How not to run a race (The Blacklight Run) – 9/14/19

I understand and accept that no race is going to go off perfectly. As a RO/RD, you can plan for every eventuality, every contingency and even put pre-emptive Darwin Awards measures in place. But it won’t stop [X] from happening — specifically [X] that no one could ever think of happening. When something like that does happen, it really hasn’t been a big deal. They did everything right, and something out of their control just happened. HOWEVER, The Blacklight Run Chicago does not fall into that category.

To begin with, their ‘free’ race was not really free. This ‘free’ race registration required you to make a mandatory donation to a charity in addition to paying a facility fee. Quite odd to mandate this, as well as then charging you the registration percentage on it. But looking at it as a 5K for < $15, I went along with their process.

I had registered for both this race and a similar one that they did in May. I had believed it would be a very simple conversation about my guide, especially since it appeared that they wanted people there. If not, then why do a ‘free’ entry that kept getting pushed? However, it took me having to reach out to the Chicagoland Speedway before this RO got the message that the ADA needs to be followed. I’ve got the e-mail chain to show just how unhelpful their staff was initially. And then within a VERY short time of calling the Speedway, it was all resolved.

The next issue with this event was the parking. I remember seeing something early on from the RO along the lines of ‘Parking is $20 (cash). We have specifically told the tow companies to watch for people parking on side streets. You will be towed if you do.’ IMO, that sort of message smacks of bullying. But we went along with it. I’ll admit that I did get some satisfaction from handing them a bag of change to pay for the $20 BS parking.

As I had to do packet pickup that evening, we arrived in plenty of time. Once it started to get dark, we moved towards the starting area. As usual, we seeded ourselves far enough back to ensure that it could be a safe, good run. As they were sending people off in waves, I thought we’d be even better off.

However, things did not go well throughout the race. I would estimate that at least 90% of the people were walking. There were some others running, but they were having the same issues that we were. You would be able to run for about 150-200 feet and then a pocket of people walking across the ENTIRE path would stop your progress. I don’t have an issue with people walking. But the overwhelming percentage of people go with walk right, run left. So overall, we were able run about 1m total.

The Blacklight zones on the course were interesting, and lived up to what they were supposed to be. On the other hand, the aid station did not. To that point, every single aid station in the 100+ events (Tri and running) that I’ve done have had COLD beverage options, pre-set and ready for people to grab. Hell, even during the Half where I had horrible calf issues and we were beyond the race finish, there were still cold jugs of water for us to self-pour from. Last night, their idea of an ‘aid station’ was to set up empty cups on a table, then have you wait in line. When you got to the front of it, someone filled the cup with warm water from a garden hose. Utter, utter BS.

The final straw of the evening was how their staff acted post-race. I’ll admit that I was beyond pissed with the cummulative BS of the evening. When I talked to the Assistant RD, he said that (a) the RD was out on the course, (b) the RD wasn’t reachable and (c) I’d have to go through their ‘helpful’ CS team. Again, I’ve NEVER seen a situation where the RD is unreachable. I’m quite sure that Marconi didn’t just invent them today…

I have already reached out to their CS for a FULL refund. And I’ve also contacted the SPeedway. I truly hope that the Chicagoland Speedway takes the appropriate actions to ensure that others don’t have to go through this absurdity. It was the Blacklight Walk, NOT the Blacklight Run. Had it been promoted as what it ruly was, I would not have wasted the almost $38 that I did.

Finally, if you want a well organized, fun and TRUE night run, I strongly suggest the GloRuns done by AllCommunityEvents. I believe Amita Health is the title sponsor for these races that are held across the country.

USABA / USAT VI ID Camp (9/4-8/19)

Last August, I was given an amazing opportunity to be at the OPTC for the first Visually Impaired (VI) Talent ID Camp. Even though I struggled during that camp (see last year’s blog post), I still learned a tremendous amount from it.

Even though there have been unexpected and unplanned bumps throughout this season, I’ve seen an upward trend. I had hoped to have the opportunity to be there again this year. While I wasn’t given a spot initially, I was fortunate to be given one off the wait list.

Last year, I suffered from the altitude adjustment and from trying to do a long bike ride in Tri shorts. Going into this year, I intended to do a run in CO pre-camp and had bibs for the longer ride. So after running errands Wednesday morning, Larry and I went to the track and ran 2 miles. As expected, it was absolutely, positively no fun. Even doing 1/2 mile repeats was a challenge since my body wasn’t yet acclimated. However, it was worth it in the long run.

Something that I’ve said before and will say again is that you can’t do this sport without a lot of trust. You’re putting your life in someone else’s hands, especially on the bike. For me, as long as my guide is an experienced Triathlete and has a good attitude, it’s all going to work out. I’ll always share what I need with a new guide before we do a practice or race. Taking that small amount of time leads to success, even if they’re a first-time guide.

The first full day of camp was packed. We started on the Colorado College track for a strenuous workout. I was glad to have done the warm ups the day before with Larry. Because of that, the first session with Jace went much better. That’s not to say it was easy by any means though. We ended up doing a warmup followed by dynamic stretching work and then 3x 400/200/400/200 (run/walk) with a focus on negative splits. During that last session, one of the coaches showed me a way to improve my run strike/run stride. It was odd and a bit painful at first, but I knew / know it will pay off long-term.

After a strength session and lunch, we were in the OPTC pool for the first time. While the altitude created some struggles for me during the early set, it wasn’t as bad as last year. I would say that I wasn’t feeling it that much by about 500-600 into the set. The main set was full of drills, during which I was trying to watch/focus on the left arm catch. While the right is usually OK, the left has far more drag — and is something that I’ve been working on with a private coach as well.

After the swim and time to finish bike builds, we headed out to do bike skills. For safety reasons, they had the pilots ride over solo while the stokers were in the vans. I’m sure that drivers in Colorado Springs had some interesting comments when they say 10 tandems ride by with just one person on them. After working out some minor issues with starts and stops, Jace and I went through all of the different drills without incident. He was able to successfully maneuver us around those small two legged obstacles. Once done there, the day ended with a Sports Psychology classroom session.

While the next day only had two sessions, it was more challenging than the previous day. It started with 4.8mi Gold Camp repeats. Even with losing 20-30 minutes having to address a tire puncture, we made it up / down almost twice. The van turned us around about 80-85% of the way back up the 2nd time because of time constraints. It’s a long uphill climb, where you feel like you’re going through mud a times. But it’s well worth doing and an amazing hill workout. Oh, and coming down Gold Camp is a tremendous amount of fun. 🙂

The afternoon swim session was an Open Water Skills (OWS) session. It included a warmup, drills and all of the standard things you’d do in open water in a race. We also had the assistance of two coaches (Beck and Kelly) that were there for the PT Coaching Certification Clinic during the session. It ended with us doing two full race simulation laps.

In 2007, when Coach O put us through the paces like we new recruits during the first day of spring ball, I remember walking around the IPF track in a daze post-workout. My brain was fighting my body at that point. I had a similar feeling after these two sessions, and it took a good deal of sugar to get me back to ‘normal’ so that I didn’t fall asleep during the classroom sessions.

The next day included the Triple Brick session and another pool session. Each of the bicks was T1->bike (5K)->T2->run (1mi), with a focus on negative splitting per brick. Throughout our sessions, the transitions kept decreasing, the runs were about constant and the bikes were on target.

The meat of the swim session was a 16×50 workout. These were broken down into 3 ‘active recovery’ and 1 fast. For me, I can do a fast 25 okay. But after that 25, the motor dies a bit. Even still, we made it through the workout, which finished with a coach/guide race.

The final day was an optonial swim workout. It was a good opportunity to practice the drills that we had done throughout the camp. It also had more of the 4×50 drills…

I am truly grateful to have had this amazing opportunity again in 2019. While it’s a short stay, I always learn a LOT at the camps I’ve been at at the OPTC. And what I’ve learned has helped me to improve across all phases of Triathlon.

THANK YOU to everyone that made this possible, all the coaches for their time and sharing their knowledge, Larry for his help in getting to/from Denver and Jace for guiding for me. He did an amazing job as my guide and I hope to work with him again!

Du Chicago (Chicago Triathlon) – 8/25/19

Throughout the summer, I went into the city for Dare2Tri’s bike / swim sessions and Chicago Tri Club’s swim / run sessions.  After the issues in June, the focus behind them was getting ready for Chicago.  Even during the ‘washing machine’ swims, things went well for the most part.  All of this was great practice for what was to be my Tri season finale.

Knowing that traffic / road closures could cause delays Sunday morning, I decided to do packet pickup myself.  IMO, the Expo is set up like a Vegas casino – in that even when you see an exit, it isn’t always an exit.  At least pick up went smoothly once I finally found the right place to start at.  Having gotten all of the race materials, and just as important, the alcohol bracelet, I was set to do the Tri.  And then the water decided not to play nicely…

The first e-mail dropped the swim to 750 for everyone and offered people the option of a Du.  When that happened, I told Eric that I still wanted to do the full Tri.  Unfortunately, early Sunday morning it became a mandatory Du.

Upon making it into the city, we ran into lots of closed streets and delays.  The closest we were able to get at 6:30 was Navy Pier.  So it was a mile walk to transition.  Eric met me at the entrance, and we still had plenty of time to set everything up.  As a Du, the set up was much more simple (just helmet, sunglasses and bottles on/next to bike).

After making sure that everything was properly set and we had the layout for ‘swim out’, bike in/out and run out properly mapped, we made our way to the start.  It’s a 3/4 mile walk that is best done in shoes.  Even if it hadn’t been a Du, I still would have been in shoes pre-swim.  But with it being Run/Bike/Run, I just walked there in my run shoes.

Given the duplicate run leg, I had planned to do the first one more slowly than normal.  I figured that this would save my legs for the second run.  After we started in a time-trial type one, the pace was a little bit faster than I had planned.  We ended up passing a few of my Dare2Tri teammates, making it to T1 in about 8:15.

After a quick T1, we headed out on a challenging 15.8mi bike.  Because one side of Lake Shore Drive was closed, the bike was reversed.  You could tell who didn’t pay attention during the briefings – those were the ones riding right.  They were also the ones serving penalties at mile 1 of the run. 

As with the past several bike legs, we passed a tremendous amount of people during it. We had a tailwind on the way out, which helped us to almost catch Alberto and Justin.  But we paid for that wind ‘help’ on the way back – doing hills into a headwind aren’t fun.  Even still, Eric told me that we topped out at 39.8 and had an average of 21.

We had a solid T2 and left it just seconds behind Alberto and Justin.  The first 1.25 miles went well, and then the hills came into play.  I remembered the first one at about 1.5 from 2017.  However, because of course changes, we had a ‘new’ second one at about 1.8.  With the heat and climbs, I ended up having to walk part of these hills.  As we were at about 2.2, Val and Andrew came past us headed the other way.  While I was starting to struggle, my main thought was ‘I need to finish strong and not let the bike go to waste’. 

Going into the race, I knew that I was giving 5-7 minutes up on the run to Alberto and Val.  With that solid bike, I had probably 12 minutes on Val going into the run.  I would have been distraught for giving up 13 minutes on the run.  Even though the last mile was a moderately painful run/walk, I turned it on when we made the final turn and finished strong.

A huge THANK YOU to Eric and to Dare2Tri for all of their support.  Not just during the race, but also leading up to it.  Eric was my pilot during many of those bike sessions.

Rock the Quarry – 8/17/19

Last year, Rock the Quarry was just ‘some race’ that I happened to find on Running in the USA.  It was simply a replacement race for having lost Naperville.  But after how much I enjoyed it last year, it was a definite race and one I looked forward to.

As well, last year we were in a wave with a single other AWD (Athlete With Disability) participant.  It was amazing that they held the race until we were both out of the water.  This yea, we were part of the normal AG wave.  The M35-39 wave was large, and it wasn’t a ‘normal’ start.  To ensure that we weren’t swum over, Michael had us towards the back.  We probably lost 45-60 seconds on the water entry because of how things were set up.

Once in the water, the swim went okay.  There was one point where swimmers from wave 4 (the next male wave) caught up with us.  When one of the participants from that wave swam right over me, I lost my stroke and then time having to restart in open water.  Once I was able to get re-started, we made our way back to the shore without incident.

There is quite a long run from swim out to the transition racks.  After making it there, T1 went decently and we headed out on the bike.  The 15 miles went by quickly with a couple interesting and one dangerous incident —

1)  As it’s Amish country and there are open roads, you can sometimes run into a horse and buggy.  We did again this year and made the pass around both it and the horses without any incident.  A hoof to the bike can ruin your day…

2)  Seeing the two AWD teams and their support teams on the course.  As a ParaTriathlete, I love seeing other AWDs at these local races. 

3)  One of the most important bike ones is ride right, pass left (unless specifically stated otherwise).  That’s important on any course, but especially on this one where you do an S curve under a railroad trestle.  Coming out of it going out, we had someone pass us on the right-hand side.  The asshat did that to someone else a bit further on as well.  I really wish that Michael or I had gotten his bib number.  People like that should really be Dqed.

Also on the bike, we passed a tremendous number of people.  As in the past several races, we got the smartass ‘you’re cheating’ joke.  If someone wants to trade me their 20/20 eyes, I’ll gladly give up the tandem…  But I won’t hold my breath for that…

T2 went as well as T1, after which we made the long run onto the run course.  Loop 1 went okay.  However, on loop 2, the head and humidity took its toll.  It became a walk/run, with the last 1/2 – 3/4 mile being in pain.

While there were issues on the swim and run, I did still manage to shave about 90 seconds off of my 2018 time. 

Naperville Sprint Tri – 8/4/19

Last year, a broken crank sidelined me from the race.  I tried everything I could to make it work, but had to eventually throw in the towel.  So I was really looking forward to this year’s race.

Upon getting to the race site, I was surprised in the dark.  I thought that I knew where my ‘stalker’ was at that weekend.  But they surprised me by being there.  Their note pre-race was ‘finish faster’. 

In past years, we’ve been immediately behind the elites.  While it’s been a privilege to be that far up-font, it’s come at a price.  Simply because we’d have those able to do 5-6 minute swims swimming over us.  To counteract this, we seeded ourselves towards the back of the pack.  This helped some, but didn’t solve all of the issues.  Especially since it seemed like they went from a lane-line barrier to a more solid one.  Even with a couple of hiccups, it was still a decent swim.

After doing a reasonably quick T1 for the distance, we headed out on the bike.  As in Lake Zurich, we passed a tremendous amount of people on the double loop.  I was hoping to see the Para Relay team while we were on the bike, but we didin’t.  It also got a little hairy towards the turnaround on the 2nd loop.  At this point, the participants of the Kids Tri were on the bike course.  While some weren’t as familiar with the rules, Lee was able to keep us safe and [eventually] get them to ride properly so we could pass.

Arriving back in T2, I drained about half the bottle of Skratch before we headed out on the run.  While I remembered most of the course from 2017, I had forgotten about an important hill on River.  Even still, the portion through the woods and over the bridge was solid.  So were spurts along River.  However, when we hit Aurora in the heat and humidity, things broke down a bit.

While it wasn’t a perfect race, I did end up shaving 14 minutes off my 2017 time. 

ET Lake Zurich – 7/14/19

“What do you do when you fall off the horse? You get back on.” – Multiple sources

After Pleasant Prairie, I wanted back on the horse; badly. I had to wait 3 weeks for the opportunity though. Going into Lake Zurich, I also intended to test out a few things and see if they worked. They included ‘racing empty’ (1/2 Powerade for breakfast instead of solid food) and racing without a wet suit.

Lake Zurich is the earliest race that I have during my season. When you’re not fully awake at 3:30AM, you can sometimes forget things. HUGE, HUGE, HUGE thanks to Steve from Village Cyclery for his help. We would not have been able to race without it.

While I had planned to race without a wet suit, I couldn’t have raced for points with it. The water temp was a balmy 83.5 and the air temp was about 68 pre-race and mid-70s when we got out. So it was the perfect water/air temp mix IMO. With the issues in the water the previous race, I gave myself a little bit of a cushion when self-seeding. Even though there was traffic, it was definitely the smoothest OWS I’ve ever had during a race. To the point that I believed we still had one more buoy turn when Lee signaled me we were at the swim exit.

Transition went as planned, and we were out on the bike relatively quickly. The bike went really well even though there were a couple of unexpected obstacles. There are a lot of hills (both rollers and a couple of huge ones) on the bike course, so there weren’t any good places for bottle passes. However, draining half a water bottle of Skratch from dismount into T2 seemed to work out well.

A reasonably smooth T2 led to us headed out onto the run at just over 1 hour. At this point, the heat and humidity had increased from the nicer mid-70s that it was on the bike. While my goal was to run the entire 5K, it just didn’t happen. I knew it would go well because of WI hill hell and hoped I could make it happen. But the huge hills at about 1mi and 2mi, along with the heat and some other minor ones killed that.

Even though the run wasn’t what I wanted, it was still 2+ minutes better than last year. And overall, I PRed the race by almost exactly 12 minutes (1:39:51.66 vs. 1:51:51.59).

As I head into the back-half of my season, I would greatly appreciate your support. You can support me by donating through my Dare2Tri fundraising page. Thank you in advance for any support you can provide!

4th of July Fun (Run for a Vet 5K) – 7/4/19

“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!” – Christopher Lloyd

Prior to this past week, every race that I had done was on a paved surface. Even if we were going through the forest or along a lake, it was still on some sort of paved surface. The Run for a Vet 5K was my first trail race, and it was an entirely different animal to say the least.

During the past two years, I’ve found an event prior to our week in WI. That way I don’t feel as bad about a week of R&R filled with beer. But since I couldn’t find anything before we left, I found this 5K on July 4th. So R&R turned into ‘active R&R’ that included AM hill runs and afternoon swims.

While those AM hill runs were not fun, I’m glad that I did them. If I hadn’t, Thursday’s race would have been even more of a challenge. The course was a combination of a snowmobile path and a cross-country ski path, so LOTS of hills. I mean, LOTS and LOTS of hills. (Followed by hills…)

Prior to the race, I met up with my guide Paul and his family. After we had a few minutes to talk, Mazie Vincent from the local NBC affiliate interviewed us. You can watch Mazie’s piece here.

As we started off, things seemed really good. The first mile on the path wasn’t that bad. There were some hills, but they were minor or gradual ones. And then we made the turn onto the second half of the trail…

The second half was full of ‘fun’, steep hills. Some of these came in rapid succession; some were long, hard climbs. I did have to walk a couple of these because of length or after doing them because of the difficulty. Regardless, Paul was there to help steer me around the obstacles and help talk me through the hills. I was able to catch my breath during the rare flats and aid station as well.

At about 2.8, someone from the race was giving you your time. They also mentioned ‘only 525 steps to the finish’. Oh, but they didn’t mention that about 490 were in hills. LOL We crossed the finish line to a cheering crowd, and Carrie captured our finish. You can view the video of it here.

Even though it was an extreme challenge, it was a tremendous amount of fun. I am extremely grateful to Paul for being my eyes for the race. THere’s absolutely, positively no way I could have run this race without his help. Also, huge thanks to Rebecca and Dave for all their help and Mazie for interviewing us! I hope to do the race again in the future!

A Rocky Weekend (Train2Race / Pleasant Prairie) – 6/21-23/19

[Photo credit – Claudia Ani]

“Send lawyers, guns and money. The shit has hit the fan.” – Warren Zevon

This year, Dare2Tri split the PT Training Camp into two, a beginner and an advanced camp. With all of the racing that I’ve done to this point, I was at the advanced camp.

Day 1 started with triple bricks (3 mi bike/1 mi run/rest x3). The bike felt really good, and more importantly so did the runs. While GPS wasn’t great because of all the trees, I was able to be at and under pace for the first 2 runs and at for the 3rd. The pace that I set for myself for these runs was 30 seconds faster than my current normal run pace. Not just to get faster, but also to get a measuring stick towards the <35 5K I need to hit before summer’s end. After lunch, we were in the water for skills and drills. The day finished up with recovery, during which I had a chance to try an amazing product.

Over the last couple years, I’ve had intermittent pain in my upper right arm. The only thing that’s really helped prior was getting worked on by a PT. But after about 5 minutes in the arm sleeve that’s made by Rapid Reboot and things felt great. Hopefully I’ll have an opportunity to use their products more in the future.

Day 2 started with swimming the course, and continued with a course overview. After some bike handling skills, the day finished with a breathing session and an ice bath experience. Last year, I had had an opportunity to do the contrast bath course (cold/hot/cold/hot). The cold sessions were in about 40 degree water for a total of 10 minutes, so I thought this 1:15 would be just fine. And outsize of the first 5-10 seconds, it wasn’t that bad. Meditation in 30 degree water is interesting to say the least…

There’s nothing fun about 3A wakeup calls, but that’s what was required for race day. After meeting up with Dave and getting transition set up, I felt really good. We poisitioned ourselves far enough back in the wave to avoid getting run over by people like Jack and Owen, and had a great start. Then at about 175-200, I started to feel the carbon dioxide start to build up. Using a drill that Stacee had taught me the day prior, I was able to get rid of a bit. At about 225 though, it came back and we had to head to the floating podium so I could try and clear it. At about 275, it was back and severe enough that I had to go to the boat. They gave me some water and it felt like the throat cleared. However, less than 10 strokes later, I had to tap out of the water. I felt true distress between when I told Dave I needed to and as we were swimming to the boat.

Because of HIPAA, I won’t go into much of what happened between when I was pulled from the water and when we walked to the finish line to cheer teammates in. All I will say is that too much fluid in the lungs was the culprit behind this. Post-race, I’ve had a chance to talk through this more with coaches and teammates that I trust. As a result of those conversations, I’ve got a few different things to try to help minimize this going forward.

As many of you know, I don’t believe in DNFs. In fact, Pleasant Prairie (2016) was the race where we walked the bike back 3+ miles so that I wouldn’t have to tap out. But this one was unavoidable for safety reasons.

While this was a disappointing day — not just in the water, but also having to scratch both of my A races — it wasn’t all bad. I know that as I continue to move forward, there are going to be bumps and setbacks. While I don’t ever want something like this to happen again, I’m glad it happened at a local race.

I still have a huge chunk of my season left, and I will find ways to work this out. I will also find a ‘replacement’ A race to focus on. And while this is a setback, it will NOT be a permanent one. I WILL find a way to fix all of this prior to the start of 2020’s seaons. And I WILL be in CA next summer.

Catapulted!

I am extremely grateful to Catapult. Not just because of the 2019 grant that they approved, but also for the opportunities that have / will continue to push me outside of my comfort zone. Ultimately, these help me grow as an athlete — even though there may be some crazy / ‘oh shit’ moments along the way.

As I’ve mentioned throughout the blogs this year, the swim has been my weakest discipline. While I’ve been able to improve on the bike and run, the swim has drug me down. The grant they approved will enable me to work with a swim-specific coach. I am confident that their assistance will pay dividends both short and long-term!

I had an amazing time with them at TIR in March, and will start my 2020 season with them in Houston. I had given up doing Half Marathons after the challenges I had. But after how well TIR went, I decided to try another comfortably uncomfortable experience with them. It will be a 5K Saturday and a Half Sunday.

THANK YOU CATAPULT for everything! I look forward to the successes from your support in 2019 and to starting the 2020 season in Houston!

Double Dip (ET Batavia Tri) – 6/9/19

“Let’s play two.” – Ernie Banks

When I planned out my 2019 schedule, I tried extremely hard to give myself a break between Triathlons. However, Indy’s unplanned addition threw a wrench into that.

I had wanted to do Batavia for the past couple years. But the Dare2Tri camp was the same weekend in the past. With it being split into two camps this year, I was finally able to do it.

Having done the Naperville ET race a few times, I have become used to the ‘quarry madness’. Because of this, we seeded ourselves back far enough to minize it. The swim went better than I had hoped, even though it was a little odd. I say that because one side of the rectangle was in water so shallow that it made more sense to get up and walk than it did to try and ‘shallow swim’.

Headed out on the bike, I knew we’d be able to make up time and that it would go well. To that point, I believe we had a net pass of zero. Even after we had to stop and retrieve a dropped water bottle. Sure, people did pass us, but we were able to retake them before T2. It also felt like we were at 30+ several times during the course. And while I’m still not fully comfortable going/being aero for long periods of time, there were a couple of stretches that it paid off in.

Headed into the run, I knew it was going to be a long one. Almost all of the sanctioned Tris I do are a 5K run. This one was a 4.1mi run, which was the longest I had ever done in a Tri. Even though it was a longer run, the shade/overcast weather made it go really well. I was able to keep the normal run -> walk through aid stations that I wanted. The only other time I had to walk was at about mile 3 for another 20-30 seconds to catch my breath.

Also during the run, I misheard Michael. At the time, there was an older gentleman in front of us running at a much slower pace. We were at a point of getting ready to pass him when I heard Michael say ‘watch out for the turtle’. What heard was ‘watch out for the slow runner as we pass him’. What he really meant was to watch out for the snapping turtle that was by the side of the path — and not happy that we (all of us) had woken them up!

Thanks to Michael for guiding for me and to Coach Joe, Suzy and the rest of ET for putting on a great race as always!