Yes, Chile, not chilly....I am in Vina del Mar, Chile...where it is 90 degrees, sunny, and stays light outside until 9:15 pm! Its a very nice change from the snow and cold back in Colorado.
So you might be wondering, why in the world am I in Chile??? For a race, of course! I raced in the Vina del Mar ITU race this morning, and will be racing the Pucon 70.3 race next Sunday. And since I have a week to spare in between, I'll be going to San Alfonso del Mar, tomorrow, for two days. It is the home of the world's largest swimming pool and there was NO WAY I was going to pass that opportunity up! I am not sure if I'll have internet access once there, but hopefully I'll be able to get some cool pictures posted.
I've been practicing my espanol with the locals, which has been muy divertido. And they always get a kick out of my charades when I can't quite say the right thing. I actually ran into quite a few American today that came out to watch the race...I guess alot of people spend their winters over here, and I can see why! And the street perfomers here are not only really good, but they really perform, IN the street. Not along the street or walkways like in the US, but in front and between cars stopped at stoplights, pure craziness!
Alright, so about the race. Pre-race morning stuff was going good...until we discovered there were no Porta Potties...and the host hotel would not let us in so sent us over to an apartment building...they wouldn't let us in and sent us to a restaurant...that wouldn't let us in! Finally one of the other girls in the race took us to her hotel which was about 6 blocks away, Thank You Romina! When we got back to transition it was about 9:20 and we were supposed to start at 9:45, with introductions at 9:40. So Yasmine and I headed down to the beach, got our wetsuits on, and warmed up. When we get out of the water, no one is around! Come to find out, they delayed the start and we had another 40minutes...so I chilled out and stretched a bit.
There were some pretty good waves at the start that we had to dive under and then swim over, yeah, I love a wavey swim! The swim ended up being WAY short, oh well. I still came out with a good lead and got on my bike and took off. The course was 8 laps with a little bit of a hill about midway through. And there were dogs running all over the place: running out in front of me, next to me, and chasing me! I ended up gaining a little bit of time on the pack of 5 behind me and I was riding solo. On the 7th lap at one of the 180 turns (which was across a median, so very narrow) there was local just standing in the middle of it straddling his bike. I come whipping around, swerve to miss him, had to unclip and wobbled a bit. That got my heart racing, so I was good to go for the last 1.5 laps!
Then it was off on the run! The run was 4 loops of a 'squashed M'. So we went down to the end, half way back, then turned around and went back to the end, then all the way back to transition...and repeated 4 times. So on the 1st loop, I make it to the far end and start heading back. I follow the arrows on the ground and then there are 4 arrows looped around a circle with an X in it marked on the ground with two cones. I turn around there and run back to the end. Once I get there, an official on a motorcycle tells me I missed the turn and have to go back....the real turn around was farther up the road (and was not marked with arrows?????) so I ran for a little over an extra minute...and while I was doing that one of the girls from the pack behind me caught me. She got a little bit of a gap on me and I tried to stay close. On lap four I was gaining a little on her but she beat me by about 20 seconds (that's just a guess, I haven't seen the results yet.) So I started the year off with a 2nd place. Definitley would have liked to have had the win...but what can you do???? And all in all it was a good day and I felt pretty darn good for it being the beginning of the season and for not being in race shape!
Now I'm off to get some R&R, sunshine, and swimming as I get ready for next weeks race! Adios :)