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CB mini tris

August 23, 2012 - John Stack
This Sunday will be the second running of the Cheap Bastard mini-tris. What is this? Well…Last week I was at the Thursday Night Fun Runs and ran into Bill Peer. As he was headed over to the start line, he goes to me ‘Oh John. Tomorrow Wes and I are headed to Placid for the Cheap Bastard’s Mini-tri’. He needn’t say more. We would be meeting at the tennis courts in Placid at the start of the mini-tri course. It would be before 8 AM, and of course, there would be no entry fee (i.e.- the CB part). Last Monday was the last of the Lake Placid Mini-tris, so I no longer had an opportunity to do a ‘real’ race. Now, Bill and Wes, albeit both competed in the Ironman this year, have never done the mini-tris. I can’t fathom this, as when I trained for the Ironman, the LP Mini-tris were an absolute integral part of my training (Thanks again Brian Delaney for putting on an inexpensive, yet fantastic triathlon series for the last 30 years). This weekend will also include at least another Ironman, plus a 2 time finisher of the Tinman. So, the ‘cheap’ part is a little misleading, as each person has spent thousands on race fees and gear over the last few years. And although we have all done extraordinary endurance events, none of us is all that ‘fast’. No sub-3 marathoners. No sub 12 Ironmen. No one that will probably even break 1:20 on the course.

Now, I truly enjoy the mini-tris. The competition all the way around is great, from the sub-hour finishers up to the 90 minute finishers. Some are slow out of the water (me) but much faster on the bike and run, where you can pass people in your strengths. It is an all-out all-the-time race. If your heart rate drops below 170, you better pick it up. With all the people racing, you almost always have someone to pass, or someone is about to pass you. But, the CB mini-tris are different. When Bill mentioned it, I knew I was in. My knee was killing me, and I’d have to get in late to work. For all I knew, it was going to be pouring. No matter. A chance to race with these guys? For a bunch of ball busters like this, you’d think there would be trash talking all around. Not a bit. Oh, no one gave an inch, and everyone pushed hard as they could. We were more concerned that Brian had left out the buoy for the swim turnaround, and where on the run to turn around (counting 13 poles isn’t as easy when you are an hour into a triathlon).

Although my knee did give in (I couldn’t finish the run) it was still among the most fun I’ve had this year. No one knows anyone else’s times. It’s not written down anywhere in the paper. And that’s the whole thing. We are all over 40. We love to compete. But it isn’t the winning or losing. It’s not proving yourself to anyone. It is for the love of the race, the run, not the finish. Phil had told me prior to our Ultra-marathon last month that a guy said all he ever saw were runners with pained looks on their faces. Maybe he is seeing all the poseurs that run around Mirror Lake each day. I’d take a run up Baxter Mountain every day of the week over running around Mirror Lake. Or even the Peninsula Trails or John Brown Farm/ Henry’s Woods trails in Placid first. And no one sees us. We see great views from the Knob on Henry’s Woods trail, and we take side trails when we see something cool in the distance up at the VIC. But I don’t run with a pained expression on my face. I admit I didn’t smile much the last 2 hours of the Ironman. Or my first marathon, or even the mini-tris. But, 4 hours into the Ultra last month, almost everyone I saw was smiling and talking. There was more fun, camaraderie and enjoyment in just exactly what they were doing right then (15 miles from the nearest road as remote in the Adirondacks as you can get). It was a happier bunch than any group of people you see at work, on the street or just about anywhere else. With Phil as my guide, I figure I have at least more than 15 years left of having this kind of fun.

Interested? LP Beach. 8 AM Sunday. No road marshalls. No numbers. No official time. No glory. Just contentment.

 
 

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