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Beard Bros.

This most recent weekend I decided to test my mettle by mashing mightily with my brother-in-law Gregg. We signed up to compete in a sprint triathlon in Miamisburg, OH. The course consisted of canoeing 2.2 miles, running 3.1, and biking 10.6 miles. We had both been training individually and it seemed like we would be able to keep a pretty even pace with each other throughout each section of the race.

The 8am start time seemed pretty reasonable when we signed up. It seemed reasonable. That is, until we realized it was a 60 minute drive from either of our houses. Until we read the email that we should be there 60-90 minutes prior to the race start time in order to register, get our boat, and put our bikes on the racks. And until we realized that I would need to leave my house by about 5am to drive over to his house in order to make it on time.

And once we got there, we realized there are only 150 people signed up to compete in this thing anyways.

It turns out that we got there as the sun was popping over the trees and before the canoes had even been unlocked from their racks. It took a whopping 2 minutes to sign in, get our numbers and timing chips, and put our bikes on the racks, right by the front of the corral.

The most intimidating part of the race happened during this part of the morning. You see, it turns out that the only people who show up to a race that early are the inexperienced or the experts. We saw guys who wore aerodynamic bike helmets, spandex that revealed their 6-packs, and a different pair of shoes for each leg of the race.
And there stood Gregg and myself, in our basketball shorts, gym shoes, and homemade T-shirts that labeled us the "Beard Bros."
Needless to say, we were feeling quite unprepared suddenly. 

But, full of energy and recently lightened by a trip to the port-a-John, we crossed the bridge and made our way to the riverbank to size up the rest of our opposition. We fell in the middle by the looks of people. There were some over-sized twosomes, older-aged teams, and there was even a family of 4 who took their place in 2 canoes about 4 minutes ahead of us. (We later passed them during the run portion of the race and they complimented our beards. I think they also shed a few tears as they read the back of our shirts, assuming that Katie was our obese sister who died for lack of exercise last year...)
We were able to pass one canoe that started ahead of us and we almost were able to pass a second one without being passed ourselves. We were right up on them when we realized it was time to hit the shore and not enough room for both of us to do it at once. We hit the brakes and sent our canoe into the weeds along the bank. Gregg had to hop into the water which made us force ourselves to change into the dry pair of shoes we brought along in the canoe. 

The running portion allowed us to pass about 9 people and be passed by 5. All-in-all, not a bad trade. 

The biking portion of the race was surprisingly the most challenging. We were the least prepared in our training to ride a bike aggressively for 10 miles. I was riding a borrowed road bike from Brian which was delightfully easy to navigate along the road. Gregg's bike was a mountain-street hybrid with a far more comfortable seat that was set too low to the ground. We ended up taking two stops to trade bikes during the race, which ate into our time a little. 

Once we crossed the finish line we took several minutes to re-hydrate after our 1:33 triathlon event. We looked at all 5 exhibitors booths and bypassed the build-your-own PB&J station and opted to celebrate the way any good athlete should:


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