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October 2017

Low expectations, met.

There is a sprint triathlon I'd done two years ago and enjoyed pretty well, in part because it was a new race and therefore pretty small. I had misread the date of this year's race and had originally thought the race was on a Sunday. When I found out early last week that the race was in fact on a Saturday, I decided to go ahead and enter. This will be my only triathlon of 2017.

I knew I hadn't done much of any of the three particular disciplines of a triathlon for this to be much good. I was a little surprised to find that when I went out to my garden shed to get my bike, the wheels had spider webs on them. Spi. Der. Webs. It also occurred to me that I most likely hadn't swum since before the beginning of school...which was almost two months ago.

But hey. Sprint triathlon, power through, slowly if necessary. And it would be necessary.

First off, I love that the only swag you get from this race are a swim cap and a postrace meal. Who needs another t-shirt or another medal? (OK, I do like medals, even for modest events.)


Pool swim, 200 yards; bike, 15 miles; run, 5K.

The upside of the swim is that I started way in the back. Only one swimmer passed me, a younger, more-in-shape guy (which hardly narrows the field). I think I did breaststroke for 75 of those yards.

The bike was a little more challenging. It was described as "Out and Back course with some rolling hills but no hard climbs." (Italics mine.) Yes. Well. On two of those rolling hills, I got off and walked my bike for a minute or two. As such, it took me almost 1:09 to complete those 15 miles. One guy in my age group passed me on the bike. I caught him within a mile! On the last hill, I was walking. He passed me.

The run is mostly on paved golf-cart paths. And it was a hot day. For some reason, na├»vely thinking that cooler fall weather was here, I'd worn a long-sleeve tech shirt on the bike and run. Tactical error. It was probably already 70 degrees by that point. As I began the run, I saw the guy from my age group who'd passed me on the bike. I thought, well, that guy's slow, but he's maybe 30 yards ahead of me. I can take him.

I didn't take him. In fact, I pretty much ran a minute, walked a minute for the duration of the 5K, and he pulled further and further away.

So, no surprise here, another last-in-my-age-group finish. But: A) Not dead. B) See A.

A good race, a lousy t-shirt.

A lovely neighborhood run, the Oktoberfest 5K Bier Run in the Germantown section of Nashville. (Bier Run=beer run. Get it?)

But this has to be one of the worst excuses for a race t-shirt that I've seen in the past 25 years:


100% cotton, white, short sleeves. Lousy illustration, lame fonts. On the other hand, this shirt will be perfect to rake leaves in.

On the upside: Nice course, mostly through residential neighborhoods, and a generous cup of beer--dispensed in one of these newfangled (at least to me) cups that have a small magnet at the bottom, like so:


(Slight downside: As with any race that's going to promise a beer to each finisher, they must start putting those out on the table well before runners arrive. So it was maybe not the coldest beer. But it was a beer (Paulaner, I think) and it tasted good.

Afterwards, breakfast at my neighborhood coffee shop, which was quite good but for the fact that they can also serve this on a biscuit, but they were out of biscuits that day: