So there's no swim. I completely support the race organizers' decision. This is not one that was even borderline go-or-no-go. They couldn't get into the water to build the swim dock (which takes a few days) because the Potomac hasn't even hit the crest of its flood stage. It's running fast and furious with a few tons of debris that we can see. This doesn't even mention the raw sewage. (Well, not until now.)
Yes, I'm fine with not swimming. A smidge disappointed that I won't beat my time from last year, but I understand and accept.
Instead, I'm going to chase my 10K Personal Record (PR). Officially, it's 1:04:23 from the Butte to Butte. Unofficially, on a non-marked course, running with Robot Lance on my iPod telling me "Good... Job... Your... Longest... Run... Yet", it's 1:00:17, in sunny conditions with a hill at the end. This is going to be cold and wet and totally flat.
I run well in wet and cold and flat.
A lot of racers have pulled out of the race. This is somewhat sad, but I think for a tri like this, there's two ways of looking at it. It can be a race where you want to beat a time and/or qualify for the Nationals in Vermont and/or do your first Olympic tri. The duathlon is still a qualifier, but I suppose if you are here for the other two reasons, missing the swim is a deal breaker.
A few people are considering pulling out due to the "unspecified terror threat" reported in the NY Times and the Washington Post. To which I say: Hooey! There are always going to be credible, unspecified threats. That is the fabric of our national life, now. We just don't normally HEAR about those threats in our daily lives. And I'm sure as hell not going to let a threat stop me from going out and living life every day, in every city I'm in, from the storm-tossed Atlantic to the wild Pacific. I will race in my beloved, beloved DC, say farewell to my favorite city, and return home to sweet Eugene. No fear.
The other reason is why I'm here: to support a fabulous cause, together with my partners across the country. I'm racing because St. Mary's is focused on reconciliation and rebuilding, and that happens no matter what. We will always have something dreadful happening to some part of the great body of humanity, and we will always have work to do in rebuilding lives in every way.
It's so much more than a race. I'm so grateful to be here, and so proud of St. Mary's for all they have done this summer, and for their forward, positive focus.