Saturday, September 25, 2010

Triathlon

This morning was the big triathlon. It's an annual event sponsored by our stake (I think) and the teachers and priests from all over the area are invited to participate. A few months back, when I was called to be in the Young Men's Presidency, I decided that I wanted to participate as an adult, in order to show some solidarity with the boys. The other two adult leaders with whom I work are athletic, so it made natural sense that the three of us could form a team to participate. The triathlon wasn't a full triathlon, as the swim was "only" 400 yards, the biking was 5 1/2 miles, and the run was about 3 miles. Having just finished training for a 5 k (~3.2 miles), I was quickly able to press the other two into participating with me to do the swim and the cycling.

Then I had my appendix out.

Despite my best intentions and my seemingly quick recovery, the doctor thought that participating in a triathlon that soon after my surgery would be a little too much too soon. When I told my wife the doctor's misgivings, she jumped on the bandwagon and made the directive to not participate even more strict.

So, I had arranged to participate in the triathlon with a team, and suddenly was no longer able to participate. I still am grumbly about that. The other two, bless them, planned to participate and one of them had one of his adult sons fill in for me. (Truthfully, I think he was pretty happy about it, because he didn't want to do the cycling -- his assigned piece of the triathlon -- and his son was more than happy to do it.)

So, instead of my smiling mug here, you get this:

In keeping with my general policy, I won't be naming names on who these people are in this space, but they know who they are. I'm jealous. That was supposed to be my team, but whatever. *pout*

Anyway, the morning started beautifully with nice and cool temperatures that slowly rose as the day went on. By the time the triathlon was finished, the temperature was in the 90s, so it ended well.

All told, we had the two leaders, two other non-leader adults, and 11 boys participate, most of them from the teachers quorum. Four of the boys did an "ironman", running the whole race themselves. And they did great.

I helped get them all registered and ordered and teamed up, and then pretty much just wandered around taking pictures the whole time. It was pretty fun capturing the candid moments. There was this one where the boys were acting cool before the race:

And this one where one of the leaders was posing with his two participating boys for his wife:

And this one where everybody was standing around just waiting for the first leg, the swimming, to start:

My personal favorite is this one where one of the boys was flirting with a few young women who were there:

After each leg, I tried to capture pictures of all the boys as they came out of the water, cycled to the end, or clambered home at the end of the run. By the end, everybody was hot and tired (even the non-racers, like me), and felt a sense of accomplishment.

There was one boy who felt he had let his teammates down, and another who had crashed on his bike during the cycling portion:

Even so, I think most people went home happy. I heard several of the non-racing adults occasionally mutter, "Maybe next year ..." It really did look like fun, though exhausting. If I'm still in my calling next year, I definitely plan to race, maybe even doing it iron man-style! Assuming I don't have to have my appendix out, that is ...

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