The Valdese Triathlon did happen, with the skies clearing at the start of the race. The streets were wet, though, and I was upset to pass a man who’d crashed. The ambulance was arriving, and he looked to have a broken collarbone and/or arm, which could have been much worse. The slick mountain roads are not fun—in fact, the whole bike course wasn’t fun, except for Wes, who’s a bang-up climber and found passing everyone else very gratifying.
I had to work very hard during the race. It paid off, literally: $75 for third-place female. My pride was tempered by my race number, 69. I showered in the locker room at the aquatic center, which had soap but no loofah, so I spent the rest of the weekend with 69 written on my arms and legs in permanent marker.