The results say I was DQed, Disqualified, and yet somehow went a 1:54. The time doesn’t make sense to me because I never actually finished.
Here’s the rundown.
8am – Wake up, eat breakfast, read my book, watch some CNN (only english channel.
9:30am – notice the surf is quite a bit larger than the past couple days, and the faces are probably 10ft on most sets.
9:45: check in my bike to transition, find out the race has been delayed 30minutes, which puts our start time at 12:20pm. I jog back to the hotel and look at the weather report to see that our race will be somewhere over 90 degrees – I start drinking the coldest water I can find.
11:10: i do a short swim warmup in the hotel pool, then a short bike warmup on the hotel stationary bike.
11:50: I jog to the race site, drink more cold water, do a short warmup and discover that 8-10ft faces are quite a bit of fun to swim through.
12:20: the gun goes off. I’m the third guy to make it through the set that’s coming in as we charge the water. Ahead of me is Matt Chrabot (he’s excellent at getting under waves, thanks to beach lifeguard experience) and next to me is someone else I didn’t recognize. We closed on Matt slowly, then the unknown guy disappeared in the last 500m. I came out of the water about 8 seconds behind Matt, and quite a bit ahead of the rest of the field.
Bike: Matt waited for me, and together we extended our small lead to 2.5 minutes over the 40k bike. The course was an out and back with hair pins at either end, completely flat, and entirely in the sun. I tried to conserve energy, but the heat started catching up to me, and heading into the run I could already feel my system shutting down.
Run: Matt took off with a vengeance, and my only hope was that if I poured enough water over myself then maybe I could cool down and get a second wind. After the first lap I was in pain, but hanging on. Then my stomach started revolting. I began to throw up almost continuously, and none of the water I tried to get in me would stay down. At the 5k a pack of six men passed me, putting me in eighth. Soon more runners started coming by, and though I tried, I wasn’t able to match their pace.
The third lap I hit a wall, then spent the next 3km trying to recover. That’s when things get a little blurry. I remember a guy coming by me on the last stretch. I tried to go by him as the finish shoot came into view. The words, "Everyone’s hurting, just go," were repeating in my head. Then my legs gave out. I was on the ground, and the words, "forward progress is only allowed on two feet" were repeating in my head. (the ITU rule is that you cannot crawl, summersault or otherwise make forward progress during the run.) I tried to stand up, but my legs betrayed me. I grabbed the fence and tried to prop myself up, but my legs wouldn’t extend below me.
By this time there were several people trying to help me up, trying to get me medical attention. I fought them off as best I could ("no outside assistance"), but then I must have passed out because I remember nothing else until I was being carried from the ambulance into a hospital with the Canadian Team Doctor standing over me directing a team of medics, Mexican doctors, nurses, and my Dad. I had no idea where I was. I couldn’t remember my name, let alone what city I was in (or country for that matter). Somehow I remembered that Matt had been winning, and though I couldn’t remember his last name, I asked if Matt, the American, had won. He had, which made me pretty happy. At least somebody gained from our cycling heroics.
I was in the hospital for a couple hours. the diagnosis was Heat Stroke, and if it weren’t for the Candian Doc, I would probably have been in much worse shape. I’m supposed to stay out of the sun for a few days and take it easy.