Archive for the ‘Triathlon’ Category

Pumpkinman 2010

Posted: September 16, 2010 in Triathlon

In early September, while John played Soccer Dad with Jake, Shawn and Josh took on the 2010 Pumpkinman Sprint Triathlon in South Berwick, Maine.

Josh’s wave was off first and he was gone! He adjusted quickly to the cold water and had a reasonable swim. On the big climb from the shore up to the transition area, Josh was pushing hard – hard enough for 33rd best out of 474!

He’d continue to push hard through the bike and run and come home with a respectable mid-pack finish and 4th place in his age group!

Shawn started a few minutes behind Josh and enjoyed her race throughout! Her knee prevented her from having quite the run she wanted but she made it to the finish smiling!!

The whole family is quite proud of their results! Way to race guys!

Champions All!

Posted: June 26, 2010 in Family, Triathlon

We signed up for the Tri the Lake triathlon because is was three miles from home, we knew a lot of friends would be there, we’d be supporting the local YMCA, and it might just be fun! And boy howdy was it! We had a blast! And brought home hardware!

Josh ran the whole race on roughly zero training. He’s in good shape from soccer and he did a few runs around the neighborhood, but he hadn’t been on his bike since Timberman last fall!  Nonetheless, he finished 2nd in the under eighteen age group! Awesome job!

Shawn, Jake, and John were a relay team: Shawn swam, John biked, and Jake ran. Shawn had swum a time or two, John had biked once or twice, and Jake was in pretty good shape from soccer, but we really hadn’t been training and were only in it for the fun. When we saw the young, athletic team of “professionals from the Y” that finished second, we figured we were way out of the money. But no! We took first place! How cool is that?

We all took home medals and swag and had a great morning! What a fun race! Thanks YMCA!

Timberman 2009

Posted: August 25, 2009 in Family, Triathlon, Vacation

As the Timberman Triathlon Festival approached, we all seemed to have some trouble generating enthusiasm. Shawn was worried about her knee, Josh was worried about the bike, Jake wanted to stay home and enjoy his birthday, and John was feeling under-trained and under motivate – all reasonable objections. Yet we’d signed up so off we went!

And a good thing too!  ‘Cuz we ended up having a lot of fun! We got to meet up with lots of friends from Trifury and from KickRunners and even made some new friends too!

Friday night we made the drive, had some dinner and bought groceries before checking into the Misty Harbor where we’d stayed last year as well. We chilled and were all out by 9:00 PM anticipating the early wakeup.

The Saturday morning alarm jarred us from our sleep and we were into action! Arriving early at the park, we had prime parking thanks to John’s volunteer status.  While Shawn and Josh got checked in and set up in transition, John was headed for the waterfront where he was assigned to kayak duty shortly after the first turn buoy where he could secretly keep an eye on Shawn and Josh as they swam by!

Shawn and Josh both had GREAT races! In Joshua’s first “adult” triathlon, he showed great confidence and skill! He swam the 1/3 mile with little difficulty, looking strong the whole way. The bike, probably the longest ride of his life, was handled like a pro. And finally, on the run, though he says he had to walk a bit in the middle, he was looking strong and brought it home!


Shawn entered the race fearing the worst from her knee which was still recovering from her spring surgery. She had a good confident swim and a happy bike and set out on the run knowing she might just have to walk it. Fortunately for her, the knee behaved better than expected and she had a good run and a fun race all around!

We spent the rest of Saturday enjoying the lake, registering John for Sunday’s race, and seeing a bit of Laconia. On Saturday night, we found a bar-side table and watched the Red Sox beating up the Yankees before another early retirement.

Sunday morning was another early call for John. He headed to the race at 4:30 AM while the rest of the family would sleep in a bit and then follow on their bikes a bit later. John had a relaxed swim and a fun bike before deciding to pack it in on the run and enjoy the day – you can can read the gory details of his race here.

Jake was number one cheerleader throughout the weekend!! He took pictures, presented mom with flowers at the finish, and was an all around good sport. Next year, maybe we’ll get him out there!

We showered up and headed home Sunday evening, a bit tired and burnt out, for a brief celebration of Jacob’s birthday which would see a full celebration the following weekend.  In the end, we were all glad we went and had a lot of fun!


Posted: June 11, 2009 in Triathlon

John had fun at the Mooseman International Triathlon in early June.  Not a stellar time but it was a gorgeous day, a well-run race on a scenic course, and a lot of fun!  You can find the gory details and more pictures in John’s full race report.

Mad City IM

Posted: September 9, 2008 in Triathlon

While Shawn watched the boys kick off the fall soccer season, John made a trip to Madison Wisconsin to meet up with some of his cyber-friends from Kickrunners and to be a volunteer at this year’s Ironman Wisconsin (affectionately known as IMOO).

After experiencing a busted windshield on his DC9 out of Detroit that caused a couple hour delay, John arrived in time to meet up with some friends on Monona Terrace – four of whom would be running the race the next day. They talked of plans and strategies and enjoyed the afternoon sun! Not only does the Terrace serves as race headquarters, it also affords a gorgeous view of the lake and a great place to hang out!

After an evening tour of the bike course (in the rental car) and a couple of locally brewed beers, John was back early Sunday morning to watch the big race. The start was awesome!!  As the sun rose over Lake Monona, a hot air balloon drifted by and 2,200 athletes churned the lake into a froth!

John would spend the afternoon volunteering as a “bike handler”, retrieving bicycles from athletes as they finished the bike portion of the race. And later that evening he’d serve as a “catcher” at the finish line, assisting spent Ironmen as they crossed the finish line.

It was impossible to not be inspired by the Ironpeople. The determination that John saw was amazing! At the bike dismount, folks were so pleased to get off their bikes and yet focused, determined, resolved to get to the run and get it done. Later, at the finish line, the emotion was overwhelming. The range of conditions was amazing – some seemed so fresh, others could barely stand. The stories… The diabetic who had to get to the med tent to check his weight and sugar, the father who’d been in an accident four years ago and was told he wouldn’t walk again yet crossed the line with his two young daughters, the young lady whose boyfriend talked her into competing and was there to scoop her up when she wilted on John’s shoulder, the Englishman who was in tears after setting a personal best in his seventh Ironman…. Unbelievable. Every one a story. Every one nudged him closer. As his feet grew tired and he longed for a beer, he felt guilty – all he’d done was watch all day! He resolved to leave for his hotel several times and yet was drawn back. He ended up staying until the very end… Right down to the woman who finished four seconds before the midnight cut-off – literally sprinting down the finish chute towards the announcer’s spinning towel as hundreds willed her on. People of all shapes, sizes, ages, colors… Simply amazing!

It was too much for him. John gave in and signed up for the 2009 race. Can he too be an Ironman? Only time and 140.6 miles will tell.

Timberman ’08

Posted: August 18, 2008 in Family, Triathlon

Just like last year, it was a family racing event at this year’s Timberman Triathlon Festival!

Leading up to the event, we all seemed to go through the “why did I sign up for this?” phase – particularly as the forecast for Saturday degraded. But we sucked it up, packed up the car, and headed North on Friday evening. After a quick stop for dinner and a little shopping at the supermarket, we found our room at Misty Harbor, just a few miles from the race location, and settled in for a quiet evening watching the Olympics.

Up at some ridiculously early hour and off to Ellacoya State Park – the race site. John would spend the morning riding the back of a jet ski as a lifeguard for the swim portion of the race so he reported in there and left the boys to help mom prepare…

Shawn would be racing the “Sprint”, as she did last year. She got her gear settled and got into her wetsuit ready to go…

While John watched for her in the white cap swimmers, she went off with the yellow wave and had a great swim – taking over three minutes off her time from last year! She was quickly out on the bike and, not being seasick this year, she again bettered her result – this time taking eight and a half minutes off last year’s time! Still battling a sore knee, she gave a little time back on the run but managed to improve her Timberman Sprint time by over eight minutes from last year!  Way to go Shawn!

The boys both worked at the finish line of Shawn’s race – handing out water bottles and towels and hauling around boxes.  They worked really hard and were very kind to donate their time!

Next it was off to Gunstock for the Timberkids race. Josh was among the earliest starters in position number 5 which would prove both unfortunate and fortunate. After a good swim, the unfortunate part came along as the first few bike racers were misdirected out on the course. The miscue cost him a bunch of time and left him a bit upset…

Though disappointed by the effect of the snafu, he still finished strong and had fun – enough so that he’s talking about taking on a longer race next year!

Jake too was among the early starters at position #22. The cold water zapped a bit of his swim but, unlike last year, he was able to quickly warm up and get off on the bike. He had a good ride and charged out on the run…

He had an awesome finish, shaving almost six minutes off of his time from last year!

Our guys were fortunate to be early starters as, maybe halfway through the race, the skies crackled and the thunder boomed and the race had to be called – very disappointing for those still awaiting their start! Our guys were safely done though and we were very proud of out Timberkid champs!

While the family rested back at the hotel, John headed back to Ellacoya to rack his bike and meet up with some of his “imaginary friends” from the online running forum he frequents. They had fun meeting for real and took a practice swim in the lake.

We were out for another early dinner and then another quiet night in the hotel again watching the Olympics. And again, John was up and out before dawn for his turn to race! He’d race in the 70.3 mile event on a gorgeous sunny day. The rest of the family slept in a bit and then rode their bikes to the race to cheer him on!

John too would have a great swim, taking almost five minutes off of his time from the previous year, and a great bike, cutting seven minutes from his time there…

But… He’d have a rather disappointing cramp-ridden run that left him with a finish time ten minutes slower than last year’s. The gory details are in his race report here. He was still very pleased with all the fun he had and the goals he smashed!!

We’d all limp home on Sunday tired out from all the fun! It’s great to be an active family that can have a whole lot of fun sharing such events!

Massachusetts State Triathlon

Posted: July 30, 2008 in Triathlon

The morning after returning from scout camp, John was up before dawn to drive through severe thunderstorms out to Winchendon for the Massachusetts State Triathlon. Given that his pre-race preparations consisted primarily of floating in the pool with a beer for most of Saturday afternoon, he was pretty pleased with the result and the fact that he’d helped his triathlon club, TriFury, defend its state championship! You can check out his full length race report for the gory details.

Neighborhood Tri-Champ!

Posted: June 20, 2008 in Triathlon

A couple of our neighbors, Rob and “Wrong Way” Rutherford, decided they wanted to try a triathlon this year. John ran into them as they were swimming (or trying to swim) some laps at the YMCA early this spring and heard about their plan. They had signed up for a “sprint” event down at the Cape, the Hyannis Sprint I triathlon.  They had it all set up as a whole weekend get-away, bringing the families for some beach time, and having a third buddy, another Rob, plan to join them.

Over the next few months, they worked hard to get ready. John offered a few tips, loaned them a book or two, and talked them into trying some open water swims at the local lake before the big day.  He later decided he’d make the drive down early race morning and join the fun – and maybe even defend his title as neighborhood triathlon champ.

Race morning was an early start but a gorgeous day. Rob and Mike were as ready as they were gonna be and bravely approached the big event. They started one wave (3 minutes) ahead of John so his goal was to track them down! And he did!!! Mike and Rob plugged it out though and finished together at the end of the race! John was proud of the rookies and even prouder that he’d stomped them!!  (See the gory details of the full race report on his running blog.)  Way to go guys!!!!  That was a lot of fun!

Triathlon by the Sea

Posted: May 11, 2008 in Triathlon

We started Mother’s Day with a family outing to the Triathlon by the Sea in Marblehead where both Shawn and John competed. Neither had any big goals at this race – beyond having some fun! And, as the results showed, they didn’t win anything – but it was a great day!

Shawn ran well – leveraging the fitness she’d built up through her marathon training!  She even won a manicure in the raffle!

John was disappointed in his swim time but otherwise had a lot of fun out there!! He wrote a full race report too.

Overall… A fun family outing!

Down ‘n Dirty

Posted: October 16, 2007 in Triathlon

John’s race report…

Down & Dirty Duathlon, Lynn Woods, Lynn, MA
October 13, 2007

Fashion Report
Club tri-shorts, complimentary red OP top.
Vintage 1990 Trek Multitrack 720 hybrid bike.
Well worn Adrenaline GTS’s.

Breakfast Report
Toasted wheat bagel and orange juice at home. Dunkin’ Donuts coffee en route.

Result Summary
2.5m trail run: 20:17 (37/59 OA, 5/5 AG)
6m woods bike: 24:55 (9/59, 1/5)
2.5m trail run: 21:02 (26/59, 3/5)
Total: 1:06:12 (15/59, 2/5)

In-race Nutrition
Gatorade in T1 and T2.

Evaluation against previously posted goals:

Goals were to pretty much have fun and not kill myself on the bike. Secretly, I thought I could break 1:10. Done good.

Did some liquid carbo-loading the night before during the Red Sox game but still woke too early for the 9 AM race 25 minutes from home in the nearby Lynn Woods. Cooked myself a bagel and watched the morning news before loading the bike and stopping at DD’s for a coffee.

Arrived early, checked in, and joked with those near me who also had never done this sort of thing before. Took a quick ride on the bike to see how wet things were gonna be after the week of rain. Seems the trails drained pretty well and the few puddles were going to be easily avoidable. Milled about, found one club mate, got my bike stationed, visited the plastic castle, etc.

Most folks were complaining about the cold. It was 37F when I left my house – but probably mid-40’s by race start. I love the cold – this was perfect. People were dressed in tights, gloves, overshirts – I had shorts and a bike top. Perfect weather.

Final instructions and we’re off. I’m chasing my club mate. She’s gaining on the flats and downs but I’m faster on the climbs. After only maybe 1/2m things are pretty sorted out and there’s not much passing after that. I’m running fairly hard but not all out – I figure I need to save something. In retrospect, maybe a little harder would have been appropriate. Heard one woman behind me go down after a trip – many people checked on her and she was OK but it was a reminder that there are obstacles.

My clubby and I come into transition dead even. I’m not changing shoes or anything so it’s swig the Gatorade, strap on the helmet, and go! I beat her out and I’m gone. I’m passing folk on the first climb and this can’t be right. Bottom bearing on my bike is tired and it’s grinding but I’m catching folks on fully suspended tricked out mountain bikes! What’s up? I catch a few more and I’m gaining confidence.

First big down and I’ve got my butt way back and going for broke. My hand comes momentarily off the bar and as I reach back I hit a rock or something that sends the bars quickly up and I mash my thumb into the brake or something. Stabbing pain. Blood. Not stopping. I’m still passing.

I get to the first killer climb and I’m right behind two others. Up the hill there are three or four riders off their bikes walking. I’m determined to make it. About a third of the way up I get the first guy I’m following and he jumps off. I’m stalking guy two in blue. We both get to the top near cardiac arrest and the acceleration is a little slow. Over the next few rollers we’re pretty even but I’ve got my sights set. We get to the second killer climb and again there are walkers. I’m determined to stay with blue and again, we both make it up but we’ve both got nothing at the top. We’re even coming down but then, on what seemed like an easy roller, blue’s done. I get him and he’d be way back at transition so I’m not sure if there were mechanical issues or he just ran out of gas but… I go for broke on the last couple downs and come ripping into T2. By this time, my thumb has spattered blood all over my hand and even down on my leg. I look tough. Helmet off, bike against wall, and gone.

Run2 starts slow. I’m a bit spent and I’m having trouble getting the legs moving – but there aren’t that many folks around me so I just keep plugging. I get passed once near the turn around and once more a bit later – but I passed a few too and probably netted zero. I felt like I ran a quick last mile coming out and was thrilled to see 1:06 on the clock – 4 minutes below goal!

Cheered some folks in, found club mate, had a great breakfast from the buffet and waited for the results. I knew there couldn’t be too many old guys in front of me – there weren’t that many old guys period. Still, it was a thrill to see myself second in age group!!

In summary… I had a blast! My first-ever off-road race and I didn’t hit a tree, I gave it a good effort, and I brought home hardware on a gorgeous fall day. Not bad. The thumb is swollen, smashed, maybe somewhat broken, and a bit throbby – but still attached. I’ll live. And I’d do this again.