The race: Wildflower triathlon has been described as the Woodstock of Triathlon. It does not disappoint. The uniqueness of this event is something that needs to be experienced. The crew at TriCal events put on a great event and well and truly look after everyone. Wildflower is an extremely demanding course with over 2000ft of climbing on the bike, followed by an off road 12mile run, which again, is super hilly. Ideal if you were raised by a family of mountain goats. California had suffered some serious droughts, which in turn affected the water levels of Lake San Antonio. Therefore the swim was held down the far end of the lake, which meant there was a 2mile run from the swim exit to the start of the bike. Character building.
The players: Jesse Thomas (USA), Leon Griffin (AUS) and Andrew Starykowiczs (USA), Matt Russell (USA), Barret Brandon (USA), Justin Daerr (USA), Matt Lieto (USA), Scott Defilippis (USA), Kyle Leto (USA).
The outcome: I had a good swim, and put myself in the lead group. Onto the bike, all the major players had made the group. As per the text book, Starky took off on the bike while Jesse, Leon and myself stared at each other. Starky had managed to shed the group of any stragglers immediately. Not that we could do much. Around 30miles into the ride, you hit ‘Nasty Grade’ which is a long, and at times, very steep climb. Thomas started throwing granades at Griffin and myself. We managed to distance Griffin during the early stages of the climb, then I began to carry the grand piano as we hit the final steeper part of the climb and I pulled the eject cord.
Heading into the run, Starky had a handy buffer so we set about running him down. Not really ‘we’, because Jesse had a couple of minutes on me so there was no team work involved in this chase. It was a case of every man for himself. I eventually caught Starky to take 2nd place, Thomas went on to 4-peat, which is a remarkable performance considering how tough this course is and the set backs he has faced with injury.