dMv (daemonv) wrote,

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Sporting News of mid July 2007

This weekend I will be in Charlotte, NC, visiting my sister (vermonster  ) and my uncle&aunt*. We are taking a long weekend for the drive down (estimated at 8 hours each way).
* There should be a plural form of this relationship. "Relatives" is too vague. I may visit my sister or my siblings (if I had more than one); or my father, mother or my parents; my grandfather, grandmother or grandparents. I am not familiar with a similar phrase to indicate an equal pairing status for and aunt or uncle. I might say "my mother's older brother" but then I would add "and his wife" (or his family); as she has been a part of that side of the family longer than I, it does not seem fair.

I am planning on participating in the J.F. Hurley Formula 1 Sprint Triathlon, located approximately 45 minutes north of Charlotte. And such is how my weekends are becoming occupied.  Summer League used to be enough.  Spending Saturday working on the rented apartment, as the tenants are on a holiday, followed by four hours of games, should be enough. 

But I found myself biking downtown on Sunday morning, 6:30am, to watch the Pittsburgh Triathlon and Adventure Race.  Watch, not participate.  And it was a lot of fun!  I hope to try it myself when I am stronger next year.  It was a great experience to watch how some top amateurs race.
The outcome was wild.  The first male swimmer was significantly better than the rest; he did the 1500m open water in 18:49, where the second swimmer did not make it to the transition until 19:32.  Considering that the first swimmer took 41 second in the first transition, he was almost out of sight on his bike before that next swimmer even started.
I took 3:12 on transition 1 and 2:49 on transition 2.
But that was not enough of a lead.  Swimmer number 3 emerged at 20:07, 1:18 behind the first.  He was a much stronger cyclist than anyone else, and in 40km that matters.  He averaged 23.9 mph, finishing in 1:02:21... swimmer number one took 1:09:57 (38th best).  The next best cyclist did 1:03:34 (23.4mph), but had taken 24:02 in the swim (40th).  The biker had about a 3 minute advantage going into the run.  And it didn't matter, because he also put in the strongest run of the group, doing the 10km in 5:40 miles (31:42).  He beat the next closest competitor by almost 6 minutes (1:55:46 versus 2:01:30).

Turns out that our winner, John Brockenbrough, is fairly well known in triathlon circles.  He is 49.  I guess he's been to Hawaii for several consecutive years...
But you know what?  Ultimate can be pretty great too.  Last night we took on one of the most intimidating teams in our division, Savage Animal.  They were 6-1, and all of their victories were by a substantial margin.  At least three of their women are better than all but one of ours, and their women captain (Melissa Foxworth) is routinely covered by a man.  Our best woman, Captain Nikki, is scheduled for an MRI today on her knee.

And Captain Nikki was the only woman on our team to make it.  We could find no floaters; their team had four women, but the only floating eligible one declined to play for us.  They had virtually their entire roster; we had seven men and a woman at game start.  They had separate offense and defense lines. 

They were nice enough to offer us the concession that we could play 6:1 or 5:2, offense decides.  This means that when they scored a point, we had the opportunity to play six men and a woman against six men and a women.  If we scored a point, they got to play five men and two women against five men and a woman (7 on 6).  This suggested a crazy kind of parity, where we could trade points depending on who was on offense, as long as our 7 v 7 line could routinely score.  And that is how the game started -- we scored, they scored, we scored, they scored, we scored.  3-2.

And then something wild happened.  Our intensity stepped up, and theirs dropped.  With only 6 people, we defended and scored.  Then we did it again, 5-2.  I played in those points, and it was pretty wild.  They had an extra player on the field, plenty of talented, experienced players, and plenty of subs.  We had an improvised zone defense with obvious gaps.  Our zone wore them out. 

We took the half, 8-5.  And they were beaten.  While our side cheered our little victories, their leaders started bellowing.  Due to the pace of the first half -- it was 8:05, with a soft cap at 8:35 -- we thought it was going to be a capped game.  Instead, we beat them 15-8, going on a 9-7 to 14-7 run.  It was amazing to watch -- remember, every time we scored we had to play with one less player.  A five point run means we played five consecutive short-handed points. 

I had recently be speculating on withdrawing from playing so much Ultimate.  Because in a lot of games, I do not end up playing much -- I am more involved in the captaining, coaching and strategy.  I love the game, but I am less concerned with my own playtime.  I really like triathlon because it is so personal and individual.  I do not detract from anyone else in participating, and I succeed or fail based on my own goals, my own training, and my own effort. 

And yet there was something so beautiful about playing last night.
Tags: triathlon, ultimate

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