This page chronicles many of the races I have done.
Unfortunately, some stories are not here,
as I was doing races long before this web site existed.
Click on a year link to leap to that year's races.
- Tri Rock Austin Tri
Austin, TX. 2016 Sep 5
Great conditions for the Tri Rock Austin Tri on Labor Day.
There was cool clean water, overcast skies, and a light breeze.
I love the swim in Lady Bird Lake, coming in at top 5 of my age group.
My bike was just over 19 mph. It was fun zooming around the streets of downtown Austin.
I over-hydrated a bit and had to take a bathroom break on the run.
It took a while to loosen up, but once I did I had a steady pace.
It was fun to race against co-worker Jose Rubio and fellow senior Preston Johnson.
- LifeTime Tri CapTex
Austin, TX. 2016 May 30
On Memorial Day (2016-05-30) I ran the 25th annual Cap Tex Tri. There is something about this race and
the weather. Because of all the rain, the Lady Bird Lake flood gates opened, and the current was 4 mph
(6.4 kph). So they cancelled the swim. Next the lightning and thunder dropped at the race start.
So they delayed and then cancelled the bike. I was part of the 10% that ran this rare run-only
triathlon. It was fun.
- Great Floridan Ironman 140.6
(2.4M Swim/112M Bike/26.2M Run)
2015 October 24.
Despite having a good swim, I had a rough race and did not finish.
It was a hot and windy day. The bike course was hilly, and I went
off-course, resulting in a 120 mile ride at about 14 mph.
I was struggling the last 10 miles of the bike
and completely depleted my energy stores by the time of the run.
I attempted to walk-run the marathon. However, one-third of the run took about 2 hours and 15 minutes.
To complete would have required another 4 hours and 30 minutes, putting me at roughly 17 hours.
Rather than kill myself, I called it a day.
Adam Gruman, my old racing buddy from Boca Raton, also called it a day after one-third of the run.
We have very similar swims, but he had a
better bike and navigation skills. Chris Sadowski and Steve Bregler from south Florida turned in
great finishes despite the difficulty of the day.
It was bitter-sweet not finishing, but I had a fun day having dinner, swapping stories, and racing
with this group. I did the best with the cards that were dealt to me this day.
- Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lubbock
(1.2M Swim/56M Bike/13.1M Run)
28 June 2015.
This race was another test to prepare for an ironman distance race at this age.
Despite some trouble, it was my best event in years.
The conditions were great (low wind and low humidity),
and I really have to hand it to the spectators.
All the free drinks, water sprays, and encouragement really helped me push on.
The swim was perfect. 74 degree temperature, smooth water, and wet suits lead to me coming in top 5 of my 55 person age group.
The bike was low wind, but I still felt injury to my upper hamstrings.
I did fine for 45 miles, but the last 11 miles were painful.
I felt great on the hill climbs, and there are 4 canyon descents and climbs in this race,
but on the flats I was in agony.
My legs were tightening and weakening, and I was adjusting my position every minute or so to compensate. I did finish with my best bike speed in many years (17 mph), but I could tell I was wilting at the end.
The run was less than I expected. Perhaps the bike zonked me out.
I had to walk at the slightest incline,
but on flats and descents I had a great stride.
Both my bike and my run were slightly lower than average for my age group.
Some equipment that worked well for my were my new triathlon suit
(which kept me cool and lowered my transition times)
and my new shaded cap (which kept the sun off my head and neck).
I also have a fun memory of many athletes cooling off in the lake
right after the finish line
with some beer, a bagel, or a cold watermelon slice in hand.
Just chilling and relaxing.
Overall I am happy with my time. I exceeded my goal time.
Yet I was still humbled by my 30th out of 55 people age-group-ranking.
Now I have a dilemma and some tough decisions to make.
Do I press on to the ironman distance or call it enough and wait for the future.
- Ironman 70.3 Galveston Texas
(1.2M Swim/56M Bike/13.1M Run)
(39:06/3:28:58/2:39:14 6:55:38 108/162AG 1688/2200OV)
26 May 2015.
Despite a good training season, I had a rather crappy race at Ironman 70.3 Galveston, Texas.
The swim went well, with pleasant water temperatures and being only one of two
competitors (out of 2200) in an old-school speedo. I placed 31 out of 162 in my age group.
The bike was less than I expected. I had two flat-tire stops, and along with our
age group start in wave 19 out of 20, this meant I was out on the course in the windiest
part of the day while others started in the calm morning. I placed 126 out of 162.
The bad bike lead to a tiring, high-heat run. My third lap was my fastest split of the run.
At least I recovered a bit and was able to run it in. I placed 98 out of 162.
Despite the bad performance. I am happy I did it. I have some good stories. As I overtook
80 year old competitor Marsha Smith on the run course, I said, "You are 80? You are my hero.
I want to be be where you are." She replied, "Just keep going. You'll get there."
- Crap-It-All Texas Triathlon (1.0M Swim/40K Bike/10k Run) Austin, TX, 2014/05/25.
I ran the Crap-It-All this morning. It's an Olympic-distance, self-supported tri
starting in Barton Creek Springs in Austin, Texas. I took first place in 3:15:47.
As I was the only entrant, that was also last place.
I was injured early in the season and did not sign up for the official Capital of Texas Triathlon.
As race date approached, I was feeling pretty good, but I missed the entry deadlines.
I decided to run my own faux race at approximately the same place and time.
The competitors were fierce, there was no drafting, and the course was excellent.
- Capital of Texas Triathlon
(1.5k Swim/40k Bike/10k Run),
(29:57/4:47/1:28:33/2:59/1:01:05 3:07:21 42/80AG 706/1250OV)
27 May 2013.
This race was my return to triathlon races after a long hiatus.
I had fun during the race, and the only problem I had was hamstring tightness and a
Hence my bike ride was slow as I had to stand, stretch, and adjust my position to wake up my legs.
I think this was because I wore triathlon shorts rather than the normal padded bike shorts.
The water was cool and pleasant, and my time was close to what I swam 10 years ago.
The run was also slower-than-normal due to numbness and heat.
I was surprised to end up in the middle of my 50-54 age group.
In earlier years, it seemed to be easy to finish in the top 25% of my age group.
I guess at this age, only the hard core survive to do Olympic distance tris!
Well, it was fun and humbling to meet so many good athletes my age.
Big triathlon event gap. Nevertheless, I still kept up the swimming, biking, and running training.
- Capital of Texas Triathlon
(1.5k Swim/40k Bike/10k Run),
(28:18/3:45/1:11:47/2:02/51:49 2:37:43 36/82AG 345/834OV)
26 May 2003.
Another fine year for the Capital of Texas triathlon!
This year the number of participants in the olympic distance went from 300 to over 800.
There also were over 600 in the sprint distance and over 300 in the first-time triathlon.
This is certainly a good sign for triathlons in the Central Texas area as the number of
people in this race keeps growing.
My congratulations go to the race director who fired off waves every three minutes.
Because I competed in the 40-45 year age group, I was sent off in the second wave, following the
pros. As I finished the race, there were still waves being sent off.
The race day opened with an ominous start.
At 5:15, the alarm went off. It's nice to wake up LATE for a hometown tri.
The predawn sky was lit with bright spidery veins of lightning, followed
by close thunder claps.
Rain came down in loud torrents on the roof.
I turned on the TV to watch the local radar.
There was rain all over central Texas, but it looked as thought there
were gaps forming to the west, the source of the rain.
We loaded the car with the bike, my gear, and the dogs in the rain.
By the time we made it to downtown Austin, the rain was letting up,
but it was tough to make it to Town Lake located in the center of town.
Most of the streets were closed to accomodate the race.
We parked the car at Republic Square, and I rode the 4 wet rainy blocks to the
I quickly picked up my timing chip, got marked, and racked my bike.
It turns out that because of the heavy rain, the race start was delayed one hour
and my wave would leave at 8:03 instead of 7:03.
This gave me a little time to chat with other triathletes and assess the course.
As we stood by Town Lake, we all noticed the immense amount of garbage in the
lake: styrofoam cups, plastic and paper bags, tree limbs, leaves, mud, and a big log
with four birds on it.
Since it hadn't rained appreciably for the last month, Shoal Creek accumulated
lots of human refuse. Now that a big rain came, the contents of
the creek vomited itself into Town Lake. Ugh.
Nevertheless, the race started and I began the swim.
Although I was one of the few who opted for no wet suit,
the water temp of 68 felt good to me.
The course was great, passing by the downtown landmarks such as the new Lamar Street pedestrian
bridge, under the train trestle, and back to near the First Street bridge. Along both
bridges there were many spectators and lots of flash bulbs popping off.
Although I didn't train for the swim (other than occasionally with my dogs), I concentrated
on form and beat my last year's swim time by about 1 minute.
The bike course was great too. It was a 4 lap criterium winding up and down
Ceasar Chavez, Congress Avenue, and near the Capital building.
The road was rough in some points due to construction, but I
kept a nice even pace and carefully avoided the puddles.
The first two laps were sparse, but the third and fourth laps became a bit more
crowded as over 1000 triathletes joined the course.
I finished the bike course in about the same time as the previous year.
The run was a nice winding course around the lake.
The prerace showers kept the course cooler than last year.
Again, I kept an even pace, but it seemed like forever before I could stretch
my legs out a bit and get a nice pace.
I blame the lack of brick training and racing.
Ultimately, I ran the 10k about 3 minutes slower than last year (despite it being
cooler this year), and thus my ultimate time for the entire race was 1 minute slower.
Nevertheless, despite my slower time, I place higher in the overall rankings (345/834)
and higher in my new 40-44 year age group (36/82).
It was a fine race. No injuries, no walking, and a completely even pace for the entire event.
And now a day later, no soreness, just the satisfaction of attempting and
completing another event.
Capitol of Texas (1.5k
Swim/40k Bike/10k Run), (30:21/3:50/1:11:00/2:17/49:09 2:36:39
44/82AG 175/375OV) Austin, TX. 27 May 2002.
An extremely nice day on an exciting new course! The race took
place in downtown Austin in Town Lake with the transition area
on Auditorium Shores. Swim sights include the Stevie Ray Vaughn
statue, the overhead rail bridge with 500 ton freight train,
and the Austin Power Station. The water was 69 degree but
The bike ride was a 4 lap criterium around the Capitol and up
and down Congress and Caesar Chavez (1st Street). The Capitol
sits on a hill in downtown Austin. It was a joy to blast
through the red lights as you rocketed downhill towards Town
The run was a 2 lap event, crossing the Lake twice. In summary,
this is a great course with a lot of participation. Although my
times have been slowing a bit as I get older and train less
seriously, I give the organizers and the course a raging thumbs
2001 was a rebuilding year for me. I reentered the sport after
taking a short leave of absence. Actually, I never stopped
training, but I just did not have the desire to race. As always I
love to swim and bike and run.
I may not be the fastest, but I still have a lot of fun.
Race to the
Rescue (0.5M Swim/15M Bike/5k Run),
(15:37/2:23/47:18/1:16/25:04 1:31:36 7/18AG 68/264OV) Austin, TX.
27 Oct 2001.
Chaulk up another triathlon race for a total of 2 this year.
After having a long hiatus, it feels good to participate in
even these two few races.
Conditions were perfect with 75 degree water temp, 58 degree
air temp, and no wind. It is the toughest short course I know.
The water was a bit dofficult because of all the hydrilla in
the lake. This plant is similar to those long ones you put in a
fish tank. It is not hazrdous, but it is stringy and can tangle
around your arms and goggles. Idon't mind it, but others I know
don't like stuff touching them in the water. The water
visibility was about 15 -20 feet, so it was easy to see and
avoid all obstacles.
The out and back ride on Loop 360 was very challenging. The 360
Bridge hill and Bee Caves Road hill were major challenges.
Luckily the pavement is smooth and there was plenty of room and
virtually no drafting.
The run was a partially off road run into the Bunny Run
division south of Lake Austin. The hills were tough, but
luckily the temp was cool and windless. A joy.
In this report, I salute Marty Hoff who finished his first
triathlon on this difficult course. I saw Marty about 3 times
during the race and each time he was chugging along with what
appeared to be determination on his face. No sign of pain or
defeat. Good going Marty.
of Texas Triathlon (1.5k Swim/40k Bike/10k Run),
(28:43;1:24:35;56:53 2:50:11 24/64AG 141/320OV) Georgetown, TX.
29 July 2001.
This is my first official triathlon race in over 2 years. It
felt good to break the dry spell and race again.
Russell Park in Georgetown, about 30 miles north of Austin, is
an excellent race venue. The water was warm (78F) and clean.
The swim was well marked with a slight chop on the return leg.
I did not do any formal training for the swim, but my technique
seemed to be OK and my swim leg turned out pretty good.
The bicycle course was slight rolling hills, but with low
traffic and wide shoulders. No signs of drafting in this race.
However, some of the pavement was a bit rough from the gravel
and tar they throw down for maintenance. There were quite a few
The run was an out and back run along the entrance road to the
park. Conditions were hot, with moderate westerly breezes. This
was Austin's 21st straight day of 100 degree weather. Humidity
was relatively low. The sun beat down mercilessly on the
runners. There were few shaded spots as the trees were the
typical Juniper and low scrub trees that are so common in
The race organization was superb. There were plenty of
volunteers to help with the timing chips and numbers. The waves
went off without a hitch. The party after the race was a lot of
fun - plenty of pizza, colas, beers, and apple struedel.
I was sore and tired after the race, but I ran the entire
course, had no injuries, and no problems. This was 20 to 30
minutes slower than I usually run this distance, but I still
enjoyed the race, and I came away with a great feeling of
1999 was a good year for me. I ran a number of high quality races.
I especially liked the X-Terra off road triathlon. However, some
force was lurking beneath the waters. As other hobbies became more
important to me, I let my triathlon racing take a back seat.
In the year 2000, I did no official triathlons, but I did continue
to train. In fact I continued to bike and run quite a bit. I
finished the Texas Marathon Challenge, 5 marathons in 5 months. But
my triathlon racing took a break. No new tri races to report on
Rent-A-Car Triathlon (1M Swim/6.4M Run/21M Bike),
(27:00/1:30/48:07/1:55/1:02:58 2:20:56 Total) Boerne, TX. 11 July
You would think the Swim/Run/Bike order would be enough to set
this race apart, but the steady rains also made this race
memorable and unique this year.
The race start was delayed over an hour as the officials looked
for lighting in the heavy black clouds. Luckily there was none.
The triathletes are shivering and soaking in the muddy
transition area waiting for the word. The mud is 5 inches deep
in some areas, and everyone's run clothes and shoes are
spattered with ruddy brown goo. Several support trucks get
stuck in the mud. Despite the steady rain, sometimes heavy and
driving, the race is on! As I plunge into into warm, 82 degree
Boerne City Park lake, the sound of beating rain becomes still,
and all I can hear is the wheezing of my lungs gasping for air.
Exit the swim and it's on to the run. Without a clean place to
change, I plop down into the mud and put on my wet brown socks
and shoes. I exit the transition area, but it looks like a barn
with hoof prints 3 and 4 inches deep. Our shoes are plastered
with the sticky mud, but eventually we make it to pavement, and
the rain and the pounding washes away the mess. The rain is
still falling steadily, and the air smells clean and fresh. The
sky is soft and multi-toned like an artist painting a dramatic
watercolor with blacks and whites, and greys. The clouds are
moving overhead, but there is vitually no wind at ground level.
The run goes cross country for two miles, and there are some
small streams to ford. As the race director said, "if the low
water crossing become impassible, the bike will be cancelled."
As we cross many raging streams, I begin to think the bike leg
will never happen.
To my surprise, the bike is on. The rain is still falling,
heavy at times, and the drops sting as they hit my shoulders.
The runoff from my brow is making it hard for me to see. My
nose is running constantly from all the rain drops I am
inhaling. Despite the slick roads, the race is much cooler than
other years, somewhere in the low 70s. After riding through a
few black clouds and ascending the hills near the Tarry Lake
horse ranch, the rain withers away. I almost "buy the farm" at
mile marker 20, as I take a sweeping turn a bit too fast.
Luckily, the tires eventually stop sliding, and I am on my way
As usual the post race was great with a live band, fajitas from
the grill with Coahuila habanero sauce, and beer from the
Yellow Rose Brewing Company of San Antonio. Although I was
surprised at the officating call, in hind-sight I am glad the
bike leg was held. It never did thunder or lightning, and now I
have a great sense of accomplishment and lots of memories: the
shivering, the mud, and the wet athletes having beer and fruit
bars in the rain.
Buffalo Springs Lake Half
Ironman (1.2M Swim/56M Bike/13.1M Run), (5:51:15
33:38/3:25/2:58:43/2:50/2:12:50 56/93 AG, 303/550 Men) Lubbock,
TX. 27 June 1999.
This year marks a race of low heat and high winds. Most of the
day is blessed with partial cloud cover -- high temperatures in
the upper 90s. Humidity is low, approximately 20 to 30% at run
time. Unfortunately the winds are very strong and slowing,
especially on the bike. During the run, the Buffalow Springs
Lake canyon is unbearably hot and windless, yet the road near
the power plant is cooling thanks to the low humidity and high
I took my usual low key approach to this race and was rewarded
with my personal worst time of this event. As is true of all
races this year, I did the swim cold with no training. My time
was about 10 to 15% slower than my best swims, but not
unexpected. I put in plenty of bike training, but owing to lots
of chores at home, I think I tapered off too drastically and
pay for it dearly on the bike. My biking weakness and the high
winds lead to a very slow bike time. My run started out slow,
expecially in the oppressive and windless heat of the Buffalo
Springs Lake canyon. However, once I made it to the level,
windy grounds near the power plant, I started cooling down and
putting in some good miles. I also met fellow Austiner, Michael
Seibel on the run, and through talking and commiserating, we
managed to goad each other into a good final five miles.
As in previous years, the race is extremely well run. The bike
handoffs appear regularly every 10 miles. The run stations are
one mile apart with a free bonus site at the 6.5 mile
turnaround. The volunteers are enthusastic and plentiful.
Without their help, I would never finish this race.
Despite the physical difficulties, I have fun at the race and
enjoy meeting old and new friends. For the second year in a
row, Jane and our dog Harriett served as full time spectators.
Harriett really likes to spectate: lots of attention and free
food from kind dog lovers, lots of swimming and running, and a
great big road trip with mom and dad in the truck.
X Terra Offroad Triathlon
(1.5k Swim/18M Mountain Bike/11k Trail Run), (2:29:41 10/20AG
50/98OV) Austin, TX. 23 May 1999.
Ohhh, was this a tough event. Based on my
ability in mountain biking, and the enjoyment and success I had
in the last two races, I thought this would be an easy race. I
The swim went without a problem in the clean waters of Lake
Travis. The water was clear enough to follow the rope on the
bottom of the lake that held the line of buoys; it was almost
like having lane lines. The two lap swim were separated by a 75
yard run along the shore, great for spectators and
photographers, but quite disorienting for the swimmers. No
problems, on to the bike!
The mountain bike course winds among the hills and valleys of
Pace Bend Park. Normally Pace Bend is open only to hikers and
horseback riders, but on this day they made an exception to the
bikers, a trial run for a proposed mountain bike park. My
recommendation is that they develop the park. The course is a
beauty with lots of twists and turns, ascents and descents --
somewhat remeniscent of the High Ridge Trails on Jester
Mountain near Loop 360. Typical of Austin, the course is full
of limestone boulders and loose and dusty gravel. There are
also plenty of the steps or "balcones" that make for wicked
airborn descents. There was no cowtowing to the triathletes,
this 18 mile bike was as difficult as any expert mountain bike
I finished the bike in about 30th place, but I was spent. On
the first mile of the run, I thought my wobly legs would loosen
and get into running form. It never happened. On the second
mile I slowed to a shuffle. By now, it was noon in the hot
Texas sun. There was little shade among the low juniper trees.
On the third and fourth miles I was walking. I had barely
enough energy to go on. Obviously, I was going through an
incredibly bad bonk. I tripped on many rocks and roots. When I
finished the first lap at mile 3, I felt like packing it in,
but the cheers of the crowd helped me move on. Finally, by mile
4, my energy crisis had waned. I guess my energy system had
switched over to burning fat, and I had enough in me to begin a
shuffle. The last two miles were a roasting death march. Other
runners were passing me left and right, as I slipped from 30th
down to 50th place.
Despite having a tough race and spending the rest of the day
recovering, I did enjoy the event. The expo was well organized,
the race venue was outstanding, the course was well marked, and
the barbeque lunch after the race was simply delicious to a
starving, energy-sapped survivor. I hope the course returns
next year, wwhen I intend to conquer the elements and finish
with a bit more grace.
Coast Triathlon (1.5k Swim/56M Bike/13.1M Run),
(38:14/4:39/2:42:00/3:24:52/1:52:11 5:19:58 96/230AG 589/) Panama
City Beach, FL. 08 May 1999.
Victory is mine! Well, not really, but I did manage to beat my
ARCH-NEMESIS Adam Gruman in a rare
defeat. He has beaten me consistently for nearly every race in
recent memory. This race I nearly equalled his swim and bike
times, but I trounced him by 10 minutes in the run for a 6
minute overall victory. He did suffer on his new bike, so I
imagine this took a bit out of him on the run.
Conditions for the race were about normal. A frontal system
churned up the surf for the swim and about 10 racers were
rescued from the waves by the lifeguards. Once you swam beyond
the curls, the swim was free of chop and relatively fast. The
bike was the out and back course originated in last year's
race, but the starting waves were spaced out in 15 minutes
intervals. Drafting and pack behavior were minimal which made
the race far more enjoyable than last year. The run was the
out-and-back course to the state park at the end of Thomas
Drive that has been used for the last 5 or so races. I saw a
sidewinder snake cross the road in the park and nearly run into
a runner. Luckily he jumped and avoided the quick snake. The
heat index was high as usual, exacerbated by the one hour delay
in starting the event this year.
I felt good for this race and completed the run without
walking. Although it was my second swim of the year, I felt in
good form and was within 5 minutes of my benchmark, Adam Gruman
and within 2 minutes of last year's time. My bike ride was a
typical 21 mph. Surprisingly, despite feeling good, my time was
much slower than last year with the bike accounting for the 20
minute difference. I imagine the course was a bit longer and
the winds were a bit stronger. I enjoyed racing and meeting old
friends. Once again Panama City makes a great mini-vacation and
roadtrip. I will be back.
USTS Austin (1.0M
Swim/40k Bike/10k Run), (~2:30:00) Austin, TX. 02 May 1999.
I begin this race season with a much more casual and relaxed
attitude than previous years. With all the hobbies and time
contraints in my life, triathlons take a back burner in my list
of things to do. Not that I don't enjoy myself, it's just that
if I don't feel like training or don't have the time.
Correspondingly, my times have dropped.
The USTS Austin race is held at Pace Bend Park on the shores of
Lake Austin. Although it's my first swim of the year, the 75
degree water feels good. I've never been a power swimmer, and I
rely more on technique burned into my muscles memories for
years. The lack of training does not affect me that much. I
only notice the lack of training towards the end of the swim
where I start to tire.
The bike course is a two lap tour of the hilly roads
surrounding the park. I estimate at least 50 hill tops in the
25 mile course. As is usual, my Austin training pays off and I
pass many on the up-hills, but for some reason everyone passes
me back on the down-hills. The run is also fun, on a hilly and
curvy course. Great post race party. Great site. Fun race.
1998 was a maintenance year for me. My heart and devotion were not
fully into racing as it was in past years. I had many other hobbies
encroach on the amount of free time I can devote to training.
Nevertheless, I do many Olympic and upward distances, driving to
many races withing 3 to 4 hours of Austin, and doing Panama City
and Clermont in Florida.
Here are the details on the races.
The Great Floridian
(2.4M Swim/112.5M Bike/26.25M Run),
(1:12:11/8:48/6:19:33/8:54/5:52:45 13:42:10 91/146 AG, 580/1051
OV) Clermont, FL, 24 Oct 1998.
This year's race was an extremely difficult one for me, but I
finished. I suffered from extreme nausea during the run, most
likely brought on by the energy drink Race Day. Although I
raced with this product before, I have had other races with
this sports drink where I could not get the energy down during
the run. Despite the stomach cramps, I continued to walk until
the many cups of chicken broth finally cleared out the problem
and allowed me to run the last lap. I finished with my worst
ironman time ever, but at least I finished.
The day was beautiful. The air temperature was a little
cooler than usual (highs ranging from 65-75), brought on by
partially cloudy skies. A high pressure front from the previous
evening was clearing the area and thus we also had high, gusty
winds (10-15 miles per hour). It rained lightly several times
during the bike and the run.
My swim went with no problems, and I was happy with my 1:12
time based on one swim session every two weeks. My bicycle ride
was a bit slow, but this was due again to the little training I
put in toward the event this year. I was only able to get one
100 mile century ride in. Luckily, I put most of my training in
on the tougher hills around Austin, and the hills of Clermont
were no problem. I'm happy to brag that for the first time I
was able to bike up Sugarloaf mountain while remaining in the
saddle. Others had to stand on the pegs or (gasp) walk. (Gloat,
Gloat!) Following the race, many athletes commented on how
strong the winds were in the last 20 miles of the bike!
Nevertheless, I entered the run with lots of energy
and enthusiasm. I even wore a red Flash super hero hat to get
laughs and have fun with the run. Unfortunately by mile 5 I was
reduced to walking. My stomach was a large churning jug of
liquid. I could not get the sports drink or the water to exit
my stomach (I did have a salty sub and potato chips midway
during the bike ride.) For the next two laps of the run (14
miles) I walked and drank chicken broth to get the liquid to
empty my stomach. I really had to dig deep to prevent myself
from quitting. I thank the other athletes for their
encouragement and kind words as we battled this event together.
Once my stomach started emptying, I was able to run the last 7
miles. I finished with no soreness, no blisters, but I did have
a bit of a bruised ego from the slow time. Despite the slow
time, I'm happy to have raced and finished this year's ironman.
Triathlon (1M Swim/25M Bike/6.5M Run),
(26:50/2:03/1:08:51/1:02/46:27 2:25:15) San Angelo, TX, 9 Aug
A beautiful summer day for a triathlon! The morning temperature
starts cool for a summer day on the Texas plains, about 83
Fahrenheit, warming to about 88 degrees by race end. Humidity
is low, and the wind does not turn on until the second half of
The Concho River is warm and lazy once again, as the 270
swimmers begin the race in thier speedos in 3 waves. The buoys
are well marked, but the return leg downstream is difficult to
navigate because of the rising sun.
The bike ride is an absolute joy, mild wind on the way out,
picking up to a healthy tailwind on the way back. The boost
turns the ride back into something enjoyable and close to low
The run is on trails and hard-packed jeep roads. The road leads
up and over a hill near the edge of the Middle Concho river.
Luckily, this year the road is dry and hard, but occasional
gusts pick up clouds of red dust and deposit it on your skin.
All-in-all a well-run race with ample room to swim, ride and
Texas Triathlon (1M Swim/6.4M Run/21M Bike), Boerne, TX, 12
This is a fun race because of the inverted run and bike. The
weather was slighly on the warm side, reaching upper 90s in the
mid afternoon. The winds were low and steady. My swim went well
along the triangular course in Boerne Lake. As in previous
years, I enjoyed the cross country part of the run. Most of the
off-road run consists of grassy double-track trails alongside a
highway. Runners vied for the shortest grass and the hardest
packed dirt. Some quick downhills, bottomed with a drainage
ditch, required leaping. The rest of the off-road running
consists of double traj The bike also is a nice twisty, hilly,
path along the country roads of Hill Country. MIles 10 to 15
are generally uphill, but when you hit mile marked 15 it is
nearly downhill all the way home.
The post-race party is excellent - lots of good food (subs,
pierogies, bagels), live music, and beer from the Yellow Rose
Brewery of San Antonio (they make a great India Pale Ale).
Also, the timing of the awards ceremony is great because people
generally mill about the shady pecan trees around Boerne Sqaure
until the results are posted. It is a nice family affair, and
our dog Harriet found plenty of other dogs to play with
although she was tired from the swim and the 6 mile walk from
the lake to town.
Lake Triathlon (1.2m Swim/56m Bike/13.1m Run), (5:34:50
34:49,3:51,2:45:35,2:39,2:03:53 34/98AG,236/536), Lubbock, TX, 28
This is the hottest race I have ever run in - 108 degrees
according to the local weather station. The wind was blowing
about 10-15 miles per hour, and the humidity was an arid 10
percent. Liquid pools of tar on the road stuck to your running
shoes. As you took a breath, you could feel the heat dry out
your nose. I saw one runner stumble and fall in the heat like
Bambi attempting to stand for the first time. Several minutes
later I heard the emergency sirens. I doused myself with water
at every aid station, but before the next aid station, my
singlet was bone dry. You could watch the water droplets
evaporate off your sun glasses.
The 1.2 mile swim in the 76 degree waters was a joy: clean,
calm and flat. The temperature was a little warm for this
length swim, but wetsuits were allowed. The roads were smooth
and uncongested with occasional potholes. With the low traffic
density, there was little evidence of drafting, and I saw none
of the packs that I saw at the Gulf Coast Tri in Panama City.
The canyons around Buffalo Springs Lake are my favorite parts.
It is fun to see how different cyclists tackle the hills.
Training in Austin, I usually make up a few places on the
I was surprised at how well I handled the heat. My bicycle ride
was steady and didn't taper off at the end. My run was steady
and even, and the only walking I did was up the 3 long, large
hills (and this is one of the few races were EVERYBODY walks up
the hills). Despite the heat, I kept dousing myself with water
and the low humidity allowed the evaporation to cool my body
enough to maintain a run.
The race had great organization and plenty of volunteers. There
was ice and plenty of towels at every aid station. The
residents of the lake were nice enough to set up hoses or
sprinklers, so the last mile of the run was a jog from shower
to shower. The spectators, both human and canine, also deserve
a round of applause for sitting through the long, hot race and
cheering for the racers.
Coast Triathlon (1.2m Swim/56m Bike/13.1m Run), (4:57:45
35:49,3:51,2:23:35,2:39,1:51:53 84/226AG,429/1425), Panama City Beach, FL, 09 May
Ha, ha! I finish
with a vitually identical time to last
year! My bike is 15 minutes faster due to low-wind
conditions, but my run is 15 minutes slower due to lack of
training and a knee injury. The port-a-potty stop I took during
the second transition also added a few minutes, but shows up in
my run time. All the racers had a lucky day because the days
immediately before and after the race raged with high seas and
My nemesis Adam
Gruman thoroughly thrashes me by 20 minutes with a 4 minute
faster swim, equal bike, and a 15 minute faster run. I used to
be that fast! Adam's fiancee Beatriz (Nematriz?) also trashes
me by one minute with an equal swim, 5 minute slower bike and 6
minute faster run. My new nemesis Steve O'Beirne also beats me,
with an equal swim, 5 minutes slower bike (thanks to 12 minutes
of drafting penalties), and 10 minute faster run. By the gods
Krom and Odin, I hope to come back next year and trash these
Once again, this event is a great mini-vacation. I meet old
friends from Boca Raton, Gainsville, Atlanta, Memphis and
Austin. The party is smashing baby as we eat good food, drink
free drinks, and see race day highlights at the multilevel
Spinnaker's bar. I force Shawn Rogers to do a tequila shot with
me (watch this space).
1997 was a great year for racing. I found a great variety of races, all within a 3
to 4 hour drive of Austin. As usual, I eagerly attended races of
Olympic distance and longer.
Here are the details on the races.
Texas Trail Endurance Run (50M Run), Did Not Finish,
Huntsville, TX, 13 Dec 1997.
Twenty five miles into the race I had a feeling this would be a
struggle. Thirty eight miles into the race I called it quits.
Three weeks prior to the race I felt a tightening on the
outside of my left knee - I had developed tendonitis. I tried
to rest my knee and was able to work my way up to 16 miles the
week before the race. Yet on race day it started tightening
again. I monitored it carefully during the race trying not to
aggravate it. Yet midway during th race I had to make a
decision. I felt that I could have finished the race, but with
the expense of being injured for a few months. The other
alternative was to drop out and rest and recover.
A bit of a let-down after a fine season, but I will recover.
Floridian (2.4M Swim/112M Bike/26.2M Run),
(12:14:161:25:28/4:32/5:59:20/6:54/4:38:00 ), (35/112 AG, 157/708
OV), Clermont, FL, 25 Oct 1997.
Despite difficulties in all three events and
my slowest ironman split, I have a great day and an extremely
fun race. I walk away from this event with little soreness, no
problems, and nothing but the elation of doing a thing I love
with a lot of fun-loving and like-minded people.
My swim is plagued
by broken goggles at mile marker 0.5. I swim the rest of the
course with my eyes closed, surfacing every 10 strokes to
navigate to the next buoy. My bike is plagued by a broken
shifter post. I hold the shifters in my hands and manage to
finish the course in less than 6 hours. My run is plagued by a
sandspur in the outside pad of my right foot that I cannot see
and cannot remove. Luckily, I only feel the pain when the road
banks sharply to the right. I finish with my slowest ironman
ever, but with the feeling that I could have been 45 minutes
faster if it were not for these problems.
As always, Fred Sommers puts on a great, well-organized event.
One great touch was a pair of floodlights pointed out toward
the swim course. These giant blobs of bright light silouetted
against the dark tree background are the best swim navigation
aids ever invented!
More photos are located on the Photos
Austin Open Water Swim (5k
(3/3 AG), Austin, TX, 14 Sep 1997.
This is a beautiful tour of downtown Austin from the
constant-level Town Lake. Conditions are calm and placid. The
event is much like swimming in one of the lagoons at a ride in
Disney World. As you gently glide through the warm water,
people on the shore are drinking their Sunday morning coffee.
They look at you, and smile, and wave. You skim by majestic,
overhanging oak trees. The sun rises over the mountain.
After the first mile, I realize I am swimming alone. I wonder
if I am in last place. At the halfway turn-around I glance
around me and see two large packs, one in front of me and one
behind. I resolve to catch the pack in front, a gap of about
two hundred yards.
I concentrate on form, and I start to push my aerobic limit. I
see a women near the back of the crowd; I will catch her; she
is my prey. With every time she reverts to breast stroke to
navigate, I close the distance a few lengths, but she is a
better swimmer and pulls away from me in the crawl stroke. I
double my efforts. I will catch her.
With a quarter mile to go, I am within twenty five yards of
her. I see the final buoy and a sharp left turn to the shore. I
plan my strategy. I will cut the corner tightly, and sprint the
last length to shore.
She swings wide. I corner tightly against the bouy. The race is
on. I push as hard as I can. I race up the ramp and hand in my
number. I am victorious.
Then I turn to congratulate my competitor. At this point I feel
a little shame taking a place away from an 11 year old girl.
Texas Hill Country Triathlon
(1.5M Swim/48M Bike/10M Run), (4:34:15
43:34,2:11,2:22:18,1:10,1:25:01 20/66 AG),
New Braunfels, TX, 06 Sep 1997.
A fantastically difficult course running over hill
after hill around Canyon Lake in Hill Country... Luckily, the
conditions are nice with a smooth 82 degree lake and little
wind. Many are deceived by the bike, pushing hard, only to end
up walking the run. The run is equally hilly, and the merciless
sun beats down upon you the entire way.
I run the race with the onset of the flu. My run is
poor as I battle cramps in my diaphragm. I finish and
immediately have to seek shade and ice in order to cool down.
Goose bumps, pale, clammy skin, and nausea indicate heat
Nevertheless, the course is absolutely gorgeous and scenic, and
the event is among the best supported with themes at most aid
stations: UFOs, South Pacific, Graveyard, and Woodstock. The
pre and post race parties are tremendous with lots of food and
a nice video show celebrating the tenth anniversary of the
Capital Triathlon (1.5k Swim/40k Bike/10k Run), (2:22:44
San Angelo, TX, 10 Aug 1997.
An enjoyable race in a beautiful west Texas town. The swim is
in the cool, clean Concho river beneath willow trees and
canyon-like cliffs. The bike is fast and flat with wide roads
and well marked corners. The run is off-road and leads up and
over a grueling set of hills. As the day's heat sets in and
reflects off the red clay soil, many runners are forced to walk
the last few miles. I gut it out and finish in 2:22:XX and am
The organization and the host hotel, the La Quinta Inn, are
superb. For dog lovers, this hotel allows pets and there were
many for legged guests: boxers, labs, terriers, beagles, and
our own Harriet spectating
her second race.
of Texas Tri (~1.5k Swim/1k Run/15M Bike/5k Run), (1:45:26
Austin, TX, 27 July 1997.
Arguably, this is the toughest sprint triathlon in the nation.
What is billed as a 0.5 mile swim requires 22 minutes. (I
finish a 1500m swim in this time). The swim is followed by a
transition and a 1k run up a steep hill. The mini run is
followed by another transition and a 15M bike through at least
12 tough climbs, some requiring several minutes to top, others
requiring standing on the pegs. Then, a third transition and a
5k run with 4 steep hills. Top it all off with 86 degree water
and 90 degree air temperatures. I run with leaden feet. Tough!
Nevertheless, the hometown triathlon is well run and has plenty
of water on the run and plenty of sandwiches, cola, water and
CytoMax at the finish. I finish this race feeling like I have
run an Olympic Tri or more.
Texas Triathlon (1M Swim/6.4M Run/21M Bike), (2:09:17
Boerne, TX, 13 July 1997.
This is a very enjoyable race for many reasons. First of all,
the course is a great change of pace with the run as the second
event and the ride as the third. The run is cross country for a
mile or so as it winds its way along the grassy hills of I-10.
The bicycle can almost be said to be cross country as the road
surface is quite rough, gravelly and filled with pot holes.
Despite the road surface, the views are beautiful as the bike
course winds its way up and down Hill Country.
Second of all, the race directors do a wonderful job with the
pre and post race events - not bad for a local, small town
event. Prior to the event we get three sky divers, and after
the event we get a band, good local beer, and lots of food. Not
just bananas, but substantial sandwiches, pierogies, and all
the soda and sports drinks you could want.
Finally, I enjoy the race by making a good effort - an
enjoyable thing after crashing and burning in the previous
race. I power evenly through the swim, I catch many people on
the run, and I scream like a madman in the last mile of the
bike with the long downhill descent and the wind at my back.
Ahhh, what a fine day!
Lake (1.2m Swim/56m Bike/13.1m Run), (5:43:40
36:58,2:38,2:52:53,1:48,2:09:53 53/85AG,278/492), Lubbock, TX, 29
Everyone is entitled to a bad race once in a while, even
veterans. As I often say, racing is like taking an exam, and
you can take the pain in one big lump on race day, or you can
take it in tiny bits by preparing and training in the days
leading to the event.
This event was difficult for me. The course beat me, chewed me
up, spat me out, and knocked me down. I was underprepared for
this course and finished in pain in 5:46:40.
The course is a tough one. The bike is mostly flat with 8-10
half mile ascents of 10% grade as the road winds its way out
and back across scenic Horseshoe Bend and Yellow House Canyons.
Nearly all stood on the pegs. This year we also had 95 degree
weather and steady 20 mph winds, so the flats were just as
challenging. The run is mostly out in the open with no trees.
There are 4-5 half mile ascents of about 10% grade.
Part of the trouble was the "Race Day" sports drink served
during the bike. I never used this drink before, and it sat in
my stomach and would not go down. By the time I began the run I
had no energy. Even when I attempted to while the time away by
singing a song, I could not think of ANY song lyrics. Others
also complained of stomach problems, and I saw 3-4 people
vomiting on the run. After washing down as much water as I
could drink, I felt my energy return, running when possible,
walking through the rest stops and up the hills.
I came away from the race relearning a hard lesson. Prepare
hard for the race and the race will be less hard.
Triathlon (1.2m Swim/56m Bike/13.1m Run), (4:57:06
33:46,3:47,2:40:49,2:47,1:35:39 79/204AG,337/1292), Panama City Beach, FL, 11 May
A very windy and overcast day. Despite decent times in the
swim, bike, and run, Adam Gruman demolishes me by a margin of
18 minutes. I finish with a 4:57:06. What is more amazing to me
is that Adam, who normally loses time to me in the run, gained
time on all three events - a thorough thrashing.
Nevertheless, this event is a great mini-vacation. I meet old
friends from Boca Raton, Gainsville, Atlanta, Memphis and
Austin. The party atmosphere is top notch and the food, the
bands, the expos, and the race-night fireworks all make this
event another special event in my career.
- The Kona 'N Texas Triathlon (1.5k Swim/40k Bike/10k Run), Clear
Lake, TX, 13 Apr 1997.
38 degrees, 20 mile per hour winds, 62 degree water: that
describes the tenor of this race. More of a battle against the
elements than against each other.
Clear Lake is a coastal town near Houston. The host hotel and
swim is directly across Route 346 from the Johnson Space Center
("Houston, we have a problem.") The bike course is flat. The
run is on NASA Road 1, the perimeter road around the space
center. Old Mercury, Gemini, and Saturn V rockets are visible
from the road.
This was nearly the coldest triathlon I ever attempted. (I say
nearly because the first tri that I did in May of 1984, the
Jersey Shore Triathlon, had a water temperature of 55 degrees.)
Luckily, the race director provided stationary bikes for
warming up. I pedaled with about 10 other cyclists in the stiff
wind until I was giving off heat. Then I plunged into the
chilly waters of Clear Lake. Thankfully I had a wet suit; many
wore long john suits and neoprene headgear. Others did not. Two
swimmers were pulled from the water and treated for
The bike course was no better with stiff 20 mph winds. I wore
three cycle jerseys, one long sleeve, and still my fingernails
were blue. There were some tremendous potholes and seams in the
road. Mountain bikes skills came in handy. Many people lost
bottles or tires at the more difficult sections. I could not
feel my feet from the numbness, and I kept my pace up to try to
warm up. Still, it was cold and my muscles were not very
At last came the run. For two miles, I did not feel my feet.
When they did finally warm, I felt many rocks and twigs in my
socks. I finished the event and felt good. This was an
extremely tough race against the elements, but I held a
moderate pace during the entire event, and had no problems with
mechanical difficulty, fear, or doubt.
1996 was a very pleasant year for me. Much of time was spent
adjusting to the Texas climate and finding new races and running
routes after moving to Austin in February. I must say that the
climate ranges to the extremes, from freezing to high heat, but the
hills of Austin are great training. The variety of races and the
number of courses at any distance are attractive.
The year is capped up by some very high points:
Here are the details on the various races.
- A fun ironman race with Adam Gruman in October in Clermont,
- The San Antonio Marathon in November, which is just a warmup
- The Sunmart Texas Trails Endurance Run in December, my first 50
Texas Trails Endurance Run (50M Run), Huntsville, TX 14 Dec
Call me Ultraman, I just finished my first ultramarathon. This
was an enjoyable experience, 8:48:04 of running through the
trails and woods around a lake in Huntsville State Park. I met
many nice people and had a great time running.
In some ways, a 50 mile run is tougher than an ironman race.
Although an ironman lasts longer, the 50 mile run is tough
because you spend more time using the same muscles. Often
during this race I had to stretch my feet and hamstrings. I
also realized that I am not ready to tackle a 100 mile race. I
need to give my plantar's ligaments more time to get ready for
running on the trails.
Floridian Triathlon (2.4M Swim/112.5M Bike/26.2M Run),
Clermont, FL, 26 Oct
A fantastic race with great friends on a sunny, hot Florida
day. I race with Adam and Joni
Vanderveen in a happy reunion in Florida.
In an epic battle, Adam and I trade positions many times before
the outcome is decided. Adam leads by two minutes after
swimming the two loop rectangular course in a time of 1:02:22.
I catch him on the bike in the hills of the Ferndale Loop at
the 20 mile mark. We talk for 5 miles before I drop him at the
SugarLoaf Mountain climb. Unexpectedly, Adam catches me at the
40 mile mark and drops me for the rest of the 112 mile ride.
Later on the run, I catch him at the climb up Citrus Tower hill
at the 2 mile mark. We chat and I leave him for what I think is
the last time.
But the heat takes its toll, and once again Adam reels me in at
the 11 mile mark on the run. Knowing that running is my strong
suit, I vow to stay with him, and by mile marker 19 I pull
away. With the sun and the temperatures dropping, I feel great
and finish the race in 11:54:00. Adam follows in 12:10:20.
Later that evening, Adam has a rough night, suffering from
severe dehydration, vomiting, and delirium. Joni and Jeri bring
him to the hospital at 3 a.m. After a rehydrating I/V and a
night's sleep , Adam recovers to attend post race awards
ceremony the next day.
See some new photos on the photo
- Gulf Coast Triathlon (1.5k Swim/40k Bike/10k Run) Galveston
Island, Texas, 22 September 1996
For the first time I can say I know what it is like to be in
last place in a triathlon. FIVE flat tires on the bike add
nearly forty minutes to my bike time.
As I am changing my fifth flat of the ride, the sag wagon, a
yellow school bus full of injured and mechanically-impaired
cyclists, pulls up behind me on the road shoulder. The
motorcycle escort asks if I think I am going to make it. A pick
up truck of volunteers follows the bus and removes the traffic
cones from the course. A police car with flashing lights
follows the volunteers.
"Yes," I shout, "I am going to make it!" I place the wheel back
on the bike and pedal away from the scene. At this time I know
the rough course has put two legitimate punctures in my bike
tires. I also know the Park speed patches have not been
standing up to the heat, the high pressure tires, the road
repairs, and the trolley tracks. Yet I am back in the race,
slowly leaving the sag wagon behind.
I recall saying, "Bad luck in Galveston today," to the
spectators watching me change my first flat. The local replied,
"You bring your own luck to Galveston."
A decent run brings me a few tens of places out of last place.
I finish in 3:02:14, my worst Olympic distance race of all
- Wool Capital Triathlon (1.5k Swim/40k Bike/10k Run) San Angelo,
Texas, 11 August 1996
They call the run for this race the "Dirt Road from Hell" - a
hilly, muddy, rocky road, not much unlike the pit of a monster
truck tractor pull. The red clay sticks to your feet, making
your shoes weigh about 10 pounds each.
The swim is in the Concho River, a calm, 82 degree freshwater
dream. The bike course is flat with rough roads.
- Advantage Texas Triathlon (1.5k Swim/6.4m Run/21m Bike),
Boerne, Texas, 14 July 1996
Doing the bike last is an interesting twist. My legs are ready
for shutdown by the end of the run and do not push the bike
uphill very well. Perhaps 5 hours of mountain biking the
previous day have something to do with this?
Nevertheless, I enjoyed this race and the course over the hilly
Texas countryside. Boerne City Lake is clean, shallow, and warm
(82 degrees). The ride is scenic with hills and cattle ranches
and wilderness, but the pavement is rough and strewn with
potholes. I finish in 69th place (out of 500), 14th in my age
group (of about 60).
- Capital of Texas Triathlon (1k Swim/18m Bike/5k Run), Austin,
Texas, 15 June 1996
This is a wonderfully challenging course on my home turf. The
swim is in chilly (70 degree), fresh-water Lake Austin. The
bike route is on my training ride that I do two to three times
a week. The run is in a hilly section of west Austin.
I have a flawless race, although the hills and the heat lead to
a slow 5k run. Nevertheless, I have an enjoyable time in my
first Texas race.
Triathlon (1.2m Swim/56m Bike/13.1m Run), Panama City Beach, FL, 12 May
The best race conditions at this site in years did not help me
avoid a flat tire during the bicycle. I lose to Adam by a
margin of 7 minutes. Nevertheless, the race is a homecoming as
I meet old friends who have relocated around the country:
Charlotte, Raleigh, Atlanta, Boca Raton.
Sizzler (1m Swim/30m Bike/7.3m Run), Clermont, FL, 6 Aug 95
Despite good swim and run, a flat tire on bike leg ruins my hope
for a trophy.
- Howie-in-the-Hills (1.5k Swim/27m Bike/10k Run),
Howie-in-the-Hills, FL, 9 Jul 95
Five minute mega-victory for Adam.
- Boca Sprint (0.5m Swim/10m Bike/5k Run), Boca Raton, FL, 30 Apr 95
1. Adam, 2. Phil, 3. Dan, all within one minute.
Coast (1.2m Swim/56m Bike/13.1m Run), Panama City Beach, FL, 13 May
Lack of training and record heat lead to steady but slow loss to
Anthony's (1.5k Swim/40k Bike/10k Run), St. Petersburg, FL, 30 Apr 95
Adam trashes me thoroughly.
Southern Regionals (0.5m Swim/20m Bike/5m Run), Clermont, FL, 16 Apr 95
Miami loses to thirty member Tri-Gator team. Dan Becker, oldest
fart in collegiate division, comes in the middle of the pack.
Many races in Florida. Little information recorded because the races were done before this web site existed.
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