Fixed Accomplishment

a sea of bikes

Yesterday Sox and I got up early (5:30 am early) to head out and watch a spectacle at Elk Lake, the 2005 New Balance Half Iron. Duncan and Todd were both signed up for the race, and we went out, along with a few other friends, to cheer them on. It was quite a hoot.

Getting up early is usually pretty difficult for me. It wasn’t that bad for some reason. Walking to the truck, the air had a nice crispness to it that got me charged for the day. Stopping to get coffee was still mandatory though 😉 Out at the lake we found a parking spot, then headed to the lake to see the men start. I got there a couple minutes too late to see the mens start, but I did see the womens, and masters’ start.

Looking far across the lake you could see the athletes powering through the water. Incredible. It looks so far, yet the swim is the shortest of the three sports.

Back on land the racers splashed their way out of the lake, and proceeded to take off their wetsuits as they ran. As the men streamed past me I saw Duncan run by. Waiting and waiting I was starting to get worried about Todd. My cell phone started to ring, and it was Sox telling me that they had both already gone by. Somehow I totally missed Todd. Sorry bud!

With the guys out on the ride course, we piled into the strategically parked minivan and headed out to Keating and Veyaness to watch, and cheer, the racers on. We had some huge cowbells that made lots and lots of noise. Some of the racers loved it, one guy asking for more cowbells. Another racer was spectacularly dressed. Yes, a 10 year old bell helmet, cowhide print sleeveless jersey, aicd wash jean print riding shorts, knee high socks, playing cards in the spokes of his FIXED GEAR bike. This guy rode 90 km on a fixed gear bike. Crazy.

After watching the guys pass us 2 times we piled back into the van to catch them at the next transition. There was much debate on when they would arrive. Watching transitions is a little difficult. You want the racer to go quicker, but doing so increases their risk of a mistake. Both of our guys had no troubles though, and were in and out onto the run course in good order.

At the 10 km mark, both Todd and Duncan were looking good. No obvious signs of pain or discomfort.

Waiting at the finish line the minutes ticked by. Would they make their desired time? Hoping and wishing they would we waited. When Duncan rounded the corner I felt a little bit of relief. He looked good and quite fresh considering what he had just been through.

But now where was Todd? I saw on guy running towards the line with new spots on his shirt. Ouch, that is going to hurt for a while.

I really hoped everything was going well for Todd. I alternated between checking my watch and getting the camera ready to shoot. Then he appeared. Woohoo. I was snapping pictures and cheering at the same time (although, I was standing in front of a speaker, so I don’t think anyone could hear me).

Wow. Fun day. Great accomplishment for two good friends.

Pics are here (there are lots of them).