The Race
We had planned a cruise of Alaska’s inside passage for our 25th wedding anniversary, and the time was near. It would be my first three week vacation since I started working for Rockwell 34 years ago, and I was pumped. The cruise part was only a week, so we had time to do some other stuff too. Like go see a friend of ours swim, bike, run a triathlon in the Detroit Lakes area of Minnesota and camp out at their lake side cabin. Sweet. Our tent was back on-line after we replaced the tent poles that were broken during a storm earlier. The tent was ready, but I wasn’t sure Janie would be. I guess she could sleep in the truck again if the need arose, but what were the chances we would get hit by anther storm? She wasn’t going to miss this race, so we hit the road.
The cabin turned out to be a nice property on a bluff over looking the lake. Plenty of room for a tent. I parked the truck close by just in case, but the weather was perfect. We all piled into their boat for a “booze cruise” of the lake. It was great. It was also the last nice weather we would have that weekend.
The next morning was race day. We didn’t have far to go to get to the lake the race was at. I suppose you’re never far from a lake in Minnesota. It was overcast, but it looked like we might squeeze it in. I had never seen a triathlon before. Lots of people, old and young, and lots of bikes. Everyone was excited. The racers were required to write their age on one leg and their race number on the other with a waterproof marker. Tracey figured that was so you could see how old the people passing you were. Her goal was to not get passed by anyone older than she was. I saw lots of people older than me who could have passed me anytime they wanted to. My goal would have been more inline with not dying during the race.
So everybody gets their bike stashed, and we get past the race instructions (summary: be careful) and we’re ready. Swim first. Makes sense; get the most dangerous part over before you get tired. The lake is shallow enough to sort of walk/swim for a ways if you don’t mind walking in muck thick enough to suck the racer chip thingy right off your foot. This lake wasn’t near as clear as the one the cabin was on.
After you get slimed by the lake, you get to ride your bike. Then, if you survive that, you get to run. It was entertaining to watch the various strategies for the transition from the bikes to running. The wind was starting to pickup during the bike race and it started to rain during the run. Then it really started raining. Probably felt good after swimming in that lake.
Tracey finished in good time. Everybody got wet, but we all had a great time. Next year I may try this. And if anyone older than I am tries to pass me, they’re going to get tripped.


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