Except for a year and half of rugby in high school, I’ve always gravitated toward more-or-less individual sports—skateboarding, running, martial arts, and, in recent years, triathlon. My default sphere of comfort and control extends a couple feet away from my body. I have few close friends, I tend to think of myself as self-reliant, I’ve been called solitary, distant, intense (appellations over which I exercise a certain degree of romantic pride, though in reality it’s dysfunctional and likely the product of an emotional diet of Cap’n Crunch during my formative years).
And as I say, so it is with sports. I prefer to hold the controls. Even in triathlon, if I have a mis-shift on the bike, the fear it potentially signals something more sinister is about to happen often makes me think, ‘Fuck I can’t wait until I’m off this untrustworthy p.o.s. and in my running shoes.’ Smaller sphere of control, right? Continue reading “Confederation 150 Relay”
Since early Friday I’ve been following this race on Instagram with envy and awe. THE SPEED PROJECT 3.0 is a running relay from Santa Monica to Las Vegas. 20 relay teams set out early yesterday morning, with the finish line, the infamous Las Vegas sign, 340 miles of scorching asphalt and desert away.
Scott Carmichael, a former colleague of mine at my triathlon club in Calgary, found his dream job with Strava in San Francisco a couple years ago, and he’s one of six runners on Team Strava this weekend. As of this post they’re duking it out with one other team for second place, and within hours they’ll be hitting that sign and then hitting the town (or a pillow).
As far as bucket-list items involving giant RVs go, this beats Burning Man by a desert mile.
The first “Iron-Man” triathlon was held 39 years ago today, on the island of Oahu, conceived from a debate regarding who were the fittest athletes: runners, swimmers, or cyclists.
The first modern triathlon actually occurred a few years earlier in California — modern because there are documented instances of tri-sport events in France as far back as the early 20th century — but it was diminutive in comparison to the goliath distances proposed for that first Hawai’i race: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run, so chosen because the race essentially combined three long-distance events already on the island.
Those ambitious distances have become the standard for “iron distance” races today, including those under the ubiquitous Ironman brand (owned by World Triathlon Corporation), as well as other organizations who put on iron distance events (e.g., Challenge Triathlon). Continue reading “The Iron-Man”
The first time I attempted Haleakala was in 2013, and I got turned around at the park gates (roughly 7,500 feet) because of the U.S. federal government shutdown.
Second time was almost exactly one year ago, and I was successful.
Third time was this past January — also successful — and I shaved 90 minutes off my previous time. It was a glorious, challenging climb, and an exhilarating, swift descent. Here’s the viz from that day.
Music: The Blues (Original Mix) – Mike Teck
Here’s some video I took from two separate trips to Maui over the past year.
Music: What I Say (Soft Shuffle Mix), by Kaskade
This was just one of those results that snuck up on me, and about which I’m exceedingly pleased. It was the first race of the year for me, and, as usual, I resented waking up at 4:30 a.m., I resented climbing through the bushes in Mission to take a leak, I resented climbing through more bushes just south of Stampede Park to take another leak, and half a dozen times I said to myself, ‘Why the fuck am I doing this?’ I didn’t feel exceptionally fresh for this race, and no part of me was looking forward to it.
Then the gun went off.
About 1.5kms into the run, I looked at my watch: 4:00/km pace. I thought, ‘Damn, I feel way too good right now; it’s gotta be the adrenaline.’ Then about 4kms in I looked again: 4:00/km pace. That’s when I thought, ‘Okay, so this is how it’s gonna be, hey? Just trust yourself. No excuses not to make this hurt.’
And kms 7-14 hurt. But I kept reeling in runners, one by one.
Continue reading “Calgary Half-Marathon – 2nd Place (Age Group)”
My colleague Rick: “What is that?”
Me: “Energy gel.”
My colleague Rick: “For your hair?”
This has been a good year for decent race photos. Minimal spittle, (the appearance of) good running form, hair in place…