My tri club puts on our own self imposed Half Ironman in the beginning of the year and we like to have fun doing goofy things to amuse ourselves as many triathletes do. The idea was born when a few members didn't want to blow the money to go all the way down to Oceanside for a "training" race on their way to an Ironman. Oceanside was sponsored by Ralph's at the time, so there's the name. This was the fifth installment and my first and once you see the route, and some of the pictures, you'll understand I was a bit scared. www.trinot2ralph.org if you want the full story.
To start we had a normal Aquatic Park swim planned, followed with a ride to the top of Mt. Tam, and then a Double Dipsea run. All approximately the distance for a Half Iron. The first and most important park, as I was told, was the lingerie swim. Much in tune with the Underwear Run in Kona, just not quite as fit as they are, and half of us have wetsuits on. You got a bonus and only had to swim 200 meters if you were sans-wetsuit. The water is 55 degrees!
Next up was the bike to the top of Tam via Mill Valley and Stinson Breach. I've done this ride numerous times and it has some incredible portions including a super scenic rolling and winding part of Highway 1. Ripping through Stinson and making the right onto Tam for the hour-long climb is never fun, but we had a brief rest due to "challenges" laid out by our aid station volunteers. Writing Ad-Libs, hula-hooping, and a crude version of corn-hole with a toilet seat before we were allowed to proceed. Your brain does not work very well after climbing that hard to remember what an adverb is, ah!
Finally to the top of Tam, still feeling good and getting to fly down to Mill Valley to start the run.