Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Monday, 8 September 2008

10 hour triathlon

There is only one 10 hour triathlon in the world and that is the Burrito Union 10 Hour Tri in Superior, WI. The concept is fairly simple: complete as many sprint distance triathlons as you can in 10 hours.

Teams of 1, 2 and 3 are allowed. Teams of two must alternate doing entire tris, while teams of three can switch between each event.

SR and I were a team of two. Our support crew consisted of The Lorax and Step-Daughter.
We set up our tent, like most other teams, in Pattison State Park.

This is the second year the event has been in existence, and it's catching on. There were about twice as many participants this year.

SR went first, as he is obviously the faster of the two of us. He seemed really happy with his improvement on the swim. And, as expected, he kicked booty on the bike and the run.

He was so mad that this was the only picture I took of him.

But if he was mad at me for being a slow wife, he didn't let on.

Here I am getting some advice before the swim.

"When you get in the water, pretend you are a metallic wrapper," says The Lorax.

It was only about 50 degrees that morning, so I was dreading entering the water. But once I got moving, it was beautiful. The water was still and warm. And I loved my goggles. They are mirrored, so in the muddy water, I could see my google eyes reflected back at me. Scary but cool.

Here I am forgetting to start removing my wet suit as I run out of the water. Let's just say transitions aren't my forte.

And I'm finally off on the bike.

I learned the hard way that one cannot do well in the bike portion of a tri with the biking ability of an 11 year old boy. Yes, I have strength and enthusiasm, but no skill. Men and women alike sped by me. I lamented not having a tri bar like pretty much everyone else and lamented being so light (for the first time in my life). But in the end, what could I do but smile, pedal away and get as aerodynamic as possible? It's 7 miles out and 7 miles back down a straight, flat country highway (with, thankfully, a generous shoulder).
There were lots of smiles and well-wishes from other bikers on the route. People were really having fun. At the bike turn around, one guy came up behind me and said "Hey, nice job... and by the way, you have a nice body!" Ha! What could I do but say thanks? Only at an endurance sporting event could a guy get away with that.

Finally I reached the end of the bike and on to the 3.1 mile trail run.

It was such a beautiful trail! I was in heaven.

We passed off The Bois as our reverse baton and thus the event continued.

In my off time, I played with Step-Daughter, fed and changed The Bois and ate as much as seemed safe for the tummy. I also got to meet a lot of the triathletes and their families.

There was a downpour and then a rainbow that lasted less than one minute.

Step-daughter and I have become even closer now that we know she'll be moving permanently to Denmark with us starting next summer. Shortly after the rainbow, we got mother-daughter massages.

SR came in from the last triathlon 10 hours and 22 minutes after the start and we just barely lost to a team we'd been slowly catching up on since the beginning. We spent a while getting to know them after the finish, which was great fun.

We all, including step-daughter, would love to do it again next year. Sadly, there are certain things we'll be giving up by moving to Denmark.

But what is life about if not putting on your sea legs and finding new adventures?

Running song of the day was played at the Tri and, apparently, SR and I were both singing along loudly to it at different places in the park...

"I Touch Myself" by the Divinyls


SteveQ said...

I just heard one of the things you can't do in Denmark is drink Red Bull - illegal there. Fortunately, they do have triathlons. Good race, as always.

Danni said...

Fun! Congratulations! You can start up a 10 hour triathlon in Denmark. No reason you have to give anything up :-)

olga said...

I love the family you are, events and all...and wish I could figure out a way to get my SO's kid to move with us, but it doomed. How in the wolrd did ex agree?

Abbie said...

What a great idea! You seriously could put something on like a 10 hour tri in Denmark. And is that true about red-bull? Crazy...

Meghan said...


What a wonderful weekend this sounds like! You two did just great, and it looks like you were having a ball.

In this time of life change for me, your sea legs comment rang loud and clear. I'm putting mine on, too. ;)


Runningdoctor said...

I can confirm that Red Bull is illegal in several European countries. It has too much taurine in it. If I am not mistaken, it took a while before it made its way into the US because of similar concerns. When it first came out in Austria, I remember people taling about it lake it was some sort of insane potion.

It has been linked to a few heart attacks but, off the top of my head, this was in people who had drunk a lot of Red Bull. You could probably get that ill effect plain coffee.

You may find it surprising to learn that Mountain dew is also illegal in several countries, for the same reasons. In fact, one of my first questions when a patient had atypical headaches is "how much Mountain Dew do you drink?"

And, trust me, I have thought about a 10-hour tri in Denmark. Endurance events are definitely pretty big there right now.

Lisa said...

I despise Red Bull. I volunteered at a 6k w/ a 1 mile fun run for kids and the Red Bull Reps were there. First, they were handing out Red Bull at the Finish Line...Uh, who needs it now? Secondly, they were handing it to children completing the fun run. Sheesh.

Kate said...


so curious - where did the Bois nap? in the little tent? did he nap well?