Monday, April 19, 2010

Stanford Tri Does Collegiate Nationals: Foaming Crotch and Other Puketastic Stories

(Note: All events below are subject to inaccuracy due to Lubbockian Water Illness. John K. did not provide access to his brain, therefore all John K. thoughts are assumptions. But probably true.)

Wednesday, April 14
: John K. (full name will not be disclosed so prospective employers will not associate JK with this event) merrily packs up his brand new Cervelo tri bike for collegiate nationals. He tosses his bike assembly and cleaning supplies into his bike box with his tri uniform and other race items.

He is ready to kick butt.

Thursday, April 15: Stanford's tri team meets at 7am to fly to Lubbock, TX, where incontinent clouds have decided to gather, freezing over and flooding the place. After being held over in Las Vegas for an hour--where Stanford tri was not allowed to deplane, and therefore lost no money--the team finally arrived at what could possibly be called hell on earth. "It's never like this here!" exclaims one of the incredibly nice Lubbockians at the front desk of the hotel. "This just started right before you came!"


John K. enters one of two "men's" rooms with other members of Stanford's tri team. He unpacks his bike bag, eager to see if anything has scratched his new baby in any way. Dawn dish soap has leaked all over his stuff.

It smells infinitely better than the water from the sink. He lets it slide.

Friday, April 16: John K. witnesses the land of a thousand lakes: Lubbock, TX. Except these lakes aren't in lake-ish locations. Instead, many of them have decided to take up residence in the middle of major roadways--roadways that each have at least 3 names, all of which are correct, only one of which is usually noted at a time on a street sign, and is usually not the name mapquest chose to indicate.

As he peers through a Dodge Caravan window--one of three Caravans in Stanford's very intimidating fleet--he tries to make out the bike course while the windshield wipers fight a loosing battle against the torrential rain.

"OK, so this is where you have a headwind," explains Coach Bruce. John K. looks at a lone tree, bent over in submission to the wicked wind. The Dodge slows to make its way through another lake. "This race could be made into just a swim!" thinks John K., a former collegiate swimmer. He is psyched.

John K. later finds out that night that race officials might force him to dismount his bike at lake crossings to wade through in his bike shoes. Should the lakes dissipate, competitors in later waves will also be forced to dismount, and walk to the other side of where the lake used to be.

John K. goes to bed, with visions of whooping Navy in his head, particularly after reading this article about what wussy, reclusive jerks the Navy team seems to be. "We really don't like interacting with the other teams," said Tyler Sharp, captain of the Navy's men's team. Well the other teams don't like you either, Mr. Sharp. John K. is going to whoop you.

Saturday, April 17: John K. wakes up just before the alarm goes off at 5:30am. He looks out the window. It is still raining. "Holy goodness, how did the clouds get so overhydrated?" he thinks. He puts on his Stanford Tri uniform, then 7 other layers, and heads out into the dark cold.

When he arrives at nationals, he realizes that he must wade through a lake to get his bike and gear to the transition area. Then he hears something horrible: the swim has been cut in 1/3! John K. is sad. He is a kick ass swimmer. As are several other men on Stanford's team. His teammate Erin is also sad. She has not been running at all and her only chance of getting ahead of her other teammates is to swim like she stole her wetsuit.

John K. can take the cold. The Stanford ladies decide it's freaking devilishly cold and outfit themselves with Wal-Mart bags. Coach Gina told them the bags would act as a wind-breaker and help keep the heat in on the bike. The ladies look classy with the plastic bags peeking out from under their tri-tops.

Coach Gina is a genius.

John K. finishes the 500 meter swim like he swatted at the water and it parted for him. Then he happily jumps on his new steed and heads out into the wind. It does not rain on him. He tucks in aero even though gale force winds try to toss him from the side. He is astonished to see Stanford's top woman walking her bike--2 flats! Oh no! John K. must win it for everyone now. He soldiers on.

He blasts through T2 and out onto the modified run course--2 laps of the sprint course instead of one out and back. The race director decided to do this to keep runners from having to run through one of the newly formed Lubbockian lakes. But in doing so, he added 1/2 a mile to the run.

John K.'s teammate Erin is pissed. "Is this a single out and back?" she asks Coach Bruce as she nears the end of the first out and back. It feels like she has been running forever. "No, double!" yells Bruce. Erin wants to smash something.

But John K. is having the run of his life. It feels great. And smells unusually clean. The smell seems to be wafting from his crotch. He looks down to see a mountain of foam forming in that region. "Oh my goodness!" he says to himself as he tries to inconspicuously wipe it off and toss it to his side. "I hope nobody saw that!"

Coach Gina saw that. She didn't want to think about what the white foam around John K.'s crotch could possibly be. "Just look at his face and cheer," she said to herself.

The foam will not stop. As soon as John K. wipes away some bubbles, new ones form, amusing his competitors and confusing spectators. John K. is relieved there is no race photographer. Nobody in Lubbock really wanted to go outside today--the only people outside are the crazy, spandex-clad, crotchal-foaming triathletes like John K.

John K. crosses the finish line and is elated. He kicked ass. He prevailed against the worst conditions known to triathletekind. He can now find his transition bag and take off the foaming pants before the rest of his team ever gets to see the foaming crotch phenomenon.

John K. later finds out that Stanford's top female double flatted. And that one of his teammates accidentally placed his bag--complete with ID--in a look-alike Dodge Caravan headed for AZ. And that that teammate must get interrogated by airport security to get on the plane back to San Jose. And that his female double-flatted teammate lost her plane ticket.

And that 1/2 of his team will come down with exploding puke within the next 24 hours, presumably from swimming through Lubbockian swamp water. Or from drinking it from the hotel tap.

But, John K. thinks to himself, it was the awesomest weekend ever. His team placed 8th overall in the nation despite the evil weather, his foaming crotch, and the loss of his team's top female competitor.

His Stanford teammates are the best he could ever have dreamed of, even though he knows they spent all of Saturday night betting how much meat he would consume at a TX bbq.

Plus, he got a supercool race t-shirt. (Ladies' shirt below.)

John K. goes back to the farm happy and fulfilled. And excited that collegiate nationals will never again be held in Lubbock, TX.


  1. Hahaha That and the fact that Lubbock, TX is aka Boringville, USA.

  2. Lol! I've had "foaming crotch" - my cycling clothes didn't get rinsed because my washing machine was playing up, and then while riding in the rain for 12hrs in Davis last spring it turned into foam. Or maybe it was somewhere else where I got rained on, but I definitely had foaming shorts!!! I didn't realize Gina was coaching your team - she used to be the SVTC assistant track coach, and she was my real estate agent when I bought my condo!

  3. @ Vanessa: Said by a true Texan! :)

    @ Joan: No way! I didn't realize the foaming shorts thing was actually a re-occurring cycling phenomenon! And no way! Gina was your track coach and real estate agent! Sweet! Small NorCal tri world :)