No that is not a typo. The picture below (as in the bottom of the article) will prove that yours truly grabbed a silver medal for my age group in the Check for Change Sprint Triathlon. Now I know what you’re thinking, and yes the triathlon groupies were fighting each other to mob me on the podium. What should also be known is that the only other age group I would have medaled in was women age 65+. Finally there were only four competitors in my bracket. I’m pretty sure one missed the race completely and the guy who came in third only had one leg.
Having gotten that little asterisk out of the way let’s look at the distances before I dive into this medal winning performance. The race broke down as follows; 0.5 mile swim, 17 mile bike ride, and a 3.5 mile run. Not to toot my own horn here but:
My day started at the early hour of 6 am when we woke up in panic because no one set an alarm. That left this rag tag crew (my parents and myself) just 10 minutes to leave the hotel in order to still make it there on time. Following check-in we were given some prerace advice from the official timer of the day. His simple words of wisdom,
“If you are a slower swimmer make sure you hang out in the back or you will get run over in the water.”
With those encouraging sentiments we were off! Let me tell you, swimming in a lake where you can’t touch the bottom is a whole hell of a lot different than practicing in a pool. I got about halfway through the swim when I realized I was not only exhausted but in the middle of this God forsaken body of water. Drowning was not my first choice, but I figured it beat being the one person who needed a lifeguard to take them back to shore. Plus if I really went under I could have at least tried to copy Squints from, The Sandlot.
Once I got back to dry land I almost fell over on the way to the bike station. Not only were my legs shot, but I’m pretty sure I was carrying extra weight having taken in about three gallons of lake water. Things did not get any easier once I hopped on the bike. I was quickly reminded how competitive this “fun” event was when a middle aged woman rocking a cyclist tramp stamp yelled some choice words at me for being too far over as she sped by. As I tried to catch her, and yell something snarky back, I quickly regained my appreciation for the automobile. I promised from that moment on I would never again complain about good old Chuck the Truck (yea that’s the truck’s name). In addition, once I got home I’d give him/her (haven’t decided if it’s a boy or girl yet) a hug and then wash him/her myself.
When I arrived at the starting point for the running portion I was met with yet another crushing blow. This time it wasn’t a physical aliment, but rather a right hook straight to the ego. As I began the final leg I heard a familiar voice pass on by. That voice belonged to my 50+ year old dad. Not only did it seem like he was growing stronger with each step (like some evil villain gaining strength from the misery of others), but his wave kicked off a minute after mine. As he motored along out of sight I wondered if the ambulance bill would have been worth it in order to solidify my fake injury and save some face. Seeing how my income puts me below the poverty line I decided to suck it up and finish the stupid thing. For the next three miles I powered the little will I had left by cursing everything from the girl who gave me my race packet to the founding fathers who by setting up this great country kicked off a series of events which led me to this paved hell.
Now that I’ve had time to think about my performance I can promise one thing; I will never again run any race of any distance. If I am challenged in the future I will simply point to my silver medal, which I’m getting tattooed on me, and retell this story. Leaving out some of the details of course.