Sometimes, you have to feel for race directors. You try to think of everything, and sometimes you just miss the obvious. Unfortunately for @norcaltriseries, the 1st Annual California Sprint Triathlon did not go at all as planned. To say many Age Groupers were upset would be an understatement. To make matters worse, not everyone ended up completing the same course, so comparison among the athletes will be impossible.
The first indications that things would not be going as planned was the announcement that the bike course, originally scheduled for 15 miles, would be changed to 14 miles due to construction in the local area. This was no big deal, But when I exited the water only 18 minutes after the start (still darn near last of my Age Group), it was an obvious sign that the swim, too, had been shortened from the advertised 1/2 mile to the more standard 1/4 mile or some other distance (there is NO way I swam .5mile in open water in 18 minutes).