Highest point in Arizona. I'd never been before, and now I have.
All downhill from here (as some would say, and as my birthday cake at 19 actually did say - thanks, college roommates).
Simon and Suzanne Percy, of Swim Devils and Swim Devil Masters, took over the AZ Open Water Series in 2023, after a 4-year pandemic hiatus - and the first race had to be cancelled due to the algae bloom this spring at Bartlett Lake. But the second race went off not-exactly-smoothly at Bartlett on August 19. 4000 meters, "more or less"; probably 4200 but they adjusted one of the turn buoys after our first lap, so we didn't get to 5000 after all.
I finished in 1:32:06.9. I'm not sure that kind of precision is warranted but 1:32 seems right; I had 1:35 on my watch but stopped only after getting out of the water. That put me 35/41 overall (35/43 with 2 DNFs), 17/22 men (17/24 with the DNFs) and 9/12 in men's masters (9/14 with 2 DNFs), but in swimming they lump everyone 45 and over in the masters category, and if there was a 65-69 age group (or even just 65+), I would have been 1/1. If there had been a 60+ age group, I would have been 3/3 (3/5 with the 2 DNFs). Not the best time, but not the worst, as 6 people finished behind me, and all of them were under 60. Results here for men's masters, and here for overall.
I completed a busy month of racing with the Cactus Man Triathlon in Tempe, Olympic distance. My times were almost identical to last year, I was 1:10 slower than in 2022 overall (1:15 faster in the swim, :36 faster in T1, 1:07 slower on the bike, :20 faster in T2, and 2:14 slower on the run), but instead of finishing 3rd of 6, I finished 10th of 15. So while 90% of life is just showing up, it now means who else showed up, now that I'm one of the older guys in my division.
The water was very cloudy, and there was a slight current because the lake is still getting runoff from the dams upstream, but with all the fresh water, the lake actually seemed "fresher" than in past years despite looking like it was thick enough to plow. The bike course was the usual Tempe route, with lots of turns, including 2 tight U-turns, so I used my road bike and not the tri bike. And the run was very hot, and not just my watch, but some friends also thought the course was longer than 6.2 miles. As it was the same route as last year, I'm not sure how that would have happened. (But if it really was 6.5 miles, then that would explain the additional 2 minutes for the run.)
I ran a very "technical" race, in that in finishing 10th in my division, I finished 11 minutes behind the 9th place finisher (no way to catch him), and 20 seconds ahead of the 11th place finisher (that's pretty close). Much better than the reverse.
Before the race started, and as I slogged through the run, I did think how grateful I am that I can still do this stuff with my friends. I'll never be great but it's great fun to still be able to participate. Results here, photos here.