Deja Vu Part Four: Shaka

This is part four of a series. If you missed the previous parts, here are the links:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

July 29, 2017 – Tom Hoskins MemorialTriathlon 2017

2017 Hoskins Champ

The Hoskins again? Now that was something I hadn’t considered, and “Hmm…,” ran through my brain. See, after Miles’ 2015 Hoskins win, we’d discussed not doing that one again.

Don’t get me wrong. The Tom Hoskins Memorial Tri is a wonderful event and holds a special place in Team Fowler’s heart as it was Miles’ first-ever triathlon in 2013 and his first overall win in 2015. However, we felt it was more for beginners and age groupers. Miles had progressed beyond this event. Now seemed to be the right time to make an exception, though, coming off the collision. “Yeah, that’s not a bad idea,” I replied. “Whose bike are you going to use?”

Miles’ workouts went well, and he entered the race at the last minute. Using a borrowed bike, Miles easily won his 2nd Hoskins. I was pleasantly surprised at his fitness level.

We briefly contemplated waking up early the next day and driving to Charleston for CSTS race four. After the adrenaline wore off, Miles concluded that wouldn’t be smart.  I was willing to get up early and drive him, but I was glad he decided against it. Two weeks later, though, on August 13th, we had a different story, which brings us back around to that day.

August 13, 2017 – CSTS Race 5: The Bike

The excitement of waiting is too much!

We watched Miles transition out of the swim and onto his bike. He was finally back on his own bike, having received it from the repair shop just a couple days before.  Now we waited. I checked my watch every two minutes it seemed.  It didn’t help time go faster.

The bike leg of the CSTS is 12 miles. On the flat Charleston roads, I figured Miles could average about 24-25 mph, meaning he’d take roughly 30 minutes for this segment – if all goes well. However, the bike portion of any tri is the most nerve racking to me. While this is Miles’ strongest discipline of the three sports, equipment failures can happen, as well as crashes. And the time drags. I checked my watch again. Nope. Still not helping.

Eventually, the first cyclist rounded the curve and came into view.  It was George. Man, this guy is amazing, I thought. As he passed, I set my timer yet again to see how far behind Miles would be. Soon, the second rider came into view.

Yes! It was Miles. He’d passed four or five others to reach second place, but had he cut into George’s lead? I checked my timer. Ugh! No ground gained. Despite a bike split time of 28:34 (25 mph), he was still 55 seconds behind. I hustled through the trees back over to the run course and offered some encouragement as Miles came out of the transition area for his run.

Start of the run

CSTS Race 5 – The Run

The 5K (3.1 miles) run course at James Island is basically a two looper where the runners pass back by the start area about the halfway mark. I stood beside the path, waiting to time the gap again.  It wasn’t long before George appeared in the distance. As I waited for him to pass, Miles also emerged.  This looks promising, I thought.


George passed. Timer started. As Miles approached, I could tell he looked strong. After years of watching him race cross country and triathlons, we can tell when he’s struggling. He gave me the shaka sign – thumb and pinky out with the middle three fingers down followed by a couple of twists – confirming my assessment of his run. I looked at my timer, and smiled for the first time since the swim start.

“25 seconds!” I called after him, probably more for my benefit than his. This just might be an interesting finish, I thought to myself.

For the fifth and final part, click here: