5:45 am. I rarely see this hour from either end.

But all the little triathletes were already setting up their bikes and goggles and consuming PowerBar products.

The pool was heating up. The triathlon was getting underway….

There were rows of nice bikes.

Then there was this. The bike ride consists of climbing one of the steepest hill in Berkeley. Some of the athletes have to get off their road bikes and walk them up.

Of course, it belonged to Galen. He and Brent slept in and got there a little late.

Still plenty of time to warm up with some freestyle.

But registration was closed. Oh well, Galen just gave himself a number (one.seven.backwards-nine.ambiguous-squiggle) and jumped in with Brent’s heat.

The other arm featured a backwards seven to throw off the officials. Somehow, the spraypaint used to mark the running course ended up on Galen chest.

AK and Richie got matching jerseys because the collars had OC on them. No shame.

This was seriously the most common uniform. Puts my green shorts to shame.

Anya had the first heat among us. I picked the worst photo of her coming out of the pool.

[During this segment I was too busy mediocrely completing the triathlon to take pictures. The bike ride was beautiful, riding through the fog with misty views of the Bay and passing dozens of spandex-clad competitors who would later pass me on the run. It was more fun than you could imagine.]

Post-race juice smoothies.

These guys finished beautifully. Brent actually won “best time for 19 and under” despite being 25. AK filled out his registration form with imagined information. Galen got a flat on his BMX but still managed his way down the hill and violently threw his bike in the transistion area before beginning the run. I have no idea who Dill Blake is. No one does.

“It represents me.”

Triathlons really bring friends together.

AK made out like a bandit with a grip of free Naked juice smoothies.

Galen Jackson is a visionary.

Team Dazzle shines.