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A novel by Len Joy

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Racing Weekend: Great Lakes Plunge & North Shore Triathlon



It was a great weekend for racing.  On Saturday at Clark Street Beach in Evanston, we had the first annual Great Lake Plunge.  While the water was a little cold it was a great event.  Those swimmers are crazy.  Most of the folks who signed up were planning to swim without wetsuits (not me).  But because the water temp was only 53 degrees the race officials decreed that wetsuits were mandatory.

I signed up for the 1.2 mile distance. There were also 5 mile and 2.4 mile options, but because of the cold temps, the distance options were reduced to 1500 and 750 meters and I jumped on that 750 meter option.  About 25 meters into the swim I was wishing my wetsuit had sleeves, but by 100 meters my brain was too cold to wish anymore and the rest of the swim was okay. 

On Sunday we had the 3rd annual North Shore Triathlon at Gillson Beach in Wilmette. The North Shore Triathlon is the creation of Craig Strong and J. P. Bordeleau of Precision Multisport where I train.  Craig and J.P. and a host of PM volunteers did a great job organizing the event. 

Two years ago at the first North Shore Tri I entered the race as a relay team with my daughters. I swam, Christie biked and Nicole ran. It rained for the entire race and whenever I have asked them if they wanted to try it again, they just give me a look. Not a good look. 

Last year the race was a month after my surgery and I couldn't bike so I had my friend Zeev Saffir do the bike segment and I swam and biked.  Unfortunately last year the temp on race morning was 42 degrees. 

This year the weather was perfect. I did all three segments.  And despite swimming slightly off-course (which is hard to do on a straight line course) I had a great race.  Averaged 20 mph on the bike and ran the 5K at a 7:33 pace. Took 1st in my age group. 

This was my last triathlon of the year. Next race is the Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee which I will be running with my coach Heather Collins.  Our goal...is to make it to the starting line.

Check In for The Great Lake Plunge

Waiting for the water to warm up (it didn't)
Beat the crowd to Transition

A half hour later
Cold water





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