** For those of you with bloglines, or whatever program you use to read this blog, don't you love how I've re-posted this same entry over 10 times today, due to various edits?? Charlie read it once and had to correct several of my inaccuracies. Then one of my friends called. Then my sister called. Then Charlie re-read it and had more to say. Next time, I'm having him write the post.**
Before I dive in to this post about my husband's triathlon yesterday, I want to make it clear that I'm not planning to make my website private. I've already been down that road and have decided against it. Today, I received several e-mails from people who are really concerned that I might be heading in that direction. Rest assured, I'm not.
The purpose of my post the other day, in addition to pointing out once again that there are some cRaZiEs in this world, is to let people who read this blog know that I purchased my own domain and at some point, hopefully soon, I'll be creating what I hope to be a better website.
That's it. No more, no less.
Speaking of crazies in the world... how crazy do you have to be to get out of a warm bed at 5:30 in the morning and intentionally go jump in to a 57 degree ocean with HUGE swells and a massive current alongside 200 other
The triathlon that Charlie competed in yesterday, pitted my husband and his fellow relay team members alongside real live Navy Seals. In my opinion, Navy Seals are the baddest of the bad ass when it comes to physical fitness.
From the website: This triathlon is the only "grassroots" race that features a cold ocean and surf swim, the discipline and endurance of a windy bike ride and the mind-bending harassment of a soft sand and pavement run.
Charlie's leg of the race was to swim 1.2 miles in the open ocean, with huge rolling swells and a water temperature of 57 degrees. He completed his part in just over 30 minutes.
And while that was impressive, it was even more impressive seeing the man that was carried down to the water at the start of the swim - and back to the transition area when he was finished with his swim - because he was a paraplegic.
Can you see him back there with his arms over the guys in yellow shirts? I would have snapped off a better picture but a millisecond after this photo was taken, I was nicely asked to move out of the transition zone. Something about my big old stroller and four small children and busload of gear was blocking the athletes from getting their bicycles. Apparently, they aren't concerned with me capturing the best photos I can for this blog.
When Charlie was out of the water, he secured the race chip to our neighbor, Tom, who then furiously set off on a 56-mile bike ride that he completed in just under two and a half hours.
Tom is an ANIMAL on a bike. He maintained a pace of approximately 25 miles per hour, with a monster head wind. He passed every single person on the course except for four of the elite athletes. Here he is grabbing a water bottle from the team's relay runner, Carl. Poor Carl had to jump out of the way before he was mowed over by the guys that were trying to keep up with Tom.
And while that was pretty impressive, it wasn't quite as impressive as the paraplegic that used his arms to propel his body for 56-miles in the most horizontal recumbent-style bicycle I've ever seen.
We set up camp and remained on an overpass for the entire time it took Tom to ride his bike four times up and down the silver strand of Coronado Island.
I packed enough food to feed a small army which was fortuitous because the cool breeze from the ocean, the over cast day, and the salt air made our children ravenous. To the point that they never stopped eating. The entire two hours we sat on that bridge.
The only break they took from eating was when they crawled on to their father's lap for a nap - or crashed out in the stroller.
Meanwhile, I stood at the apex of the bridge and rang a cowbell as hard as I could for everyone that was peddling up the hill, while shouting "DIG! DIG! DIG!! FEEL THE BURN!! YOU CAN DO IT!!!"
I'd never rung a cowbell at a race before. But I think I might have found my new calling in life. I can honestly say that it was one of the funnest things I've ever done.
Everyone needs to go buy a cowbell and stand on the side of a road and ring it for absolute strangers who are competing in a race. The tired looks of appreciation - heartfelt smiles - and screams of THANKS!! - that I received from hundreds of people were awesome. Seriously. Go buy yourself a cowbell and then find out when the next race will be in your town.
When Tom finished his bicycle leg, he rendezvoused with the team's relay runner in the transition area.
The timing chip was strapped to Carl's ankle and then he took off to run a half marathon, the majority of which was in sand. And seeing as the tide came in while he was running, he had to run on soft sand at a slope - or - in the surf. At no point did I wish I was out there. Infact, all along, I happily rang my cowbell and thought, "Thank God I'm NOT out there!!"
Carl is a fast runner and was only passed by a couple people.
Including this guy from Kenya.
We stayed on the beach for the entire one hour and forty minutes that it took Carl to complete the course. And while we sat there, it was awesome to watch all of the athletes who had flown in from all over the world, participate in this grueling race.
There were a lot of people that were there as part of a team. It warmed my heart to see that there was an entire team from MD Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas. This is the very hospital where my friend, Deana, is currently undergoing treatment for her aggressive form of lymphoma.
From what I gathered in talking with people manning the tent, the athletes for the team are comprised largely of cancer survivors, who had been treated at MD Anderson. Yeah. If you could see just how fast these people were moving, I don't think that the "treatment" that they received was limited only to cancer.
Bionic body parts, anyone?
Just seeing these people who had defeated cancer out on this extreme terrain made me smile.
This guy made me smile, too.
I loved his jersey that read, "This One's For You, Mom!"
Once Carl was in the homestretch, we pushed our stroller through deep sand to the Finish Line. Our stroller that was buried under three guys duffle bags, water bottles, towels, a diaper bag and a wetsuit. This stroller brings new meaning to the word "Sag Wagon."
This was the first time I'd ever been to a finish line so soon after the start of a race. Considering I'm usually IN the race and among the LAST to arrive at the end.
Soon after arriving at the finish line, we learned that Charlie's relay team was in 17th place out of the 270 participants. In fact, his relay team won second place in their age category. They beat last years first place winning team by 37 minutes and they might have won first place this year if not for a guy who ran a half marathon in sand in an hour and five minutes.
And while it was extremely impressive that these three men raced a total of 70.3 miles in just over four hours, I was amazed by the paraplegic who completed the entire race by himself.
Once we found out that Charlie's team had won an award, we decided to stick around for the ceremony. By the time they finally got around to announcing the second place winner of the race, at least four hours had passed since the race had been over. During that time we collected all kinds of fun souvenirs.
Like a Jägermeister beach ball.
I'm sure this will be a huge hit at our church picnic.
But at the end of the long day, the guys collected their trophies and had the opportunity to meet the Admiral and shake his hand.
On our way back to the parking lot, Charlie and his team members were talking about how they all needed massages. Of course I couldn't bite my tongue before I blurted out that I had a tougher work out than all three of them combined.
Think of it!
I got four small children up and dressed and fed and out of the house before 6:30 AM, and then I had to RUN with a double stroller full of four kids from a parking lot one mile away to the start of the race. And then, I spent the next nine hours moving from one event to the next with my cheery group.
Do you know what I think when I look at this picture?
Someone needs more COWBELL!!