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After Anna’s post on her triathlon, I feel a little silly saying that I played golf all weekend… but I did. And loved it all (except, of course, missing Anna’s and Molly’s successes!).

Three college friends (Dave, Brad, and Brad) joined me for the 48th Annual Williams Alumni Golf Tournament at the incredible Taconic Golf Club. It’s where I learned to play while working at Williams, and I realize now how spoiled I was.

About 240 players were in the tournament this year, and it always draws alums from across the class years. Teams of two compete in flights by handicaps, and each team ends up playing five nine-hole best ball matches. Brad N. and I ended up faring ok together in our matches, only losing badly to a team that hit a hole-in-one against us. Seriously. The guy had been playing 40 years and it was his first ace. Oh yeah, they also had three other birdies… best 15 handicappers I’d ever seen.

If you’ve ever played Taconic, the golf speaks for itself. The competition is incredibly into it, too, but in that fun, laid-back way that I like about Williams alums. Besides the golf, though, the main highlights involved hanging out on the porch post-rounds. Like this:

A typical scene after a long day of golf

A typical scene after a long day of golf

Among the things we did on the porch this year were:

– Drank about 6 pitchers of BBC Steel Rail Ale

– Ordered calzones from Colonial Pizza

– Talked about the Indians’ many injuries and slumping play with one of the team surgeons (Williams ’84… same guy who did Big Papi’s wrist surgery a few months back)

– Talked about the future of higher education with Texas oil executives

– Played bridge during a thunderstorm

– Were identified as “guys like us” by one guy who said his alma mater (Dartmouth) was being run by socialists (we did not inform him that, as we had arrived from Berkeley, South Beach, and Cambridge, it was unlikely we were, in fact, “guys like him”)

– Recapped nearly every good and bad shot we hit all day late into the afternoon

Anyway, it was a great time, as usual, and we’ve already secured our place in next year’s tournament by being the last teams to leave the clubhouse Sunday.


Yay! We finished!

What a day–we woke up at 34 Grove St. at 3:30am, packed up the car and were on the road… in a torrential downpour and crazy lightning!  Now let me say, this made me a little nervous because just a couple of days before we had a storm that lasted ALL DAY LONG, and I was afraid we wouldn’t get to race at all, or that we’d be racing in rain which could be pretty cold.  We got to the race site at 5:00 in Webster Mass, still raining, still dark, and lots of lightning.  All of the athletes were unpacking their bikes a

nd gear, so we went with the crowd and headed to the transition area, which looked like this:

A sea of bikes and gear and athletes and balloons and craziness.  But take this picture and copy it 4 times on each side, and that’s what it looked like.  A giant parking lot full of 3,500 athletes and their bikes and triathlon crap.  The transition area is always fun because it’s a mix of first-timers who are nervous and excited and those who’ve done one before, but are still full of anticipation for the race.  And then there are the crazy elite athletes who walk around in all their fierce-ness with their game faces on.

Here’s some photos (thanks to Will, our awesome co-worker and photographer who was there to cheer us on and document the event!!) of us warming up in all our fierce-ness:

Molly with her game face.

Testing out the water…

Anna’s gunshow.

Yeah.  We look pretty cool, right?  In our green hats… that’s so they can keep us lined up in our waves, and tell us apart when we’re all bunched up at the start corral looking like this:

So from here we found other people with like-colored hats _who also_ were in our wave, number 19, a group of about 80 women who start in the water together.  Danskin is a great triathlon series because they really emphasize having fun, learning a fantastic sport, and encouraging others to get fit and enjoy themselves.  They want everyone to finish, and everyone to be a triathlete!  At the start of the triathlon there are swim angels, awesome women who wear white caps and swim beside swimmers who need a bit of encouragement and support–they have noodles and will swim to you if you put your arm up.  Molly, who finished her swim in 13:47, and Anna, who did hers in 11:47, didn’t need a swim angel–but it’s nice to know they are there just in case 🙂

Here’s us at the start of the triathlon–we’re somewhere on the left:

I especially like the line of swimmers out in the distance all going around the buoys and heading in to the finish.  I accidentally swam over someone and I felt really bad–I wasn’t paying attention, just swimming in my groove and went right over her.  I wasn’t sure where Molly was at that point, but when I was in the transition area prepping for my bike, she came in so I knew she was right behind me, which was fun.  Then she caught me on the bike!  She’s got a hot bike and great skill. On the run we traded places, she’d run for a while then walk, and I’d run and pass her… she’s a much faster runner than I am though, so when she’d run again she’d speed past me and then I’d have to catch up!  Right before the finish she raced ahead and entered through the corral first–it was awesome!  I heard the official call out “And here’s Molly Sloan from Cambridge!” and then I came in after her.  So after the .5 mile swim, the 12 mile bike up THREE hills, and then a 2.8 mile run, here’s us after we finished in under two hours!  Go us!

We certainly are two fantastic amazing splendid triathletes–I’m so so so proud of Molly for starting the race and finishing it out strong, even when she kept saying “you’ll find me on the side of the road somewhere!!”  And the best part of all is that we’ve inspired a few our colleagues to join us for tri number two of the season at Lake Compounce at the end of September!  Really.  If you haven’t tried a tri, you should–it’s fun, it’s a great way to get into shape, and it’s a huge accomplishment once you’ve reached the finish.

Yes, indeed it is.  Finally.  This week was long, and it felt like there was an extra day in there–especially when I thought Thursday was Wednesday… but luckily it’s here now and we can rest for a few days.

Psyche!  HAHA. Yeah right.

Mark’s up in Williamstown golfing in an Alumni Tournament, schmoozin with some buddies and enjoying the fresh air in the purplest of mountains ever to be.  I hope he comes home with good stories of amazing shots and perfect putts, and brings me back a prize.  Maybe a funny hat or one of those little pencils? I’ll let Mark describe more on what I’m sure will turn out to be a fabulous golf weekend when he gets back.

For me, I’m running… and swimming and biking… my triathlon in Webster Mass this weekend!!  My friend and colleague Molly and I are heading down tomorrow to the Expo, then back up here for some carbo-loading, then back down in the early a.m. to rack our bikes and head to the water for a 7:00 start.  Some of our friends from the office have promised to make the trek down and cheer us on, so we’re super excited for that, and appreciative too–since none of our family members will be able to be there sadly, it will be great to have friends there to shout out “Go Molly! Woohooo!  Yay Anna! Don’t die!!” and other such things as we speed by them on our bikes and in our tennies.

The triathlon, like I said, is in Webster Mass at Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg.   Yes, that is the name… here’s a link to more info on it.  I believe my friend Korinne, who is from those parts, told me that it means “you fish on your side, and I’ll fish on mine, and we’ll meet in the middle sometime” … or something like that, because the lake is so shallow you can meet in the middle?! I guess? [Note: Ok, I looked it up, and I misheard–The translation is actually “Englishmen at Manchaug at the Fishing Place at the Boundary,” but most native Websterners translate it as “You fish on your side, I’ll fish on mine, and no one fishes in the middle,”  which I like better.  I don’t exactly know why one wouldn’t fish in the middle.  Perhaps the fish are bad there.  Or maybe there just aren’t any fish in the middle?  Or maybe their canoes were not strong enought to get to the middle?]

Here’s a picture from last year’s tri–this was my heat.  We go off in heats of similarly-aged women, about 50-80 people, and then they let you go and you’re on your own from there for a .5 mile swim.  Then it’s to the bike, 12 miles, and then on to the 2.8 mile run.  And then it’s over, and you cheer and cry and drink lots of water, and then you eat a giant meal and go to bed because that’s all you want to do you’re so hungry and tired.

I’ll put more pictures up of the weekend in a later post.  Wish us luck!!

What’s everyone else up to this weekend?

This is our first joint blog post. It’s Summer in Belmont, and as you can see, the tomatoes are growing!

We decided this would be a fun project to share our writing, art, and fun times. And plenty of pictures of Gordon.

As many of you know, Le Petit Éléphant is the name of our soap and candy “company” that comes alive for the holidays. Anna says “it’s not really a company… yet.” But someday, perhaps. You can follow its development here, I guess. And since we do make soaps, and people do seem to use them, maybe we should start taking orders for Christmas 2008. Send us an email with your orders. They come with a cool logo stamped on them.

We just returned from a week in San Diego. Here’s a top-5 list of things we saw/did:

5) Anna’s first trip to In N Out: We got our fries well-done and bought t-shirts

4) Fireworks over San Diego Bay on the Fourth: Big and loud.

3) Baseball at PETCO Park: Added another stadium to our list… Padres not good.

2) Sailing the Western Starr: Sailed out of the Coronado Yacht Club, nobly escaped three near-disasters.

1) Met the Pugs: Aunt Susan has three, and they all shed a lot. Does Mark still think he wants one?

It was a great trip, more to come soon. And we just re-potted some things in the pot garden, we need to get some pictures online!

Mark & Anna


July 2008

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