|King of the Playground|
|King of the Playground|
For the third year in a row, Shark Boy has participated in this Fall tradition of doing a Kids’ Duathlon down at Ashbridges Bay. He’s getting to be a veteran of multisport, but he still seems to want me pacing him for re-assurance. I don’t mind the exercise…
Saturday was a jam-packed day, as after the duathlon my wife and I attended training run by the Down Syndrome Association of Toronto, and Shark Boy would be going to a birthday party. I’m happy to say we got it all done, but let’s just focus on the exercise and activity – that’s what we do in this blog.
Thanks to a public address system hooked up to loud speakers, we all knew how much time we had to get the bike and helmet set up in transition. Shark Boy was running in the second heat (which didn’t help our schedule much). I could see he was nervous before the start, and yet eager to go, but he still did a great job of keeping the excitement in check so that we could have a good time.
He’s been talking a lot lately about being “the fastest” and while I don’t want these events to become high-pressure and competitive, I did let him know that if he wanted to be the fastest, he was going to have to lead the pack a little and tried to coach him on how to do that.
Running, he really put the pedal to the metal – he was gasping for air after the first run leg (50m) heading into transition. We’d reviewed the important safety steps about putting on the helmet and walking the bike to the mount line before the race, and he nailed it. As usual, the bike course made it look like he was on a motorcycle compared to the other kids – his focus did start to wander a little on the middle part of the bike course when you can look out at the lake; I guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree after all! I do the same thing…
The bike course is 600m long, and ends with an uphill climb, and he got up it by himself (except for my constant cheering). Again we executed a good transition, and then we got to see him run like I’ve never seen before. He had his mouth wide open gasping for air, and though the last 25m (of a 100m run leg) started to lag a little, all it took was a reminder that “drinks and cookies” were at the finish line and he started to sprint. It’s what we call in German “Endspurt”.
|The Need for Speed… and anonymity.|
Apparently the Lightning Kid did a great job of cheering “Go, go, go” to everyone and also enjoyed pretending to take pictures. We looked up the race stats later that evening and found out Shark Boy was 4th overall, and 2nd place boy (the girls took the top 2 spots!). We’re really proud of him; I hope he’s enjoying the sport for itself, and not just the fatherly bonding and approval, though.
Once we had our stickers and ribbons on, I got excited at the prospect of finally doing the course in its entirety, in the correct order of kilometer markers. We took Shark Boy along on his bike and headed North. The North end turnaround is about 2km from the start, but you see a 9km marker on the way, which we would face later. I tracked our run with Endomondo, and when my wife heard the app announcing our pace at every kilometer, she’d cringe at how we’ve slowed down over the past 10 years or so. I figure you’ve got to be happy to be still moving and getting out there. We took water at the North end, and turned back toward the start. From there, you head to the South End turn-around which occurs around 6km. Shortly before then, we ran into the Lightning Kid and his grandparents, and Shark Boy let us know he was done for the day – he probably got around 7km or riding done.
My wife and I carried on to the Southern end, took some water, then back to the start and past it for another 1km to the 9km mark, then the final stretch. I got her to space the walking breaks up a little to more regulated intervals instead of just willy-nilly.
I don’t know whether to be proud or ashamed of how I egged my wife on for the rest of the trail, but I’m proud of her for getting out of her comfort zone a little by pushing pace and distance, and hopefully it made her a stronger for the next run she does.
Once the run was finished, we had hot dogs and hamburgers with a little extra playground time. We didn’t quite make it to the bouncy castle or hot air balloon before they were shutting down, but we still had a nice day out and raised $175.00 (thanks to our generous donors).
|Coming into T2|
|So fast the camera couldn’t catch me… except in those pics above where it did.|
I owe another thank-you to my lovely wife, who’s support not only makes racing triathlon possible, but her photography is what makes this recap possible! Thanks, my love!
To ultra-runners, the distance of the Enduro courses at 5 Peaks events are laughable. But to me, it’s the longest I’ve gone on a trail (with all the hills) and longer than most training runs to do 10 km.
|That should read “… don’t *want* a thunderstorm..”|
|If you look closely you can see some of the network of tubing to bring the sap from the trees on the right side of the picture.|
I know I basically asked you for money twice in this letter, Dear Reader. You can’t really blame me for assuming someone so attractive, well-dressed and discerning as yourself might also be rich though, right?