SV: Tri’s Successful First Season... in the Books

SV: Tri closed out its inaugural season this past weekend when we invaded the 2011 Marin County Triathlon, which is, yup, you guessed it, just a short hop from home base in Mill Valley. A total of 7 of us made the journey to San Rafael early Sunday morning for the Olympic distance race. We would leave the course behind carrying with us some pretty impressive results and satisfied that we could happily put the 2011 triathlon season behind us.

The day got off to an early start as we loaded into the van and departed from the shop in the dark. Not even the Starbucks in the parking lot was open yet. Justin was in desperate need of caffeine, but it would have to wait. How does he survive with a broken coffee machine?

But fear not, the old saying is indeed true and the early birds did get the worm. We found ourselves some of the first to arrive at the race venue at McNear’s Beach and were awarded with prime bike rack space in the transition area and time to hunt down some coffee and try to stay warm in the van.

After some heavy rain on Saturday and an iffy forecast for the weekend overall, much to our surprise, Sunday morning turned out to be sunny and clear, if not a touch on the chilly side. The thought of diving into the bay for a mile swim wasn’t terribly appetizing to any of us, but triathlon isn’t a sport for the faint of heart, and before we knew it the gun had gone off and we were off to the races in our various age group waves.

Cold water notwithstanding, the sun was shining and the temperature began to warm (ever so slightly) as we rode the prescribed 22 miles of the bike leg via three loops along San Pedro Ave. on the north side of China Camp State Park. Sure, it wasn’t exactly the sunny and warm California weather Hollywood always brags about and my East Coast friends think I live in every day, but it was far from cold.

But let’s be realistic, Fall is here, and adrenaline can do funny things. It wasn’t until I laced up my shoes and started the run leg that I noticed my feet were still numb from the swim. Oh well, something to take my mind off the pain in my legs, I guess. The 6 mile run does two loops along the water south of McNear’s beach, with some pretty incredible views of the east bay and SF in the distance. Hmm, now that I can feel my feet again, this would be an ideal time to drop that hammer I packed. If only I could remember where I put it…

When you travel in a pack like we at SV: Tri do, the laps in a course like this inadvertently provide an excellent opportunity for a little extra mid-race motivation. This would come in handy as the sight of that familiar SV: Tri kit on the backs of our friends out on the course kept us all honest, knowing a fellow competitor was just ahead of or behind us.

There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to keep you going when you’re deep into the run, your legs begin to feel a little wobbly and it’s time to dig for that last little bit of energy. It would prove well timed, as the run course cruelly ends with one last hill to climb back up and into the park. Oh, there’s that hammer, glad I didn’t leave it behind in the transition area. Might as well put it to good use here before we finish this thing…


We finished the day and managed some pretty outstanding results. Despite a few mechanicals on the bike, we had two first place age group finishers, two second place age group finishers, and a top ten overall finisher. Way to defend the home turf fellas!

Here are the results from our group and a few other PP & SV racers. Nice work everyone.



Age Group

Bryce Ritzel



Axel Redemann



Justin Curtis



David Lorsch



Karen Jeffrey



Peter Buck



Deanna Johnston




If you kept your eyes open this summer, you would have spotted SV: Tri at a number of local races. Whether it was Wildflower to start the season back in May, Vineman 70.3 in Sonoma, the SF Triathlon at Alcatraz, Silicon Valley International, Treasure Island or Marin County this weekend, I’m confident all of us all tried a new race or distance, got a little faster and, most importantly, had a blast along the way. Congratulations and thank you to all who participated and flew the red, white and black SV colors with us this season.

As we enter the offseason (let’s be honest, is there really an offseason here in California, where truly cold temperatures and snow are limited to stories from the mouths of those who call other, less desirable, places home), take some time to switch gears a little bit. But keep up the running, swimming and cycling and join us next year as we enter our sophomore season as a club and bring the competition (and Justin brings the party) to races near and far.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve already capitalized on my post-race high and signed up for two races next year. I know, I know, the 2011 season just ended, but really, shouldn’t you be asking is my 2012 race season shaping up??

Author: Bryce Ritzel


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