You are currently browsing the daily archive for 31 July, 2008.

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.

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