18 Years and Counting

Athlete Stories , Pacific Grove Add comments

By: Rick Leach

This will be the 18th time that I've headed down to Lover's Point to rack the bike, lay out the shoes, pull on the wetsuit and head down to the beach. I think I'm the last of the originals to have done them all. That in itself seems to have become another reason for continuing.

Before the streak took on a life of it's own, it was all about testing myself against the course. Through of years of ups and down, training and injuries, career shifts and parenthood, the course remains the same. In turns the Tri has been foggy and sunny, breezy and calm, jubilant and somber, but always impartial. The PG Tri has become a milepost that comes around every year to signal that it's time to go to the Point and take the test. To see how much hustle I can muster and how well prepared my body and mind are for the kelp, Ocean View and the bike trail.

Chasing the ghosts of my faster self (the photo on the right features me in 1994 in bib 240 and me in 2007 on the right side), eventually the finish line comes and I'm almost always happy to find that I'm not slowing down as fast as I thought.  I've often wondered why, and how long the streak will continue. The answer is, inevitably, one more year.

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