in my hand, I explain that I only made it 1.5 miles for him to respond with, “Sorry. Thats just the luck of the draw.” …....He must have seen the look of an anger blackout, because he just stared at me, as if asking “what are you gonna do about it??” No. Its not the “luck of the draw”. Not in my shoes. This has nothing to do with luck. The last day and half played out in under a second, and now this was the showdown that I am here for. Did anger overcome me, bringing me to uncontrollably bust his effing head open with the crank arm? Nope. I lost hope in all humanity and tears began...”but...we got a flat...on the way from TAMPA....and there's no swim” was all I managed to get out, hoping he had some type of decency and sense of whats right. Disappointment continued. “listen, I'm sorry, just email me and I'll give you a 'reaaaally deep discount' for next year” ...oh happy day, thats makes it all better. I stole a finisher towel to get back at him. You cant win with someone whos not playing with a full deck. The rest is pretty predictable after we got to the bar. This story concludes as we drive home, hoping that no more disappointment awaits us on our trip home. But, I guess its just the luck of the draw.

Here are some pics...

Myrtle Beach Club Championship 2010