I love the Apple Duathlon.
Don't get me wrong, there are significant portions that I hate. But, much like a bowl of Lucky Charms, the good outweighs the bad and the end result is one of my favorite things. And this year was extra special because, for the first time, I got to share that love with my wife.*
And, since every year's Apple race seems to include some dramatic/traumatic story, here's this year's:
Not quite halfway through the 20+-mile bike course, at the top of a long, gentle hill in the town of St. Stephen, there's a water station. It's staffed by some of the (dozens? hundreds?) of bright-shirted volunteers that help make this race so great. The folks at this water station were dedicated to keeping the cyclists hydrated and rolling. That's a tough job. I can't say I'd be any good at it. I've never done it. I've worked at a water station on a run course before and I have trouble enough with that. Add another 10-15 mph to the moving targets and I'm not sure I'd be any good at it.
So I am in no way calling out this un-named kid for his performance. I love that he was in there trying.
As I approached and made eye contact, he started out strong: standing on the shoulder of the road with the glass of water fully extended to his right side. No problem. But the closer I got, the more that right arm crept in toward his body until, by the time I was within a few feet of him, he was holding the cup right out in front of himself.
Like a pilot making an ill-fated carrier landing, I instantly realized this wasn't going to go well and I should alter my course quickly. I gave up on the water and slipped my right hand back onto my handlebars to help swerve and avoid hitting the bewildered young man. I'm pretty sure I managed to do that — I don't remember any contact… At least not any contact to an extent that may have proven to be injurious to my noble Aquarius. But my quick veer to the left, combined with an unfortunate overcorrection to the right (caused in part by the fact that I now had one hand on a handlebar and the other down on the aero bars) sent me bouncing into the curb and sliding on my shoulder across one of St. Stephen's lovely, well-manicured lawns (sorry, homeowner).
All in all, no harm done. I stumbled to my feet, looked back at the stunned kid (still holding the cup of water) and mumbled something (in the most positive, encouraging, supportive voice I could muster) about trying to make sure and keep the cups extended to the side. And by the time I turned around, one of the other volunteers (a bike guy, thank you Apple) had my bike up, my chain back on, and was holding it steady for me to climb back aboard. Not much time lost. But a fun war story to tell at Charlie and Jenni's afterparty!
*Corinne and Gina combined to run/ride the race as a team. For Gina, that meant biking in a race she'd sworn never to ride again. For Corinne, it meant taking the 5K run that was a stretch goal just a few months ago…and running it twice. I was so fantastically proud of her. You can't even imagine. And when we found out that her time on the first 5K beat her time from her Earth Day run, I think even she was proud!
FYI, in case you're curious, here are our results.
My overall place was 73 out of 238. I was #75 on the first run at 21:25 (6:54 pace). First transition was 1:08. Then I was #65 on the bike at 58:31 (21.0 mph according to them…my computer said 21.4). Second transition was 1:12. Then, on the gut-check second run, I was #74 at 23:49 (that's 7:40 pace). So my overall time was 1:46:04.
I was pretty happy with it. Not a PR – that was 1:43:58 in 2008 (but everything was faster in 2008) – but still my second-fastest Apple time.
Corinne's first run was 31:11 (10:02 pace). Then Gina took off on the bike and turned in a 1:09:48 (17.6 mph, though her computer said 17.9). Then Corinne brought it all home in the heat with a second run of 34:46 (11:12 pace). So their total time was 2:16:52. And I certainly can't forget to mention Eric and Jodi's team time of 1:39:00. Eric's bike time of 52:36 (23.4 mph) totally blew by me. Nice job to you guys and all our House of Pizza friends! Great race everyone.
<img alt="Molly & Priya being super-cute. Only picture I have from this year's Apple." border="0" class="asset asset-image
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