Out of the changing tent, Sharon and I ran to find TriGirl heaven! Jackie had my bike all ready at the end of my rack, and I got to say hey to Tim, Jill, Derick, Cyndi as we ran our bikes to the mount line. We rode through the crowds to the open road! The day before when I was packing my T-bags, I had calculated the amount of calories that I was supposed to eat on the bike, and then listed the actual food that would sum up to that total---probably the best thing I did in the whole race--and as I rode the first 10 miles, I ate a Cliff bar as the first of my 1750 calories. Sharon and I were passed at first by a number of zip-wheeled, sperm helmeted riders going like crazy, but we had a plan and we stuck with it. The first 10 miles passed quickly, as we both ate and drank and got ourselves settled in. The ride up the bridge was funny since most people didn't seem to be able to do that small hill, so we passed a few as we cruised up and over. Our first pee stop was at the first water stop. In our excitement in the tent and getting on the bike, we both forgot to pee!
OK, the course is boring. We came to the turn onto Route 20 and just kept riding steady down Route 20, when a white car went by, honking and with a blond woman yelling encouragement to us. As the car whizzed by, I thought it looked like Heidi, but that didn't seem right...and I slowed to have Sharon take the lead, we both commented that it looked like her? A few miles more, and we saw the same car by the side of the road, and sure enough, it was Heidi sitting on the roof and cheering like crazy for us! What a treat!
More pine trees and now a few rolling hills along with a nice head wind as the miles slowly ticked off and we began to look for the special needs stop at about mile 49. Finally, a nice volunteer told us as we passed that special needs was just ahead, and we rolled into the area shouting out our numbers. We had a nice picnic by the side of the road as well as another pee stop (behind a truck) and I ate my Uncrustable and had some Mountain Dew. Grabbed the Snickers bars, another baggy of pretzels with peanut butter, 2 gus and a packet of Sharkies and off we went!
At mile 50, just around the corner from lunch, were our wonderful sherpas! They were very excited to see us and we stopped briefly for a few hugs and photos! Down route 231 with a nice tailwind and we were cranking at 21-22 mph! Mile 60 came quickly. We turned west onto the more interesting part of the ride, through some small neighborhoods with shade and again saw our sherpas! Between 60-70 is where the little out and back part of the ride is, and that little section going east was hard with a head wind and the road is crappy, but since we had driven it, we knew how far we had to go to the turn around. Finally got to Mile 70 and then heading west to towards the final big turn! The road between 70-90 is also kind of crappy, and my privates began to feel really battered, but we kept going, pushing a little harder and now passing people who had flown by us earlier! I ate something every few minutes, sometimes just a bite or a drink of Endura, but I kept eating and ticking off the list of things I knew I had to eat.
We stopped and peed on the side of the road (scandalous) and finally got to Route 77 and the bridge for the second time! Again, we passed people who were now struggling and then, with Sharon in the lead, really began to push the pace (well, she did, I was just trying to hang on!) We flew down the home stretch, which was longer than I remembered coming out, but finally got to the end. Sharon was 30 seconds ahead of me at the transition, and as I came into the end, I saw Todd (Shelley's brother) who was working the chute, and it was good to see a friendly face. Once off the bike, it was all Trigirls and Maramarc boys--Tim, Sarah, Grandison (maybe more, I was kind of fuzzy). Grandison carried our bags to the changing tent and she helped Sharon, while Sarah got me all changed, it was like we were rock stars!!!! Awesome. Having friendly faces helping you get naked and dressed was the best treat of all! Sharon and I both felt good at this point, somewhat suprizing, but the 3-100 mile training rides got us really ready for the ride.
I got my running garb on and we headed out of the tent to begin the final leg: the dreaded run.