Late Saturday afternoon I did my long ride down the coastal highway that makes up the bulk of Sunday's bike leg. 70 miles later, it was clear that flat is a state of mind (read: boredom), and that I need to be in the rebuilding-palatial-homes-in-the-path-of-hurricanes business. I did not see Lance.
I was tickled by the local beach past-time. In what must be the regional cultural cousin to ice fishing, people drive their trucks, SUVs, and horse trailers right out onto the beach, and swim, fish, and horse back ride in the surf. Lance was not on the beach.
Sunday morning, while the elites were out on the bike, I did my long run along the coast. I found this guy, who was very reassuring. Check out his shirt, too. But why was it not LiveStrong?
He must be related to the guy I saw at IMCDA in 2010 whose sign simply said "Don't Suck."
Lance was not sucking. When the elites came back from their 56 mile out-and-back, I finally saw him. He was winning the race. Obviously. I considered just leaving at that point.
If you read or watch the news, mainstream or triathlon, you would think that Lance was the only race participant; the other 1999something racers, including both winners and 70+ professionals, were something approaching chopped liver. And I not quite accurately quote, but do summarize the general media vibe: "Tim O'Donnell had the audacity to pass Lance during the run and finish 6 places ahead of Armstrong. Oh, and Tim happened to win the event, the bum."
|The Audacious Pass In Question|
After I returned from my own run, I worked my way through the looping maze of the run course to find a spot away from the easily accessible spectating areas. I personally get such a kick out of the single spectator in a totally desolate area who is cheering with all of their energy and might (extra points for rocking a boom-box with AC/DC), so I was determined to be that for all my friends (minus the boom-box).
Basically, I sidled up to an aid station manned by a local Catholic high-school and started handing out Gu chomps and gels alongside the students. The students weren't familiar with chomps (which are a chewy energy product, like a slightly more solid jello) and gels, so to demonstrate I opened and consumed each, which combined to be my only "food" between 5:30 am and noon. Spectating is hard and hungry work!
Wait, did I forget to mention that Lance was there?