I had a friend from high school coming to New Braunfels (about 45 minutes south of me) to race the Wurst Tri Ever. New Braunfels is in the part of Texas that was heavily settled by Germans and is famous for, among other things, their wurst. Since this triathlon was just after TriRock (less than week) I wasn't sure I would be able to do it. But the chance to race with an old friend and frankly, just do another triathlon, was too much to pass up.
It was a very small race that takes place in a park. The 400 meter swim is one of the most interesting I've done. First, you start off going down a big water slide into a natural spring fed pool. You could choose to skip the water slide and start out from the shore on the other side, but how much fun would that be? Of course, since the slide is one at a time like a time trial start, it took an hour to get through the line and down the slide. Down the slide and into the cool (~70 degree) water for one lap around the natural pool. Then, you have a climb out and walk (they were very specific that you couldn't run or jog else incur a penalty) to the lap pool where you were to finish the rest of the swim. The lap pool was shallow, uncovered, and very hot. It was a stark difference to the 70 degree, non-chlorinated water we just left. You had to snake your way through the lanes of the lap pool until you finally reached (what I can only assume to be) the 400 meter mark.
Then it was in to transition and on to the bike. It was a little tricky getting out of the park and since we were in a river bottom, we had a steep hill to climb to get out of the park. More on this hill in a bit. The ride was not too bad. Roads weren't the greatest. No traffic was blocked off. Not too much in the way of support. And, there were some pretty good hills, including the biggest climb which was at the turnaround. Coming back as we were to reenter the park, we came to that same hill we had to climb to get out of the park. It was a blind corner with a steep downhill, on a two lane road that was in bad shape, and was not closed to vehicle traffic. All of this led to the most bizarre part of the race. There was someone running radar there and if you exceeded 25 mph in this section, you got a 10 minute penalty. If you passed anyone in this section, it was an automatic DQ.
Finally getting back to transition after slowing properly, dodging the stream of cars that were going into a beautiful park on summer Saturday morning, and dealing with potholes, gravel and train tracks, I was ready for the run. The run was a 2.7 mile loop course around a golf course and through a neighborhood. The run wasn't too bad. Although I wondered if I was going to get hit by a golf ball as close as we were running to the fairway.
In the end, I finished in the 10th in my age group. Being vegetarian, I couldn't partake in the sausage they were serving afterwards, but that seemed like a nice perk. It was a lot of fun and an interesting experience.