Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas from FL

Happy holidays. The weather in Florida is a festive 80F. Nothing like shorts and tshirts to put you in the Xmas spirit.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays Throwback Thursday Style

I figured I would celebrate the holidays by posting some Christmas related photos from my past.  It has been a while since I posted a Throwback post so enjoy. 

I challenge the other bloggers to post some holiday related throwback photos.  Let me know if you add any to your blog.  I love seeing them.
Just want I wanted... A CHIPS sitcom board game?!
You can see the enthusiasm running through my face.
My old dog, Buddy, and me.
That does was a serious pain in the butt.

This photo is payback for all those years my sister tortured me.
There nothing like a photo of your sister in a
bad 1980s pink sweeter and with bad hair.

She'd kill me if she saw this photo. Hehe!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Florida Holiday Halfathon 2011 in Photos

Florida Holiday Halfathon 2011 in Photos

I tried to wear the cool elf hat
but the wind kept blowing it off.

Some of the Half Fanatics that showed up.
For some reason I am really blury.

How we roll in FL during the holidays.

Even the baby pelicans get into the spirit.

The shark guarding the fire station

Bonnie and I post race showing off the bling

Mr HalfTRIing approves!!

We visited the famous Taco Bus.

My gosh I was stuffed.  Awesome food.

The 10 year anniversery bling
Chip time 1:56:35 Pace 8:54
Missed my PR by 9 seconds

Lucky's Lake 100K Club

Lucky's Lake 100K Club

Saturday I did my 100 lap to be inducted into Lucky's Lake 100K Club.  Bonnie and Triston showed up to see my 100th crossing.  My name was highlighted on the wall in yellow to indicate this achievement.  I also received my 100K club hat which features a drawing of the famous Lake Cane monster.  Lucky took my bio and will be putting up on his blog and on the 100K Club page in the next couple of weeks.

I will now live in infamy.
Bonnie's first lap name is right above mine.

There was one other person completing his 100 lap on Saturday.

Some really hot, cool, fit, etc guy sporting his 70.3 Augusta
jacket and the 100K Club hat.

The famous 100K lap.
Why does the monster look like a slug?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ironman 70.3 Florida Is Moving To Haines City

Ironman 70.3 Florida Is Moving To Haines City


As expected Ironman 70.3 Florida is moving out of Disney to Haines City.  I have to say I am happy they are moving out of Disney.  Why?  Well, when I did the race I always had the feeling Disney really did not want us there. 

The Ironman 70.3 race only brings in about 2-3K people.  To Disney this is a drop in the bucket.  Of these 2-3K people very few are spending money in their parks.  Which means they are taking spaces from those who could be spending money in their parks  Now this is just my opinion.

In comparison Disney's running races (5K, 13.1, 26.2) pull 15-40K people.  Registration for these races cost as much and in many cases much more than the Ironman 70.3 (and all the $$ goes to Disney).  The runners also spend some serious cash at these events swag.  Disney has to make a killing on the race sway and expo tables.  Disney race expos are HUGE.  They pull upwards of 50 vendors at their expos.  I could go on and on about how running Disney running races are better and MUCH more profitable to Disney than the Ironman 70.3 (and other triathlons).

I would also say Ft Wilderness (Disney) is a really bad place to have a race.  The transition area was the strangest, most confusing and poorly lit area of any race I have done.  The run was a 3 loop course in a very boring area of Disney.  To make it worse about 30% of the run is trail-like.  Not the safest ground to be competing on (although personally I like trail runs many triathletes are pavement pounding city folk).  Transportation to the races was always a pain. Buses had to shuttle you to and from your car.  This is of course another expense and issue Disney and race officials had to deal with.  Parking was free which I am sure Disney did not like.  Again I could go on and on about how triathons are a bad idea (ie not very profitable) event for Disney.

I have a feeling this is why many triathalon event are pulling out of Disney.  Profit sharing, poor location, poor help from Disney, etc.

Many other triathletes (me included) are very happy  the 70.3 will no longer be held at Disney.  Most would not register at the event because they hated it so bad.  Many are now going to register because it is no longer held at Disney.

But why HAINES CITY?!  There is NOTHING in Haines City.  Clermont is a much better choice due to its rougher course.  It is the toughest and hilliest part of Florida.  Clearwater would have also been a great choice because WTC is headquarters is nearby and they have ran the 70.3 championships there for years.  I would say that running a race in Clearwater has to be more difficult because it is a much bigger city with much more traffic.  But I am happy because Haines City is only about 45 minutes from my house.  So party at my place if you are going.  :-)

So what I am trying to say is... I registered for the new Ironman 70.3 FL the first day it opened.  It is official I will be doing Ironman FL 70.3 again next year.  But this year I want to meet up with some fellow bloggers and followers.  Please let me know if you plan on participating.  We could meet up for beers, coffee, poweraids, GUs, etc before or after the race.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tough Mudder Tampa Before/After Photos

Here is a picture of me before and after the Tough Mudder Tampa event.


The hat held up surprisingly well.

Tough Mudder Tampa Race/Event Review

Tough Mudder Tampa Race/Event Review


On Saturday I survived the Tough Mudder Tampa event.  This was pure craziness.  In a race where you have to sign a “Death Weaver” to participate that is saying a lot.  Go here for my pre-race review.  It describes the craziness of this event. 
Screw Muddy Buddy this was a SERIOUS course.  It was just under 12 miles and about 22 obstacles.  Every lake, ditch, creek, etc on that cattle property we swam, crawled and/or slopped through.  You were constantly wet and extremely muddy. 
Crazy, muddy angel finisher.  Somehow he was able to keep the
angel halo on the entire race but he lost his pink wig on the
second obstical.

Here is a taste of what you had to endure for 12 miles.  First you had to jump and swim in a dumpster filled with colored ice water.  They were dumping in a back hoe of ice just before we jumped into the water. There was mud crawls under bob wire, underwater tunnels, a HUGE mountain of hay to climb, rope climbs, flame runs, etc.  And don’t forget you had run through a muddy pit with dangling electric wires.  To make it worse they sprayed you down with a hose BEFORE you got shocked to make the experience that much more “enjoyable.”  Below is only a SMALL list of what they put us through.
The crazy high hay barrel climb.

This race has it all (see here for a course description):
  • Running 12 miles
  • Electroshock Theropy (some have 10,000 volts)
  • Steeplechases
  • Mud pits filled with ice cubes
  • 15ft hall wall jumps into lakes
  • Underwater tunnels
  • Mud Crawls with barbwire overhead
  • Huge mountains of hay to climb
  • Spider web rope climbs
  • Huge monkey bars that are sometimes greased with butter
  • 4ft high flame runs
  • Rope river crossings
  • Wall climbs
  • Trenches filled with mud
  • Cargo net crawls
  • Bridge climbs
  • Swamp bog crossings (watch out for the alligators)
  • Tire Tunnels
  • Hay bail jumping
  • High pressure water jets
  • Telephone log carrying

Electroshock Theropy

The race even had a tattoo parlor (a REAL tattoo parlor ON SITE) where you could get your Tough Mudder tattoo.  There was also a barber shop on site to get you mohowk and mullet haircut.  There was beer everywhere.  They even gave you a free beer the second you finished the race.  After the race there were food trucks, fair food, live bands on stage, keg tossing contests and of course more beer.
Pre-race photo of hat and shirt.

A better shot of the ugly sweater that screamed
get me muddy and mess me up.

My friend and I dress up with silly, monster, kids hats and horrible Christmas sweaters for the race.  I wore that ugly sweater and hat the whole event without losing them.  I should get a award just for accomplishing that.
You if ever get the change to do a Tough Mudder race DO IT.  It was great.
I highly suggest you look at the photos of the event here.

The race number barely made it through the whole race.
The Tough Midder orange headband.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Amazing people with more amazing stories

For most people waiting in the registration line and sitting around for an hour to get into the water is what they hate most about triathlons.  I find this to be the best time.  You get to hear everyone stories.  Most are pretty lame (like mine), some are about losing weight, yet others are simply amazing. 

Shawn's Ironman

At the FL 70.3, while waiting the hour before my swim, I met MathewHis story is amazing.  You can read about it here
Mathew has a 2 year old son called Shawn who was born with “several urological conditions including a multicystic dysplastic kidney and then diagnosed with a patent urachus. He had to have surgery at 10 days old to correct the leaking out of his belly button. During that surgery they went in and determined that he also had a very rare condition that, to the doctor’s knowledge, closely relates a bilateral urethra (I have coined “Shawn’s Urethra” after my son since there has never been a case like his) where his urethra split near the prostate and exited behind his scrotum. There has been very little research or studies regarding his condition, but everything that came back said he was the youngest to undergo the surgery to reconstruct and remove his 2nd urethra at 7 months old. At that time they also removed the cysts where his kidney should have formed. At 14 months old he underwent a third surgery to repair a tethered spine."
Mathew is now doing triathlons to raise money for research into this rare medical condition.  I have talked to him several times since that race and he is a great guy.
Sharon and Scott at the Lake Norman Triathlon
The smile tell the true story.

While waiting in line at the Miami Man 70.3 I met Scott and Sharon Callahan and their story is also amazing.  I will summarize it here but the links below do a much better job.  One day Sharon started having headaches.  Those headaches grew worse.  These headaches were caused by a brain infection which eventually robbed Sharon of many of her past memories and her ability to create new memories.  She did not remember who her child and husband were but remembered her truck and how to drive it.  She did not know the name of a toaster.  It was just the toast heating up thingy.  Many memories still have not retired to her and Scott must remember them for her.  Many mornings are started out with her writing reminders on her forearm with a Sharpie marker.  Reminder labels must be placed on many items in the house.
Eventually the stress got to Scott and he started gaining weight.  At one point he was up to 377 pounds.  Sharon tricked Scott into going to see a doctor by “forgetting” where she was driving.  Scott decided to forgo the gastric bypass surgery and lose the weight through diet and exercise.  The couple then decided to do triathlons together.  Scott then lost 150 pounds. 
Each race Sharon must relearn most of that she learned.  It is like every race is her first race.  Scott and Sharon get permission to do the entire race together so Scott can remind and help Sharon throughout the entire race.  She needs to be reminded on when to turn, what to wear and when,  what she will be doing next, etc
The links below do a better job explaining this complex story.  I highly suggest you read and watch the videos.  They are simply amazing.
Scott and Sharon are great and nice people.  I was a great pleasure talking to them and hearing their story.  I hope to see and talk to them again in the near future.