Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Racing for Recovery Sprint Triathlon: A Family Affair

This past weekend I ventured back to the Motor City to race a charity event with my brothers (Brian & Tom) called the Racing for Recovery Sprint Triathlon. My sister-in-law (Kate), who I coach, was also doing the sprint so it would be a family affair at beautiful Sterling State Park in Monroe, MI just south of Detroit. This is a fantastic race featuring the sprint and half Ironman distances with proceeds supporting a drug & alcohol recovery program. I hold the course record for the half and have won it the past two years. I was really looking forward to mixing things up this year and doing the sprint as a relay with my brothers as they have never done a triathlon. It had a special meaning for me with my older brother now being 14 years sober!

We of course had some fun rivalry and smack talk going on in the days leading up to the big race. Would my younger brother be able to eke out a faster swim time than his wife? How much time would I be able to put into her on the bike to aid my older brother’s efforts on the run? I was quite confident she would do well and keep us honest on the course.

Sans wetsuit & sporting his baggy board shorts Brian hit the waters of Lake Erie while I patiently waited for his arrival in T1. As many athletes, including Kate, flooded into transition, I continued to peer on the horizon for my bro. With what appeared to be some “sea” legs he made his way from the beach for our chip exchange to the cheers of my parents and nephews. My focus for the bike was to stay on the gas from the get-go and I was able to make good work of the flat 12 mile course. If I didn’t come off the bike appearing to have left it on the course I would for sure hear it from my brothers! Into T2 Tom and I were able to make a quick exchange and he was off for the 3.6 mile run. Looking around I asked, “Where’s Brian?” My Mom pointed over to a small tree where he was still lying down in the shade and apparently not feeling too spry from his 500m swim. I think he soon realized he was a bit “undertrained” with only one practice swim as his preparation. Tom covered the hot & humid course in good form ensuring us a 2nd place finish in the relay division, but more importantly, a narrow margin of victory over Kate.

It was a great way for our family to spend a Sunday morning (at least in my mind :) and I am quite certain my brothers now have a working understanding of what I experience on race day. Kate had a super race finishing 2nd in her age group and 12th overall. Racing for a cause in support of a charity always makes for a rewarding experience. While I am not sure my brothers are inspired to hit up another triathlon anytime soon, I think they did enjoy the day and I am downright proud of them for getting outside their comfort zone.

Pics to follow soon…

Keep it smooth,


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